Deb Fisher wrote:
3. But you know, I have chronic pain for the first time in my life - my hips are tight, my knees hurt, my feet are flat again after years of yoga to create an arch! I need my body for other things, like making money. This has put me in a real aikido slump.
Wow Deb - interesting perspective. My personal Aikido is pretty driven by Mushin Mugamae so it's perhaps a little deep for me.
I can however make a few comments about 3.
Most Aikido practice does not exercise and work the body in the same way as yoga. For example relatively little time is spent stretching and contorting (making some assumptions about the yoga that you do). Did you stop the yoga exercises while you were doing Aikido? I ask this because I am not so sure that it is the Aikido causing this rather than your body withdrawing from a training regime.
Whatever the case, if you spent years doing the physical training of yoga it would be a serious loss for you to stop now. The amount of practice may be lessened - think maintenance rather than improvement. Same with Aikido, if it is taking all your time cut back a bit, find a balance. Too much Aikido too soom will put strains on your body that depending on age (I'm assuming you are not 20) can become chronic.
By the way if you use your body for work, I think it is very important to choose a leisure activity which does not add further strain to what is stressed at work.
Finally if Aikido is designed to overcome anything in the moder setting - it is fear of injury. Our practice is not so intense that death comes into it.