Seitaiho and Sotaiho

We can help to correct what we notice during the Kenko Taiso by practising Seitaiho, the method of stretching. This set of held stretches is designed to help to adjust any asymmetries in the body and to help us develop a balance and harmony within our muscular-skeletal system. But sometimes we might have some more stubborn inflexibility which is difficult to exercise by ourselves. To help, if this happens, we can practise assisted stretching movements with a partner. We have different sets of movements to achieve this which we call Sotaiho. All of these are applied gently and only to the physical limits of the individual being exercised.

It is perfectly possible to show people who do not practise Aikido the Kenko Taiso movements and the Seitaiho stretches. And it is also sometimes helpful to show them the assisted stretches of Sotaiho. All of these are movements designed to assist and perhaps improve our general physical condition. They help to develop our sensitivity to our own physical condition and an awareness, through touch, of the condition of someone else’s physical state. This sensitivity to another’s physical condition can apply directly to the relationship between Nage and Uke in Aikido

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