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fvhale 12-03-2003 11:55 AM

aikido & yoga sutra
Enjoying many recent threads on AikiWeb about flash, ki, diet, do/michi and Zen, I have come back again to the Yoga Sutra, written somewhere between 200 BC and 200 AD.

Please excuse the Sanskrit in what follows; it is hard to translate, of course. The eight limbs of yoga in the sutra are: (1) yama, social behavior, including ahimsa, nonviolence, and satya, truth; (2) niyama, inner discipline and responsibility; (3) asana, the physical postures of yoga practice; (4) pranayama, breath exercises; (5) pratyahara, withdrawl from sensory distracions; (6) dharana, focusing the mind on one point; (7) dhyana, non-dualistic meditation or Zen; (8) samadhi, englightenment?

Has anyone commented on this sutra from the perspective of their aikido practice, or looked at their aikido practice from the perspectiv of this sutra?

A very nice site for the sutra is

Thank you!

L. Camejo 12-04-2003 07:17 PM

Interesting concept Frank. Reminds me of when I first read "The Secrets of Aikido" by John Stevens. In those days I really tried to "live" the ":do:". Haven't been so focused in recent times though.:)

When I did follow/meditate on it however, things started appearing to me that I had not seen before, especially in the way the philosophy affects on mat and off mat training and then how one could apply those techniques and principles to life. Things regarding how when one moved from a centre of peace and projected that energy it tended to infect and affect everything you came into contact with. It was baffling, almost scary how some situations that appeared almost certain to end up in a nasty fight ended up in friendship instead.

At a certain point a lot of very important life decisions depended on my reflection on this and other sutras. Also, there is a buddhist one called the heart sutra that is at the back of the Stevens book - things can get really interesting when meditating on that one as well.:)

It's interesting to note that the book "The Art of Peace" expands upon each of these "eight limbs" in a very interesting fashion via the quotations of Ueshiba M. on Aikido training and life.

Just my thoughts.


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