We are all looking forward to resuming our training and other important aspects of our lives. Until then, I am sharing ideas on how we can continue our training at home and maintaining as positive an attitude as possible.
One area is how we use our time. Depending on everyone’s individual situation (having school age children at home aside) there may be more time than we are used to having as work, training and other activities are curtailed or eliminated.
How we use that time can make a big difference in maintaining a positive frame of mind and having a feeling we are using our time productively.
Training helps us to discipline ourselves. A training routine that continues our growth and development can help us to expand our awareness and avoid the understandable tendency to pull in.
We also can use time for an equally important thing, rest. Find something fun and relaxing that you have meant to do but haven’t made time for. I have some TV murder mysteries recorded I am looking forward to watching.
A combination of a regular training practice and some relaxing, restful activities can serve as a foundation for making the best of our difficult time.
Misogi no Jo and Misogi no Ken
One real advantage to the regular practice we have done on these two katas is we can do them at home without a partner. They are especially good for bolstering your spirit.
In our recent classes we focused on some additional practices that can be done at home.
We started and ended our most recent classes with this practice. It starts by exhaling deeply through the mouth with the head tilting slightly forward at the end of the exhalation. Then there is a brief pause and then an inhalation through the nose while visualizing the breath traveling from the nose down to your center and then another brief pause. You can repeat the cycle as many times as you would like.
Based on feedback from the classes where we have practiced this, people said they felt calmer and less reactive to stressful situations. The practice is described in detail in Tohei Sensei’s book Aikido in Daily Life.
We reviewed this practice in our class on Saturday. It is a good way to start your day by selecting an area to focus on for the day and then going through the forging practice.
Sasun wrote an excellent paper on the forging process which you can find on the Aikido of Petaluma website under resources, dan papers. It outlines in detail, including a flowchart, how to go through the forging process.
Keeping an Expanded Awareness
These and other practices we have done together through the years can be an invaluable way to keep ourselves open and positive.
I will continue to share ideas on a regular basis until we can continue our training together.
All the best.
Chief Instructor Aikido of Petaluma