Sunday, Jan. 14 the first of three YOGA TEMPLE workshops at MOTTO YOGA.
I hope to see you
The next class for YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers, is Wednesday, Jan. 17, 4:30 at Superstition Harley Davidson. See how these bikers are keeping themselves ready to Ride On!
A BIG THANK YOU to M.J. Britt for taking these photos at Superstition HD.
When motorcycling and yoga come together, good things happen. Practice yoga at Superstition Harley Davidson and feel the roar of motorcycles below the Eagles Nest. It’s different, but bikers and yogis have never been afraid of different.
Yogis come in all shapes and sizes and so do bikers. Yoga and motorcycling require many of the same skills:
ability to be calm in the midst of stress
sequential learning to master corners or poses
movement with awareness and presence of mind
flexibility and balance
This is just a start. Find out how yoga can keep you riding now and into the future.
I’ll meet you in the Eagles Nest !
YOGA BENEFITS FOR BIKERS
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.
Improved posture / improved back and neck comfort on rides.… read more...
TITLE: YOGA TEMPLE: Embodying the Healing Grace of Yoga
WHAT: An integrative workshop series exploring Christian thought / tradition and yogic thought / tradition. Including asana, pranayama, and other movement.
WHY: To address the inherent spiritual dimensions of yoga.
WHO: Anyone with questions about spirituality, faith, belief, and yoga.
WHERE: MOTTO YOGA, 7529 Power Rd. Queen Creek, AZ
Register at MottoYoga.com
January 14, Sunday NOON
Februray 11, Sunday NOON
March 4, Sunday NOON… read more...
Hoisting a Guinness tonight at Fibber Magees in Chandler with linguist, musician extraordinaire, entertainer, TED talker, THROME smasher, writer, and Cutting Edge Entertainment 35x World Champion Sword Swallower, Daniel Meyer.
Dan and I have been friends since we traveled together through India in 1979 as part of an eight person music group sponsored by the Lutheran Church. Its been quite a few years since we’ve met up and now he lives in the Phoenix area. Happy for this reunion.
In November, Amanda Kingsmith conducted an interview with me on YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers, the program we started in September at Superstition Harley Davidson in Apache Junction. Here is the link to that podcast where I speak about parallels between yoga and motorcycling and about how this started.… read more...
Found out I’ve been awarded the 2017 Eastern Iowa Review long form lyric essay for “Midwest Intimations.” I’m surprised, pleased, and happy to share the news.
From the EIR editor: “We love the lyric essay, and would love to see even more entries when we open again to submissions in October.”
So if you are writing nonfiction, and want to submit, here’s where you can find Eastern Iowa Review. The print issue, including “Midwest Intimations,” will appear sometime in mid-July.
On their homepage, you can find what they look for and the history of EIR.
Regular practice of hot yoga changes each of us by degree, and while we bend and morph, the temperature continues to rise. Tapas (the heat of inner fire) is measured in mottos, and one word may suffice. They generate comfort in the moment. Their precepts are precious, their maxims are necessary. Simple mottos lift and invite our attention.
We may ask, is this really worth it?
My motto jumps to answer, and I say it again to find the core of its truth pushing against my doubt. It’s not much really, just a word. But the sustaining power of word and deep breath link me to a deeper awareness and I realize my bending low keeps me, like the palm tree in strong wind, from breaking.
Isn’t there another – easier – way?
And again my motto answers. Of course there is an easier way, and it’s found by returning to the basics. This is the yogic awareness of the intimate link between breath and life. This is everything, and yoga teaches us to ask the question of what we truly need. Holding on becomes a death grip when excessive, and yogis are returning to the basics: the breath, the core of being.
Is there a way to use my motto to help put me through the physical machination and hard work on my mat one more time?
My motto, weary with my doubt, answers a third time, trust there is a way and never underestimate the power of a word and its effect.
The power of word has always been recognized in philosophy and belief.… read more...
Oregon is a long way from Arizona.
You long for the coast, but sleep in the desert.
What has Arizona to do with Oregon or Idaho?
No place to stay but on mean streets.
Not easy street or Apache Trail, not Broadway or Ironwood,
but any street where you sleep.
