I have been noticing that lately everyone's practice schedule has declined. This is understandable especially since it is the height of summer and there is so much to do. However, taking extended periods of time away from class causes one's body to forget. The main thing that our bodies forget is how to go with the flow of the technique. As we train, we become more supple not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. When we don't train, we fall back into our old paradigms of resisting and this results in a unnatural stiffness. It takes so much time to unlearn stiffness and re-learn suppleness. Aikido training teaches us how to meet life's challenges with grace, appropriateness, patience and a sense of calmness. We cannot do this physically or remember this mentally if we do not train. As Sensei used to say, "One should make training a part of their daily lives like bathing and brushing their teeth." Please make sure that you dedicate yourself to a regular training schedule. It is really worth it.