Former professional golfer, Mark Williamson, is now better known as The Golf Yogi. After overcoming his initial resistance to his wife’s request to join her in at a yoga class, once he experienced it, he was hooked.
Mark Soon began studying and teaching yoga, but realized that he wanted to do more that simply teach classes. He started working on his own style of golf fitness, combining yoga with golf specific exercises, and “The Golf Yogi,” was born.
When the word “Yoga” is even stated to some golfers, they immediately tune out or write it off as not for them, but Mark would say otherwise. With his experience as a pro golfer and certified yoga instructor, Mark joins us today to talk about how he tailors yoga to be beneficial to every golfer.
The Golf Yogi’s Background
- Mark played professionally from 2002 through 2009. In that time, Mark played the Gateway, Tight Lies, Hooters, Pepsi, Golden State, and U.S. Pro Golf Tours, to name a few. Mark racked up four wins in his time as a professional, and also held three course records in that time.
- While playing the Gateway Tour in 2008, Mark was a member of the Tour’s Player Advisory Board. Mark worked with some of the great teachers in the game during his career including Jim Flick, Jim Dieters, and the creators of the “Stack and Tilt” method, Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer.
- Mark first started practicing yoga in 2004. After five years of consistently practicing yoga, Mark earned his Registered Yoga Teacher Certification from At One Yoga in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mark furthered his yoga knowledge by becoming certified to teach Katherine Roberts’ Yoga For Golfers classes.
- Mark is also a registered member of Yoga Alliance, yoga’s governing body.
Highlights from this Episode
- Mark kicks off this episode talking about his reluctant introduction to yoga, how it became such an integral part of his life and fitness regiment, and his preconceived notions that kept him away from yoga.
- How Mark keeps golf first when it comes to the combination of yoga into the golf fitness realm. Mark’s approach is “a whole lot of little bottles make a big bottle.” If you can pick up a little bit of improvement from different fitness and wellness regiments, you will be better rounded in the long run.
- We talk about bringing it back to the basics. When it comes to fitness training, it’s not magic: it’s awareness. Mark talks about how when first introducing his clients to yoga, he is just showing them a different way of being aware of their body and how it moves.
- We talk the difference between flexibility and mobility: The important distinction between the two, and how yoga isn’t just a practice to make you more flexible.
- Mark also touches on aspects of traditional yoga that could be detrimental to golfers in general and things to look out for when planning on what you want to work on.
Caddy Shack or Happy Gilmore?
What would be your walk up song?
Lose Yourself by Eminem
If you could play 18 holes with anyone, who would it be and where would you play?
My dad at Augusta (or Royal County Down in Ireland)
Any parting advice for the 18 Strong Audience?
The more active we become, the more we become athletes. No matter if it’s stretching or going for a walk, just move more.
Mark can be found at the following links:
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