Yoga literally means union between body and mind as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness. The popularity of practicing yoga has spread all across the world. All of us are aware of the benefits and the wonderful results yoga brings to our mental and physical health. Yoga is practiced for strength, balance, and flexibility.
But, what if I tell you yoga for golf exists? Yes, there is yoga for golf and it has been designed by Dr. Norbert Dehoust, a specialist in manual therapy, and professional golfer and yoga teacher, Sean Einhaus. Einhaus, who had a very successful golfing career, struggled with the mental part of the game during his last few years. This led him to design this yoga practice not only for himself but for all golfers who seek a peak physical and mental state. Einhaus has his own brand named Antidote Yoga and it is about the practice and philosophy of yoga tailored for athletes and peak performance.
“I started playing golf at a very young age. My family was into it so my brother and I always played growing up. We were very competitive and from an early age, I set my mind on becoming a professional golfer. My whole childhood was all about golf and how I could become the best golfer possible. I played golf professionally for 7 or 8 years, traveling all around the world to play tournaments," says Einhaus.
"In my quest to get better, I kind of lost myself and my game. I lost my natural ability to play. I sought help from a lot of people. But nothing I did addressed the problem I was having at the root. So, instead of going to somebody else, looking for answers, and having someone else tell me what to do, I tried to create my own solutions. This is how Antidote Yoga came to be. I'm not saying I have all the answers, not at all, but I have found something that gets to the root ," he adds.
Yoga for golf is such a new concept. Can you explain what it is all about?
"In my eyes, yoga and golf have a lot of similarities. Golf is a mind and body game and yoga is obviously a mind and body practice. Golf is quite different from other sports. In one way it is mental, but it is also one level beneath the mind. It requires a quiet mind. You cannot work with your thoughts so much. You need your brain and body to communicate and cooperate properly, which happens best when the mind is still. From that aspect, the yoga practice helps you to calm down and clear your mind and also allows the body to take over. There is, of course, also a big physical aspect to the game. Technique is super important and Antidote Yoga x Golf addresses that aspect as well, with a lot of golf-specific exercises and yoga poses to prepare and condition the body for golf.
How did you come up with the idea for a specific yoga practice for golf?
"I have played golf professionally for many years and I tried a lot of things. I really studied the game, I studied myself, and what makes players play well and what doesn't. I turned to yoga because the practice has not only helped me to calm down and clear my mind but it also changed my perspective. It has made me accept myself as I am and taught me to seek improvement from a place of peace and contentment and not a place of lack or not being good enough. I have worked with several great swing coaches and mental coaches but it never really helped me because I never addressed the underlying issues. Yoga is a practice where I could feel a shift in me and that’s what really drew me to it, and that’s why I designed a practice specifically for golfers.
What challenges have you faced with executing your vision?
To be honest I have not had that many challenges to this point. Everything has happened kind of naturally and organically to this point. It all came out of a need for it in my own life and it is something that has helped me tremendously and I just want to share it with others. It has evolved naturally and the whole concept developed itself on its own. Obviously, you still have some people, especially men, that are a bit skeptical about yoga and don't know what to expect but the feedback has been great so far.
"In my quest to get better, I kind of lost myself and my game. I lost my natural ability to play. I sought help from a lot of people. But nothing I did addressed the problem I was having at the root. So, instead of going to somebody else, looking for answers, and having someone else tell me what to do, I tried to create my own solutions. This is how Antidote Yoga came to be. I'm not saying I have all the answers, not at all, but I have found something that gets to the root.”
How long has it been since you started this?
I just launched this yoga series two weeks ago. I worked on it together with Dr. Dehoust for over a year but it's all still fresh. We have just now started to put it out there more.
How has the response been and people’s reaction towards such a new concept?
It has been really good. I have given it to a bunch of golfers to test and the feedback I have gotten is really good. This practice is not just targeted at golfers, it is targeted at very competitive golfers so it’s a small niche I am speaking to here but that’s what I wanted.
Is there any particular reason why you started it online?
Yes. As a professional golfer you are always on the road, traveling to tournaments. So, I wanted to make it accessible for everybody. They can do it anywhere at any time and all they need is a yoga mat. If they are traveling, they can do it in their hotel rooms and they don’t need any equipment. I do still teach this practice in person; I have given classes to individual players and to golf teams but I wanted to make sure that anybody can do this practice at any time and I don’t have to be physically present with them.
How is the membership designed and what is the cost?
Right now, I have two packages that you can purchase on the website. One is called "Fairways & Greens" and the other "Stripeshow". They differ in the length of a class and the difficulty of it and are priced at around €380 and €530. The members have access to the videos for a lifetime. There is an instructional part of the program where you have videos that teach you the basics of a yoga practice along with the golf-specific yoga moves, and then you have a bunch of flow-style classes.
Any thoughts on expanding it here in Nepal?
Yes, not so much the golf-specific yoga but I am actually working on something with an amazing Nepali yoga teacher right now. That first series was for golfers because of my history as a golfer but Antidote Yoga is not just for golf. I want to make this practice of yoga, the philosophy, and the yogic sciences behind it more approachable and appealing for everyone.
People perceive golf as a high-class sport or rich game. Your thoughts on this matter?
Golf is growing in popularity all over the world now and I think the narrative around the game is slowly but surely changing. It's not a rich man's game. I've seen people from all different walks of life, different backgrounds, and with different bank accounts learn to love the game. I think at it's core the game of golf is a humble man’s game. If you play it long enough you will learn that.