I’m in touch with a lot of golfers around the world and one after another they tell me that invariably a poor swing directly relates to poor breathing.

Sometimes there are issues though; it sounds like an easy thing to accomplish, just being aware of your breathing when you’re taking your shot but oh how the mind interferes!

Would you believe that you can imagine you’re following your breath, especially when you sit in Meditation, while the whole time you are simply talking to yourself (the internal monologue rarely ceases) and then immediately you start looking for results and might be disappointed when you go out on the golf course.

So you might believe that the opposite is true i.e. this breathing method doesn’t work or you think you know this stuff already (been there, done that) or you don’t think it’ll work for you or that you have to spend years practising before you master it.

The only thing that’s true here is that we are all the victims of self-interference; even when we think we’re focusing on the breath, the mind still wants to take over and control or organize the breathing rather than letting go and allowing it to just happen.

Reuters / Lucy Pemoni

Try during this coming week to really follow your breathing, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. The wonderful Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki advised that we “Follow the breath with a warm-hearted mind”, which means to be gentle with yourself but firmly remove the analytical mind from the process. Just breathe and see yourself breathing. That’s it.

Here’s a new study one of my colleagues brought to my attention earlier this week. It details how Neuroscientists have identified why a deep breath causes changes in the brain. Read more

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