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I’ve been practicing yoga for a little over a year, and it’s made a big difference in how I view, and relate to, my body. I still can’t bend over backwards and touch my nose to the floor (oh dear god, why?), but I have noticed a slight increase in stability, balance and flexibility; a stronger lower back; and most importantly, an awareness of my own body that even aikido hasn’t given me. For someone who engaged in basically no physical activity until he was in his mid 30s, it’s quite an accomplishment to talk about two physical activities now.

I still prefer the spiritual side of aikido and its focus on connecting to others, and the way it prepares me for conflict. But yoga has helped me develop an inner focus, which not only complements my aikido practice, but stands as a worthy practice on its own.

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