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Why I Do Yoga: Chuck Munson

A corporate lawyer and longtime golfer does yoga to improve his game.

By Loraine Despres

Munson is a successful corporate lawyer in Austin, Texas, but his real love is golf. He's played the game since he was 11 years old. He was on the men's golf team at the University of Texas and still plays one or two times a week. A year ago, he met yoga teacher Wendy Davis at his church. He had hurt his foot and ankle a few years before while running, and Davis thought that hatha yoga could help alleviate the pain and might even help his golf game. He was skeptical, but, he says, "I immediately found the stretching was beneficial." There are 10 students in Davis's class and they're noncompetitive. "Everyone roots for everyone else." Yoga has not only alleviated the pain in his foot but helped his golf game in a variety of ways. The focus and balance helps him line up the putt. The breathing has put him at ease and makes him feel at one with nature and with the course. And the strength and flexibility he's gained has helped lengthen his drive without sacrificing accuracy. But, most important, he feels that yoga helps him be a better person. "Now, I'm the spiritual leader of our [golf] foursome." His golf companions have noticed the difference in his game. "When I hit a good one, my golf partners will say, 'There goes the yoga power!'"

Chuck Munson's Practice.

Once or twice a week in class. Three times a week at home. His favorite asanas besides Mountain Pose, which helps him concentrate on his standing posture and stretch his spine, are Cobra, Bow, and Tree, which helps him balance and concentrate. Chuck incorporates his yoga into his everyday life. He focuses on his breath when he walks his dog. He takes time to watch the wind on the lake, to pay attention to the movement of the clouds, and to stop and feel the awe as a deer runs across the golf course. He feels yoga helps him clear out the noise of life and that gives him "more opportunity to soak in the beauty of nature."

How he got started.

He met his teacher socially, and she seemed so sincere in her belief that yoga would be beneficial, he decided to give it a try.

His teacher.

Wendy Davis in Austin, Texas.

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