Interesting... first a clarification.
"Yoga is nice, but it's not a holistic preparation for dynamic athletic activity. From your description, it sounds like you are simply engaged in an activity that is too demanding for your state of fitness and conditioning."
Peter Rehese wrote:
" 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."
To dispense with the training issues: I was doing a form of yoga called astanga that is particularly effective in terms of building strength and endurance, increased lung/cardio capacity, in addition to the contorting softness you're thinking of, Kevin. I *was* in really great shape - I think Peter's right, I think aikido/no yoga has been getting me slowly out of shape, or in a different shape. I did quit doing yoga, and yes I do think there is a simple answer in finding some balance - in doing both. I think part of my dismay is that aikido is way more fun and easier on my mind, but that my body has gotten really used to an extremely thorough exercise regimen. I have been back on daily yoga, and I feel more comfortable and stronger already, but I don't want to quit aikido any more than I want to spend 4 hours a day exercising.
Here is my larger question (and why I wanted to put this in Spritual and not Training). I am interested in the process Thalib is talking about. I find great satisfaction in connecting what I do with my mind to what I do with my body. Drawback: In my enthusiasm, I keep collecting these really intense passions for these mastery-driven, detail-oriented, time-consuming body pastimes - from astanga yoga to rock climbing to aikido. Anyone else have a hard time balancing aikido and another intense drive, like a career, or another exercise, or whatever? Anyone out there figuring out how to be okay with not being a completely devoted aikidoka? Anyone else have a strategy for doing more aikido even when they're doing less aikido (Thalib-san, that list is going right on my refrigerator, that is exactly what I am talking about.)?
As an intense, perfectionistic, driven and competitive person who needs to feel good about her practices, it is important for me to figure out this balance thing.
Thanks for the responses thus far.