Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June SMAA California Seminar--Part 5

Japanese yoga training was the order of the day when the SMAA California Seminar started on Sunday. H. E. Davey, with the help of Wesley Keppel-Henry, taught basic forms of stretching for health. He stressed the importance of unifying the mind and body in motion in these exercises and the value of a correct, relaxed posture. This posture is capable of producing a surprisingly stable mental and physical condition.

SMAA members also studied how to use their bodies in the most natural, relaxed, and coordinated manner while in motion. Since we move about in everyday life, if the state of mind and body unification can only be sustained in stillness, it has little value in daily living. Yet most people still have more difficulty maintaining mind and body coordination in action, one of the reasons Mr. Davey focused on this point.

It was an idea that was well-received by the martial arts students in attendance, since budo clearly requires movement, but coordinated and effective movement isn't always easily attained. Likewise, most budo students can benefit from enhanced flexibility, and the stretching exercises presented proved to be a useful adjunct to their martial arts practice.