Follow link to elephant journal article published on Oct. 31, 2017
Gregory Ormson writes, rides his Harley-Davidson, plays guitar, and teaches yoga for bikers at Superstition Harley Davidson. He lives in Arizona. In July, he was awarded the Eastern Iowa Review / Port Yonder Press Issue 3 long form lyric essay award for 2017.
What others say about Ormson’s nonfiction writing:
“These essays show us the soul of a father, a woodsman, and companionable philosopher shaped by beauty and grace . . . it is wise, lyrical, reverential, and above all wild.”
–Jonathon Johnson Ph.D., professor at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, the MFA program at Eastern Washington University. Author of Mastodon, 80% Complete, Hannah and the Mountain: Notes toward a Wilderness Fatherhood, and others.
As a fellow midwesterner who has, like the author, lived in many places outside the region, Gregory Ormson’s essay, Midwest Intimations, rang true. From the typical Midwestern reticence to our love/hate relationship with winter, I found myself, as I read, loving even more, the place I chose to return to, the place I’ll always call home, no matter where I live. As Ormson said so eloquently, “I hang my hat on these anchors: a deer in the woods, the dragonfly hatch in May, and the startling retort of hardwoods in frigid February.” Ormson reminds readers what it’s like to be a Midwesterner and how region helps shape us into who we are and who we will become. (Kelly Garriott Waite, contributor to Eastern Iowa Review, Issue 3, summer 2017, Honoring the Lyric Essay.
“He’s working his best vital swirls when he’s taking risks or defining spirit quests: we follow his voice as naturally as ‘lizard, spider, dragonfly and sun.”
–Russell Thorburn M.F.A. Wayne State University, author of Approximate Desire, Father Tell me I Have Not Aged, and more.
“Like the tangled roots of trees, his words reveal visible and invisible sensory connections: the accommodating heartbeats of a drum circle, the thirsty tap of weasel claws which reverberate up to the moon, the archetypical pleasure of a warm fire on a cold night.”
–Kathleen Heidmann, M.A. Northern Michigan University, President, Save the Wild U.P.
“The common earthly elements of seasons and land and water present almost secular liturgies and litanies of heartbreak and loss . . . and tamed hope amidst a jaded world . . . they reveal a ‘dimension of depth’ and ‘ecstatic reason.’
–Bob Ahern, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology and Social Work The Ohio State University.
Yoga for Bikers takes place in the Eagle’s Nest at Superstition Harley Davidson in Apache Junction. Class schedule for December is:
Sunday Dec. 3 and 17 at 11:00 am for one hour
In this beginner level class, learn how breathing and staying calm in the midst of stress can save your life when biking. Bikers also benefit from physical movement which will help all of us stay in the saddle longer and enjoy it more.
As a former Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider/coach, I’ll make connections between what we learn in riding and what we do in yoga. I’ve been offering these classes for bikers (and others) at Superstition Harley Davidson since September and I’ve seen that anyone, in any physical condition can do yoga.
What have you to lose?
GET BEYOND STEREOTYPES. The benefits of yoga for riders are too important to let worn out cultural ideas stop us from shedding old skin. “The times they are a changing,” Bob Dylan wrote. Yes they are, and yoga practice in a Harley Davidson dealership proves it.
Both motorcyclists’ and yogis should be able to see through stereotypes, having themselves been subjects of stereotypes in the past. In many ways, yoga and motorcycling have been subjected to a similar fate, and are often labeled, which is an easy way to dismiss someone as fringe or outsider.
Many believe yoga is only for women, but from its origin, and up to modern times, yoga was practiced only by men. Today, many women worldwide are practicing yoga, and in the US, about 80 percent of yoga participants are women.
Motorcycling falls to similar sexist stereotypes and many people still believe motorcycling is only for men. The reality today is that nearly 25 percent of all riders are women. The culture and times are a changing; stereotypes of motorcycling and yoga no longer apply.
BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR RIDING
Increased strength and muscle tone through weight bearing and power postures / for large bikes and long tours, building strength for long days on the road.
Improved balance by practicing one-leg standing postures / better control in tight U turns and backing.
Increased mental focus and coordination, clarity of thought developed by balance and silence in yoga practice / life and death on the bike is directly related to mental focus and clarity.
Improved sleep after a hard yoga practice / no dozing while driving, deeper sleep leads to increased energy on the road.… read more...
So does yoga ruin lives?
But there are many ways to interpret this. Read about it and follow the link at the end of the short article to the video.