teacher trainees and others who were
interested in this theme gathered at an Okido
Yoga residential seminar on the weekend of 22 - 24
2013, in Laren Dojo, Holland. After arrival, the Friday evening
divided into three groups: the teacher trainees presented their
Mizue, the Do-In group practiced with Anneke, and the footbath group
their feet; then the best preparation for the next day, a good night's
On Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, I
a total of 10 hours intensive study on the theme: Conscious Action and
Relaxation in Asana Practice.
This subject has gradually grown within
me over many years since I started learning Okido Yoga in 1978. When I
back on how it came up, I can recall two aspects.
First: I have seen many
people practice yoga exercises in painful ways, with short-lasting
subsequent collapses or pains. Second: for a long time I have been
holding a questioning thought on the
expression ‘Do Consciously’, which has been so often
used in Okido Yoga.
Trying literally to follow these words, I experienced big swings in my
between duty and self-judgment. I have also seen many
seem to be in a similar struggle as mine.
This does not seem to concur with Oki
sensei's motto in yoga practice: Force Not, Waste Not, but
I had to continually think and try out in order to find out how to
myself and be happy with my practice. ‘How can I reduce big
forcing and collapsing, duty and self-judgment, or over-excitement and
exhaustion or possible accidents?’ ‘How can I make the
most of asana
practice in order to benefit both body and mind?’ My method has
grown from this
basis and is, of course, still developing.
I shared my experience with the participants, using stretching
partner exercises and traditional yoga poses.
exercises you choose to do, set your position by taking care of the
principles of posture regarding pelvis, pubic bones, collar bones,
toes and little fingers. Then, take an action up to your maximum,
withdraw a little from there, bring space to observe and be there for
a while without changing pressure and with your awareness in natural
Then, come back to the original base and restart the same process.
You will notice you can go a little further on the second
or third go.
When you get used to this basic pattern, you
can build up without coming back
to the original base. In this case, where you are 'being with your
natural breathing’, becomes the second base. Thus the
can climb higher, or stimulation can go deeper, little by
is important not to think that visibly doing more has greater value
visible action. This is because such eagerness may push you against
The idea and method
received very well. I explained: “We perhaps tend to be 'doing'
too much in
modern life, but this method values ‘doing’ and
‘being’ equally”. Then
among some participants came up a phrase: do-be-do-be-do-, imitating an
animated cartoon, Scooby-Doo.
is not alternating physical gestures as ‘work, rest, work, rest,
‘do-be-do-be-do-’, the hyphens contain many activities of
the conscious mind:
Noticing your maximum tension, noticing that a little withdrawal
sharp tension to a distribution of the stimulation, holding the same
in awareness, deciding your next move by consulting Lifeforce working
you, reconfirming the basic principles of posture, etc. As a
method makes each exercise work subtly with one’s inner
produces a deeply-penetrating effect.
based on Saturday’s study, we practiced dynamic movements, using
Kyokaho exercises. These are also asanas in Okido Yoga. As soon as we
movement, our attention tends to be largely taken up by 'doing'.
this seminar, I wanted the students to continue the way of
‘do-be-do-be-do-’, or maybe
‘doooo-be-doooo-be-doooo-’ for faster exercises. Can
we insert moments of such ‘being’ awareness or
reconfirmation of stability
between repetitive dynamic movements? If we could be both
‘alert and in
touch with our inner sense’ in these exercises, we would receive
from them as avoiding problems that forced tension might create in the
body. Also our mind would find an
enjoyable rhythm in each event, which would result in more fun. My
So, your feedback is welcome by e-mailing
Apart from my lessons, the
morning chanting was led by Mizue, which included her guidance on basic
posture and Okido philosophy. The whole seminar was supported by the
staff: Anneke, Henriette, Saara and Valentina. Okido Yoga residential
in Laren and Suffolk
always include cleaning of the dojo as the last programme,
which keeps alive the spirit of the old days in Mishima Dojo. The whole
atmosphere was open, friendly, encouraging and inspiring.
The Okido Yoga
run by Laren Dojo offers weekend seminars with specific themes taught
number of different experienced teachers, as well as one-week dojo
and half-fasting trainings. If you are interested, please contact Mizue
Tamaki (firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.okidoyoga.nl
For UK residents, please contact me because Okido Yoga UK runs a joint
teacher-training with study in both Laren and the UK.
the full content through your experience before you use this
method for other than your own practice.
my workshops is recommended.