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Old 09-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #21
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 452
Re: Anybody doing yoga?

Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
It's cool with me. I'm not the fact police. Just asking if anyone thinks yoga has improved their waza.
Bill, the idea here is that there is already a highly-refined type of yoga taught and practiced within aikido. In fact, it's central to the energy development, and its origins are Taoist from China.

I'm not going to vouch for the overall quality of this video, but it's fairly representative of what people will see (and do) in the beginning of an aikido class. Note in the video - as they move through the movements - the text reference to the various poses and the "element," organs, and meridians.

Also, for more fun; what people know as yoga asanas didn't originate in India, nor are they "thousands of year old." Much of what is taught as the physical part of yoga is much more modern, and has it's roots in European physical culture. Here's some info...

All of this has little to do with creating an argument, and more to do with sharing information, and seeing the similarities rather than the differences. Even the underlying models of subtle energy used as the basis for Traditional Chinese Medicine (Taoist) and the Ayruvedic traditions from India are staggeringly similar. Prana = Chi, Dantiens = Chakras, Nadis = Meridans, and they both incorporate the 5-Elements model.

Yoga is an extremely generic term. Even more generic and encompassing than the term "martial arts." So, in some sense, to have a little bit more of a constructive conversation, we could stand to get a little more specific in terms of what types of yoga we're talking about. And also being open to seeing types of yoga that overlap cultures and practices.

It's sort of of like if we got into a conversation about cooking Italian pasta. We'd certainly have to acknowledge that the origin of pasta was not Italy, but actually China. And from there, see the similarities, rather than the differences, that make up "pasta" and the approaches to making it and cooking with it.

Pasta is a good analogy for yoga and martial arts, because while they all have similar roots and essences, changing the form - the shape - can change not only the taste, but also the effectiveness — as well as ineffectiveness — in specific applications.

And I guess what I'd like to reiterate is that there are asanas/postures contained within aikido that are specifically meant to change the body of the practitioner on physical and psycho-energetic levels. And in doing so, we essentially learn to make the pasta "dough," from which many outer forms can be created.

Pasta, in its raw form, is formless. And it can be quickly be brought into countless forms, depending on the circumstances, conditions and applications needed. Martial arts are the same way. AIkido is the same way. Don't get too trapped in the outer forms - the "ten thousand things."

Learn to make the "dough," first, and then any form your aikido takes, at any given time, will work.
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