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Old 09-09-2013, 05:09 PM   #26
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Anybody doing yoga?

One of the central points my wife teaches her yoga students is the importance of mentally staying in the moment, particularly when it's uncomfortable. "Take the opportunity to observe your body's reaction to the pose. Let your awareness stay in your body. Don't run from it, experience the feeling." She says those kinds of things when having people hold a pose for extended periods of time and it seems to make an actual difference.

It's interesting to note that you can train to increase the awareness of your own body. In Aikido we train to increase our sensitivity to uke's body, and we could probably extend that to include many of O Sensei's views about our connection with our environment and the universe.

We practice a one-handed throw similar to Ikkyo, that's primarily an exercise that teaches how to push a rope. We twist the wrist to immobilize the arm, then drive up the arm so the sholder rolls over and down. We'd say "extend Ki up uke's arm" if we weren't a Yoshinkan dojo. You can really feel the tension in uke's arm and it tells you if you're going to get the throw.

Whether we call it Ki, Chi, Prana or awareness, when you put it in uke's sholder, you can almost always get the throw. Thoughts on that?
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:31 PM   #27
Budd
 
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Re: Anybody doing yoga?

Well, I think it depends on what's physically happening when you put intent into and/or through somebody. How relaxed is your body, how connected are your insides with soft strength so that when one part of you moves, all parts move together as a cohesive whole. Yoga, its lineage and inherent risks aside (which I think exist in most forms of physical conditioning), definitely provides a framework to train these things (relaxation and connectivity) if you know what to train. There's more in scope of the overall ki/jin framework that I haven't seen yoga explicitly address, but then again I'm hardly the most educated person about yoga. Aikido provides the same framework, but again if you don't know explicitly what you should be training, it's easy to miss it as well. Intent isn't a bad place to start, tho.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:56 PM   #28
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Anybody doing yoga?

In defense of yoga, the consensus among professional (credentialed, full time...) instructors is that crappy teachers are dangerous.

It's amazing how many serious mistakes you see in mainstream venues. People doing tree (standing on one leg, with their hands above their head) with their foot flat against the side of their knee. You only see this is bad if someone points it out, but you will eventually get an injury if you do that long enough. Just an instance that everyone has probably seen.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:00 PM   #29
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Anybody doing yoga?

In terms of Aikido, we may never know whether the "Aiki magic" happens when we literally put our life energy in line with uke's. Or if those are just training tools to help us perform physiological feats with a high degree of proficiency. But either way, if it makes us do the magic...
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:22 AM   #30
Alex Megann
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Re: Anybody doing yoga?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
In defense of yoga, the consensus among professional (credentialed, full time...) instructors is that crappy teachers are dangerous.

It's amazing how many serious mistakes you see in mainstream venues. People doing tree (standing on one leg, with their hands above their head) with their foot flat against the side of their knee. You only see this is bad if someone points it out, but you will eventually get an injury if you do that long enough. Just an instance that everyone has probably seen.
This is unfortunately yet another case of Sturgeon's Law ("90% of everything is crap").

Exactly the same holds in aikido. I can't say for sure that my own classes aren't part of the 90%, but there is certainly a lot of aikido out there that is dangerous in any of several ways. Either you are going to hurt yourself in the long run, or your practice is giving you bad habits that will let someone else hurt you at some point. Not to mention the chance of you damaging your practice partner.

My approach to yoga these days might be described as having a dialogue with myself, where sometimes I manage to sort out some issues. A lot of the time it turns out that I feel good afterwards too.

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 09-11-2013 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:02 AM   #31
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Anybody doing yoga?

I've been doing yoga off and on for years, but regularly since the beginning of June. Luckily, I have a very good instructor.

What I notice the most is that my spinal mobility has increased. There are aikido techniques that are vastly easier to execute and more effective if you can actually twist your spine more than the 5% that most of us stiff martial arts guys are able to manage by default.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:08 AM   #32
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Anybody doing yoga?

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Well, I think it depends on what's physically happening when you put intent into and/or through somebody. How relaxed is your body, how connected are your insides with soft strength so that when one part of you moves, all parts move together as a cohesive whole. Yoga, its lineage and inherent risks aside (which I think exist in most forms of physical conditioning), definitely provides a framework to train these things (relaxation and connectivity) if you know what to train. There's more in scope of the overall ki/jin framework that I haven't seen yoga explicitly address, but then again I'm hardly the most educated person about yoga. Aikido provides the same framework, but again if you don't know explicitly what you should be training, it's easy to miss it as well. Intent isn't a bad place to start, tho.
I agree with this. My yoga teacher is constantly encourage us to use intent to engage the bandhas. I haven't worked out the relationships explicitly, but empirically I am quite sure that there is a connection between that area of focus in yoga and what I am trying to accomplish in my internal martial arts training.
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