Re: Ancillary Practices
I practice what is known as evolutionary fitness, a fitness, nutritional and (for some) philosophical approach to health and wellness based on our evolutionary history as human beings. The basic idea is to stay as close as possible to what we ate and the type of physical activities we did for the thousands to millions of years before the rapid onset of agriculture and even more rapid onset of our current modern lifestyle. This would mean eating what paleolithic people eat, exercising in ways that are similar in function to what paleolithic people did (ie functional exercises, body weight exercises, plyometrics, wind sprints, light stretching, instead of nautilus or other gym weight machines, tread mills, stair masters, stationary bikes, etc.) and not forgetting about the importance of regular rest and social interaction. The general, bottom line rule is to try to not go against the laws of nature and the universe. Sound familiar? I think aikido, both the physical and the philosophical forms of it fit in as seemlessly with these ideas as any other single activity I have come across.
I also try to do various forms of misogi from a naturopathic perspective. These would include breathing exercises, hydrotherapy (usually involving the application of alternating hot and cold to the body either in a shower, or using wet towels), castor oil packs, seasonal cleanses (modified fasting), etc. I can't say I do all of those regularly, but I try.