Thread: Aikido and Yoga
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:23 AM   #5
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 376
United Kingdom
Re: Aikido and Yoga

Hi Karen,

Welcome to aiki and the Aikiweb!

I have a feeling that the type of yoga training you have done may make a difference, as well as the emphasis of the aikibudo training you take up (actually I have to admit that I'm not really sure what "aikibudo" is!).

I am now 47, and have been training in Aikikai aikido for about thirty years now and practising yoga for twelve or thirteen years. For the first ten years or so I found the yoga helped in increasing my body awareness and in informing the stretching I do in aikido classes.

However, the biggest change in this influence happened when my teacher (who happens to be my wife) switched from an Iyengar-influenced tradition to a teacher who was a student of Vanda Scaravelli. My yoga experience isn't all that wide, but I found that the Scaravelli approach, which involves doing the poses in quite a contained way, while keeping a strong connection between the limbs and the spine, really reinforced my aikido, while the more precise but less naturally - let's say - "internal" Iyengar-type practise didn't directly resonate in the same way. Perhaps a different way to put it would be that the first way of practice stretched me out; the Scaravelli way brings me back into my centre.

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