“How I saved my back for Aikido!”
I’m Stanley Pranin and today I’d like to show you some of the yoga and stretching exercises that I’ve incorporated into my aikido warmup routine.
About 25 years ago while living in Japan, I developed chronic back pain. I think it was mostly due to poor posture from working long hours at the computer. Although I remained active and regularly did stretching exercises, back pain was my constant companion.
Then about five years ago, I started taking yoga classes, something I should have done years earlier. The yoga postures I learned, together with my years of stretching in aikido practice, gave me the tools I needed to address my back pain. My back steadily improved to the point that I seldom feel pain anymore. If something is not right, I know exactly what stretching exercises to do to make the necessary adjustments and eliminate any pain.
Now, I would like to demonstrate some of the exercises that I use to warmup for aikido practice. The routine gradually changes over time, and I am always looking for new exercises that my body responds to well.
The exercise ball has been a big part of my success in managing back pain. Whenever I feel the least bit of discomfort or tightness, I do exercises like those I’m demonstrating here to keep myself loose.
I would encourage those of you who have body or joint pain issues to begin exploring the healing benefits that yoga, stretching and similar disciplines offer. Study, research and put together a routine that meets your needs, and you’ll enjoy a greatly improved quality of life.