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High summer is the best time to practice. The dojo is hot, fans move the air, but hot moving air is still… well, hot. The heat loosens my body, eases the winter ache in my joints and energizes my desire to practice. It's as though the warmth expands my body reducing the friction that winter's contracting cold brings on.
Already the air here whispers of the New England winter waiting just over the horizon. Ice on the windows of the cars in the morning, gardens gone to yellowed leaves, trees moving swiftly from fall colors to leafless brown all speak of the approach of another long winter season. Even with the heating unit, the dojo is chilly in the winter; usually getting comfortably warm right about the time class is about to end.
In summer my practice turns outward; winter inward. Winter is a time of reflection, a time to assess, to plan, to accumulate. A little less ukemi than when the air is hot and moist, to be sure; but less is not none and at my age any at all is to be thankful for.