Hello to all
I am a new student in Aikido, and I figured I would join this forum. The immediate reason for it, is because I have a couple of questions regarding my training outside of the dojo.
Where is the appropriate place to post these questions:
What exercises can I do to relieve the burden on my back muscles. After a few consecutive minutes in a lowered stance, my back muscles start to become very tight. After maybe fifteen minutes of continuous practice, they tense to the point that I can't ignore the pain anymore. I'm not straining or spraining anything in a technical sense, I'm fine after sitting down for a few minutes. Two things contribute: I hurt my back mildly in high school playing football, and I am overweight.
The second question: My feet are very inflexible. On the mats I can't really practically maintain an 'active toe' sitting in seiza, and I certainly cannot on a hard surface. Are there any exercises other than just constantly bending and stretching the toes further that I can do to help? As long as I am controlled in the stretches and do not exceed a reasonable amount of pain, is there still potential for serious injury in doing this stretch - that is, am I doing the wrong thing?
Thanks very much!