Kenjutsu and jujutsu inspired Aikido, a martial art form highly practiced in Japan. It incorporates the sword techniques of kenjutsu and the twists and throws of jujutsu. Practitioners meditate while in motion during this complex martial art practice. Indeed, the Aikido meditation practice shapes their skills and allows them to enjoy better performance. As well, it purifies the mind and body to bring inner peace. This article summarizes the Aikido postures and breathing methods.
A. Aikido Meditation Postures
Several postures are involved in Aikido meditation. They include:
1. Cross-Legged Posture
Sit with your legs crossing each other and hands relaxed on your thighs, with your fingers pressed together. Keep your spine straight and tilt down your head a bit and focus on a specific point.
2. Kneeling Posture
Kneel down with a little gap between your knees and your hands relaxed on your thighs with your palms facing down. Relax your back and focus on a point in the lower abdomen.
3. Chair Sitting Posture
Practitioners who can’t follow the above postures can try and sit on a chair to meditate. Your back should be straight and your hands pressed lightly on your thighs. Keep your eyes focused on a specific spot in your lower abdomen.
B. Aikido Breathing Techniques
Practice the breathing cycle of Aikido meditation as swiftly as you can. You may start with a few minutes and lengthen your session over time.
Choose a posture and close your eyes. Close your mouth and then inhale through your nose. Expand your lungs with the help of your lower abdominal muscles. Then, breathe in more air until your lungs reach their full capacity. Wait for 15 to 16 seconds and then open your mouth to breathe out. Exhale as slowly as you can. Use 15 to 16 seconds to breathe out completely. Wait for 8 to 9 seconds before starting the next breathing cycle. The total length of each cycle should be about 45 seconds.
C. Aikido Meditation: Benefits
1. Keeps You In The Present
The tendency of the mind to naturally drift away from the current moment can be countered through Aikido meditation. This happens when you are fully aware of the moment that’s right before you.
2. Enhances Your Skills
Aikido meditation allows you to perform your moves to the end. This not only improves your skills but also develops practice in relation to your mind, body, and spirit.
3. Overcomes Negative Energy
In aikido, the opponent’s anger can be considered as negative energy. This energy can be overcome using the meditative state.
4. Teaches Peacefulness
Aikido is the art of peace as practitioners seek nonviolent resolutions to conflict. It involves specific moves that aim to minimize and stop an attack before it becomes damaging. The goal here is to be conscious of possible harm and to discover peaceful ways to resolve a conflict before it actually takes place.
5. Teaches Are Equal
Although aikido is a martial art, its meditative state makes us aware of the fact that there is no rival in reality. It teaches practitioners that all are a part of the universe and no disparity exists between or among us.