Dear Aikido brothers and sisters
Do any of my fellow student of aikido have and practices or techniques they would gladly share to help me with my quest to be totally relaxed while training etc or is it simply a case of only in time wil the mind body and spirit will be as one ???
I do not have any techniques to offer for relaxation. You will need to search for it and over time with regular practice you will discover a lot of things. However, before you can say you are "relaxed" you need to understand first and foremost what it means to be relaxed in the context of aikido. In practice, being unrelaxed means you are in an unfree/restricted state. As Endo sensei points out, over the course of many repetitions, it may happen that the restrictions rid you of itself. This can only come from regular practice, awareness and experimentation.
As a start for me, just my own opinion. Being unrelaxed means using muscular strength. Using muscular strength means you use upper body strength and the most obvious of this is using shoulder power and improper body alignment. So when doing techniques, be observant and aware if you are using shoulder power. If you are doing this, you are doing something wrong. You need to generate the power/displacement coming from "somewhere else" to avoid muscling through. Avoiding shoulder power is just one way to be relaxed, there are many others. This is one of the many experiments you will need to do in your practice.