You borrow my purple pen
matching your purple phone.
And I wonder how Oregon’s purple rain
turned you inside out.
Estranged from home,
everyone steals from you
even the hotel desk clerk.
People are kinder in Oregon.
My father is in Idaho.
And the complaints you lodge against mean people
make me wish I were Howard Schultz, and this really was your third place.
I would offer you a job or buy you an eye.
Or if you chose not to work, I wouldn’t care.
Maybe one time, a street, avenue, boardwalk, circle, drive or road
will deliver something good to you.
A new half set of teeth, or an old family member.
A drop of purple rain, or human kindness,
so that slowly, bone by bone
and nerve by optic nerve
you could piece it all together
and buy a purple raincoat or hat
that would color the desert and
let you see.… read more...
Was looking on Seattle Yoga News today for another article and found out they published this one nine months ago.… read more...
My daughters are nasty women. And I’m proud of them.
Nasty, as an attribute, is not the same as mean behavior. They’re not mean, but if you cross them, they will kick your ass and remove your name from their house of goodwill.
They’d prefer you not be a jackass or a gossiping pile of dung. These women, in their 20’s, are not weak. They’ll “tell-off” rude taxi drivers and they’re good with pepper spray. Nastiness does not preclude occasional vulnerability or weakness, but that’s not their normal state.
For the record, here’s what I know about nasty women: they’re intelligent and acute critics of life and society; they’re people of strength and tenderness, capable of simultaneously holding antitheses strongly marked. Both of them can run for miles, lift weights or sew the most delicate stitch into pattern or time. They easily identify bear scat in the woods and can haul and stack wood for hours. When they put their minds to a goal, they will work to the bone to achieve it
They’re kind and grounded, capable of measured judgment and unending forgiveness. These women are nasty – I guess.
Go for it if you want to label them.
I’m their pop and I admire and love them. I’m impressed as they stand on their own and exert their strong will day after day in the struggle. I praise their rejection of over-responsibility, saying no to taking care of more than necessary. They do not coddle or cotton to the patriarchal curse of holding their tongue, and though it’s hard, they refuse to let the economic meat grinder chew them up.… read more...
I decided right then I’d better find ways to speak to comments like that. It wasn’t long though, and two young people from that church in Racine, Wisconsin, did take their lives. One was 15, the other 16.
I’d had both of those young men in my confirmation classes. I knew their parents, and I’d been to their family events. One of the parents taught Sunday School. Suicide was real and it was final.
As I went into campus ministry at Northern Michigan University and The University of Cincinnati, there were more experiences like the ones from Racine. But when Jon, one of my cousins, took his life at 45, suicide touched someone in my family. Then its very close, its personal, its painful. In spite of all I’d learned, I was still left wondering if there was anything I or anyone else could have done.
I’ve studied, gone to seminars, been to and even conducted funerals for those who fell by their own hand. I can say there is no easy answer and certainly no cliche’ that will ever address survivor’s grief. Even as recent as last year, an acquaintance and friend of mine from Wausau, Wisconsin, took his own life.
#YogaInspirationals #41 Went live today on DoYouYoga.com
Coaching may seem a little controlling and something unnecessary when we’re talking about the behavior of independent adults, but in yoga space, coaching is not about independence; rather, it’s about cooperation.Because cooperation is not a universal trait, many yoga studios resort to posting their rules and regulations in an obvious, public place. It’s not that people are trying to be nasty, but some simply are less aware of their behavior, and these rules are posted to help everyone sharing space cooperate with one another when there are a variety of simultaneous needs and norms.
Rules and regulations help form a standard behavior that may not appeal to everyone, but aim to limit chaos and unbalanced inconvenience. Listening to the way coaches talk, I’ve learned about the concept of “behavioral targets and performance targets.” I’m not interested in performance targets in relationship to yoga (because that seems a metric designed for competitive sports), but my …
Full article available by following link below to DoYouYoga.com
Thank you, DoYouYoga.com
When I was training to be an alcohol addiction (5th step) counselor, I learned the phrase conscious contact. The trainer said that if an alcoholic truly made contact with themselves and with God, they would probe the deeper meanings of why they drank alcohol to excess. He emphasized that the honest scrutiny behind conscious contact wasn’t about morality or self-control, but the existential task of grappling with existence and its meaning as reflected in one’s choices.
