Aikido the new Yoga

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As we enter more deeply into the 21st Century, life continues to change at an ever increasing pace. Technological, economic and lifestyle changes can challenge us at every step. On the other side of the coin there has never been a greater need for peace of mind and inner Harmony – and the practices which create that state of being.

For a long time Yoga has proved an ideal antidote for the stresses of modern life. Not only has it supported the development of a calm mind, but also the health and well-being of the practitioner. One of the challenges Yoga faces is how to take the feeling it produces and apply it to the dynamic stress of relationship and movement in the modern world and its work place.

Aikido has a similar meaning to the word Yoga. Yoga in essence means to unify – to create a state of unification. The first character in the word Aikido – ‘Ai’ has this meaning. The second character ‘Ki’ means life force. In Indian yoga, the practices of Asana – graceful posture works on the body and mind. The second practice is called Pranayama and essentially is breathing practices. However the first part of the word ‘Prana’ means energy and has the same meaning as Ki, as does the Chinese word ‘Chi’. The third character in the word Aikido – ‘Do’ means ‘way’ or ‘path’. So the basic meaning is the way of harmonising with the energy of the universe or the way of spiritual harmony and unification. This is also the basic meaning and aim of the word ‘Yoga’.

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