I received a feedback from Ms.A, who attended a recent workshop that I personally ran. Ms. A has been teaching in yoga classes. The technical things that Ms. A mentions in this feedback are not something I learned as “particular Oki Yoga techniques”, but on the other hand, there is something that I think is unique to Oki Yoga. Those are the attitude of how to view things and learn in life and the attitude of researching useful practical solutions in every situation, which I learned from late Masahiro Oki and have still been learning, and this Okido yoga philosophy permeates my lessons and discussion sessions. Ms.A received it heartily and expressed in her feedback about what she thought and felt. Given her permission, I share it here, hoping that readers can touch a part of the Okido Yoga philosophy.
The sacrum and lumbar spine exercises which you taught are very useful for those who have discomfort in their lower back. I am trying them myself and want to incorporate them into my lessons little by little. Massaging the relation points on hands, feet and so on relieves a lot of tension just by a short time application before going to bed. So, I am encouraging my students to do this at home. Many of them have stiffness on the inner side of their elbows in particular and enjoy loosening it together in my class. A belly massage is often included in my lessons, but it was the first time for me to apply a diagonal stretch there, which I like as it is very comfortable. When we have lower back pain, our attention tends to go to the back side. So, I will encourage my students to be aware of the belly and stomach as well as the connection with the body’s other areas.
Rather than joining the soles of feet together, I thought that it was very good to put the feet into the roof top shape by joining only the inner line of the feet. I had been worried about my students twisting their ankles, and so I had not been forcing the form of putting the soles together. Now I use the roof top shape you introduced.
As for balancing on one leg, you guided us to stand on one leg and move the ungrounded leg as it plays freely, and then, as negotiating with our own sense of balance, find a position of balance and stability. From there you guided us to take a one-leg-balancing yoga pose. I was guiding my students somehow in tension, “Set up physical stance. If you can do it, that’s good. If you can’t do it, that’s it.” I am now trying your way. My students seem to ease tension as well as concentrate better. I will try more with them. Your practical methods are very applicable and bring positive responses, which I appreciate and am very happy about.
As for kicking movement, I still feel difficult to raise a leg while being aware of the sense of balance and the movement coming from within. So, I am still researching myself. You say, ‘Instead of just keeping moving, have a moment to check and correct yourself”, which is very meaningful. “Don’t get caught up in the form. Try to adjust your movement to a degree of intensity which suits you.” In twisting, you say “Don’t be obsessed with the form. Be aware how much stimulation you will give yourself in your choice. Choosing the stimulation you wish to imply and implementing it will enhance the power of your consciousness.” There is life in yoga pose practice. It seems that I will be able talk with my students on a deeper level from now on.
About the group discussion. It was a very valuable time to hear other participants’ opinions. With no one to talk to on some deep subjects, I sometimes come to my own perspectives through trial and error. I am deeply grateful to have an opportunity to talk with other people like this. Thank you very much. It’s not a new subject, but the four attitudes of mind-heart Masahiro Oki taught, ‘unconditional gratitude, self-reflective repentance, humbleness with respect, and devoted service’, are always on my mind. I often self-inquire about this subject. When my arrogant aspect shows up, I ask myself what has made it appear. I try to admit my vanity and loneliness without blaming myself and understand my present being. That being said, it’s all about self-reflection……
You quoted Hamlet with some variation, “There are more things in heaven and earth than we can fathom…..”. Thank you for making me aware of many things like this. I want to live a life that helps others with a spirit of service.