Does anyone here practice any forms of yoga to complement aikido practice? Specifically Hatha yoga. If so, how has it helped? How has it hindered? Pranayama (breath control) seems like it would be beneficial as well? Any thoughts?
Koichi Tohei 10th Dan and the founder of the Ki Society was heavily influenced by Tempu Nakamura who studied with an Indian yogi named Kaliapa. This is where Tohei Sensei learned the idea of mind and body unification.
Tohei Sensei and others Aikido instructors who practiced with Tempu Nakamura, have developed their Aikido utilizing the yoga principles of the Tempukai (Nakamura Sensei's organization).
Breath control is very important! :)
Ki Breathing is the form of breathing exercise that is practiced in the Ki Society. However, many other martial arts also realize the importance of breath control and there are a variety of breathing exercises available.
If you're interested, Stonebridge Press should be coming out with Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation sometime soon. :cool:
I've had a few senseis who were seriously into yoga and often did some at the start of the session. I also used to do a bit of yoga myself and found it gave me the 'relaxed energetic' feeling that is very useful for aikido. However I now do a bit of standing postures in Chi Kung to get this (as I find it easier to do on my own, whereas yoga I prefer in a group).
I don't know if you are aware, but many of the 'stretching' excercises (e.g. the wrist stretches and back stretches) are developed to establish better ki flow (the wrist exercises can be done like a chi 'pump').
If nothing else, I'm sure the yoga makes you less prone to injury (as it builds up supportive muscles and stretches your joints) and makes you more aware of when you are tense and when you are relaxed.
Thanks all for the information!
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