"have you ever thought about Yoga, it seems to me to offer much for the lengthening of muscles/tendons, ....
Has anyone else out there successfully combined the two practices, I'm sure there must be. I would be interested to hear of your experiences?"
First I'm not over 50, but have to say that as a 30+ woman I still benefit a lot from yoga and I imagine it's benefits will increase rather than decrease as the years go on.
My experience is that I have done yoga in the past before taking up aikido. I did it continuously for about a year, once a week, then again for another year or so with some gaps in between. I loved the yoga I did, which is hatha yoga. (I can't speak for other forms simply because I have no or little experience with those). I think it has great benefits for the body and found sometimes its effects very similar to shiatsu, a Japanese form of massage. There were times in particular positions I could literally feel the flow of qi being released if there had been blockages. It has also certainly got strong benefits in terms of improving flexibility and balance as it trains a lot of the smaller muscles involved in balancing the body.
I don't do it regularly any longer though mainly cos I now do aikido
. But I still do it every now and again when I feel my body is too tense, stressed or just needs to stretch and relax more. I do find that doing yoga in the morning and then aikido in the evening makes a difference to my aikido practice. I'm simply more limber right from the start.