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Lions Roar : July 2013
61 SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2013 FOCUSING MY GAZE DOWNWARD at the bright, white golf ball, I’m aware of the alignment of my back, the softness in my legs. Slowly I twist my upper body and hips into a coil and raise my arms back with my driver. After a slight hesitation, I uncoil as my arms and body move for- ward. The head of my driver connects solidly with the golf ball, and I fol- low through with the swing. A crisp, clean stroke. The ball flies elegantly through the air onto the fairway. It’s a lovely spring day to play golf at my country club. Walking up the emerald-green fairway lined with dark oak trees, I notice a mother deer and her fawn curiously watching me from the shadows. Overhead our resident red-tailed hawk soars, then swoops downward to land gracefully on a tall pine. This is my haven. I’m the owner of two businesses—an insurance agency and a grass-fed beef farm. The reason I learned to play golf was to entertain and build relationships with current and prospective clients. But, as a pleasant sur- prise, golf has also become a release for me. When walking the eighteen holes on the course, I concentrate on my breath, which helps me keep my mind focused on the upcoming shot and remain calm and grounded in the moment. Having played golf for over ten years, I understand how it parallels my yoga practice. Whether on the mat or on the course, I have a feeling of be- ing present, a keen awareness of my surroundings and my intention. I real- ize how important it is to respect and appreciate the value of each day. —LIZ MARTIN is a small business owner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. PHOTOBYNICKGOULD