Aikido, Somatic Psychology and Feldenkrais® have been my practices, passions and lifepath for well over a decade. I was grateful to partake in a workshop with others who are also interested in the intersection of aikido and psychology.
I am deeply curious about how aikido practices can engage us in a process that accesses and aligns with our innate body wisdom– with how our physical, functioning bodies as part of a universal life process grows, develops, and forms. And how this universal process can influence and inform our personal lives. This is central to my training in Aikido and to my work in Somatic Psychology and Feldenkrais.
In this workshop we had a full day with many different presenters sharing their perspectives on how aikido principles can be applied to working with people therapeutically. Presenters introduced various techniques of centering and grounding that we all briefly tried out ourselves and had an opportunity to discuss. I was experiencing the difference between techniques as something we do with ourselves or others and practices that engage us in a process of learning, growing, developing. Bob Frasier Sensei addressed this difference between techniques as “tricks” and aikido as a practice, a process, a path. Later in the day, Patrick Faggianell introduced a wonderful notion of mind as a verb, a process that regulates energy and information. Process, process, process.
For me, aikido principles are not concepts, but rather they are universal, functional, body-based practices. They are somatic practices such as centering, grounding, blending– that engage me in my own process and in how I engage with others.