This lesson comes from my aikido practice but it is true for many things in life. So, when I am practicing a technique in aikido against a person who is using some resistance, if I am not correctly aligned, responding to their action will be difficult and require me to use strength. It is one of the advantages of being a female aikidoka. Males, being generally stronger, can often use strength to get techniques to work, and consequently not take advantage of the full magic of the practice.

One of my favourite experiences during training is when I am struggling to do a technique, and then the tiniest, subtle adjustment can shift things from feeling really hard, to completely effortless. This is the magic of aikido. This can also be true for life — which I’m in the process of making happen. There are a lot more variables in life, but the principle is the same. I’ll let you know when I get there :).

ai — harmony

ki — spirit

do — way/path

The way of harmony with spirit. The way of effortless action. I believe this experience of the ‘sweet spot’ demonstrates the essence of aikido.