Yoga and the various forms of Eastern martial arts share common cultural roots and have evolved as different interpretations of common basic principles on generating unity of spirit, mind and body through breathing, flexibility, extension, timing, centering, contact, yielding, non-resistance, doing by not-doing, etc., in dealing with social interactions. The contribution of such disciplines to the Health and Peace of the millions of practitioners around the world is incalculable. Aikido practice is known to transform social relations based on power, control and clashes between opposing forces into liberating and creative expressions of vital energy.
The course will entail learning/practicing some of these essential principles as applied and developed in Aikido techniques. At the same time it will be an invitation to reconcile oneself with one's body, to learn how to listen to it as well as to the body of a partner (whether in the role of "uke" - the attacker or "nage" - the attacked) through a sort of joint moving-breathing meditation.
A full hour of actual physical practice each class will give way to 30 minutes of shared (verbal) reflection on those aspects of the practice that bear analogy to social, political and economic relations involving power and control as well as violence or the implicit threat of it. Feel free to pass the word out to interested friends.
Schedule: Course will meet a total of four times on Wednesday May 11, 18, 25 and June 1st from 7:30 to 9:00 PM.
Location: At New England Aikikai, 2000 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (near T @ Porter Square)
Required equipment: Judo Gi or loose sweat clothes
Donation: $20 per class donation suggested. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Registration: Let me know of your interest by e-mail.
Health and safety: Assuming that potential students will be just beginning, there will be a constant emphasis on techniques being executed in moderate, gentle and safe ways (Aikido is generally practiced so but it can get quite demanding on the body when practiced at a fast pace or at more senior levels, and can cause injury if executed in ways that are not correct or not focused on the situation at hand). While age and sex considerations are irrelevant to the practice of Aikido, in order to even try it once one must be healthy and not have any kind of physical/health issues that could prevent a person from doing strenuous physical work. If for health or any other reason you can't participate in the actual practice you can still observe the practice and then participate in the discussion.