View Full Version : Aikido and Yoga

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Paul Melsness
02-23-2004, 01:46 PM
Hi everyone,

This is my first thread on the Aikiweb forums although I've been reading it ever since starting Aikido 2 years ago.

This is a wonderful resource!

My wife has recently started taking yoga and has been telling me how wonderful she feels afterward (being a dance teacher she has her share of chronic pain from years of ballet). I've noticed a lot of injuries that can result from years of Aikido (specifically in the knees and other joints) and have been intrigued with the idea of augmenting my training with some yoga. I figured I would probably be one of those aikidoka that end up with bad knees eventually anyways due to a condition (Patella Femoral Syndrome):(

I'm wondering if there are any aikidoka out there who are also yogis/yoginis and if you find that yoga compliments your aikido training (especially with regards to joint health).



02-23-2004, 02:19 PM
I am a dancer and yogini and i feel yoga is absolutely complementary to aikido. It will most definitly help y0ur balance, ukemi and recovery time.

Just don't try to do it in an air-conditioned space.

02-23-2004, 03:03 PM
I'm not an active yoga practitioner, but I do work out with intense aerobic weight training vidoes. I've found that this kind of activity has increased my core strength, over all physical strength, stamina, and flexibility. It has been a tremendous benefit to my aikido. Strengtening my core has helped my ukemi and protects my back from injury. Increasing my stamina means I don't have to take a break while we train intensely.

Yoga is great for developing strong core muscles (abs and back), strong stabilizer muscles for balance, and of course flexibility. Depending on the type of yoga you practice it's also great for overall body conditioning and improving your stamina. This raises your overall health, and by doing so benefits your aikido because you can train more intensely, do randori longer, take ukemi better, etc.

Go for it!

02-24-2004, 02:00 AM
In addition to the physical benefits, I would also say that Yoga demands the same sort of 'budo' attitude...direct, engaged, willing to surpass physical limitations. Yoga is a great way to train this in a different context, espcially one that doesn't require pain and having the snot knocked out of you.

02-24-2004, 11:54 AM
I have started doing yoga for that past 4 months. It helps tremendously! Physically, by back gave me problems...no more! Even though the breathing exercises in yoga are different than aikido, I do believe that the yoga type breathing has helped in my aikido breathing and stamina.

It seems to me that yoga complements aikido. I encourage all of my students to attend the yoga class.

02-24-2004, 12:14 PM
Yoga (asana & pranayama), Tai Chi, Chi Kung, etc are totally in harmony with aikido practice. Any type of mindfulness practice will benefit your aikido. Those type of (softform) internal arts compiment each other well. The key is to pick one that suits you.

Right now my focus is on Tai Chi, meditation, basic conditioning. I roll it all up into my aikido umbrella. Tai Chi gives me a way of performing kata (moving meditation) which I miss from my karate days.