Aikido exercises

We recommend you do the Aikido class warmup regularly, to keep from losing flexibility. If you can’t remember the exercises, this website might help.

If any of these exercises hurt, STOP! You are not doing it correctly. Relax your body and breath slowly and deeply.

We usually do these ones before practice:

#2-9, 11, 13-16, 31, 37, 39-44.

(I think that #5 is just the ura version of the nikkyo wrist exercise.)

Usually before #37, we do an inversion. From sitting, roll back and put your feet on the mat over your head for ten seconds. This SHOULD NOT hurt your neck.

#49 is a good exercise if you have a mat or soft carpet.

Do an abdominal breathing exercise before you start: 

Stand with your feet under your shoulders, spine straight, legs slightly bent. Breathe in through your nose as deeply as possible, consciously using your diaphragm and pushing your lower abdomen forward with your abs for a count of four. Let your shoulders relax backwards. It is useful to visualize pushing the air down to your tanden (near the navel).

Breathe out gradually through your mouth for a count of eight until your lungs feel almost empty.

Repeat three times.

After you finish all the exercises, do mokuso — sit in seiza with you eyes half closed, breathing slowly and deeply, until your mind is calm (sometimes, it takes a while!)

These exercises are not intended as calisthenics, but to awaken ki in the body and improve health and flexibility. Don’t even think about breaking a sweat. Suburi is better for stamina and calisthenic purposes.