Lessons in yoga, and training to be a rehabilitation counselor, both start with contact. They begin with personal inventory; in spiritual language, a yogi’s grounding down could be called finding the immanent presence of self. For a person in treatment, its an honest confrontation with personal history.
Second is the yogi’s deeper grasp of choices which puts them in touch with something beyond themselves. In spiritual language, this could be called opening to transcendent presence. For recovery, this is learning of the higher power.
And third, the yogi’s improved off-mat awareness creates a change of life and a possible shuffling of priorities. In recovery, it’s making conscious contact with choices every day.… read more...
DAY 17. Everything Changes: A Yoga Parable
The people were fueled by energy drinks, but ripe with anxiety and unexamined ambition. The land was drunk on money and the illusion of freedom fired their imaginations. The eight limbs twisted in the wind of post-modernism and creative chaos.
In time, yoga prospered and many realized the teachers brought good medicine. It seemed to help prisoners, alcoholics, those suffering pain, and even angry youth. But some feared its power – especially its counsel to sit alone in silence.
In the counsel of quiet, someone passed a message about movement’s medicine and whispered that diversity is a source for creativity and road to enlightenment. A vision came forth of illusions in misdirected ambition, in Theodrama, and in the construction of culture and its false prophecies of comfort through technology and convenience.
* * *
Then someone at the ashram read a passage from Shelly, and a guru wept:
Life, like a dome of many-colored glass
Stains the white radiance of eternity.
The gurus didn’t understand what had happened, and while nobody claimed credit, people awoke to radiance within. Westlanders didn’t want gurus. They didn’t read books. But they went to their mats and a world opened like the many petals of the lotus in a soft rain, and a light from the crown of their heads went out to eternity.
Every happening great and small
Is a parable whereby God speaks to us
And the art of life is to get the message.
–Malcolm Muggeridge… read more...
In my twenties, I was the leader of an eight-member music group that toured through India for four months. Landing in Bombay, we took the rail south to Trivandrum, where the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, and Arabian Sea merge. Going north through Andhra, Madhya, and Uttar states, we passed through Agra and ended the tour in New Delhi. It was my first international trip and I felt challenged by new customs, food, language, and climate. To a student fresh out of college, India was a new and vibrant world I did not understand.
Walking out of church one Easter Sunday, I saw an elderly man sitting on the church lawn near a busy sidewalk. He was practicing garurasana, eagle pose. Most people filed right past him as if he were invisible. I stared, and I thought he looked uncomfortable. That experience was 35 years before I began practicing yoga. I had no idea what he was doing.
After leaving Delhi, my transition back to the U.S. was rapid, and I felt strangely affected by my travels. I seemed to be seeing things differently. When I went into stores, I found myself looking for things to which I’d grown accustomed in India, such as the blue-faced representation of Krishna adorning wall calendars.
The quiet streets, typical of small town country living, was odd after I’d grown used to the shrieking sound of bus horns. In my music room, I replicated that dissonant and jarring pitch by simultaneously plucking my guitar’s E string on the eighth fret and the G string on the eleventh fret.… read more...
New article today in Yoga International
From Michael Wiegers, editor in chief of Copper Canyon Press in Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Poets and Writers.
“On one hand, I don’t directly subscribe to a poetry that “does” something – but at the same time I believe in its power to do something. I don’t think that art or poetry needs to set out to change the world but I think that it can change the world and make us more compassionate, more just, more aware.”
From Steven Birkerts, editor of AGNI. Essay in Vol. 82, “Double Trouble.”
I also feel more convinced than ever that the idea of should does not belong in either the making or experiencing of art. Should upholds canons, hierarchies, orders of value and importance; it asserts that there is a right way. It seems to me now that the end and origin of both making and experiencing is pleasure. Pleasure in the sense not of easy gratification, but of the true thing hit upon.
WRITE. Revise, annotate, put it down, parenthesize (it). Change the script, compose a new song, jot a saga, create a path, follow the crumbs, depict a vision.
TRACE the arc, endorse the light, follow energy, create curiosity, register my stamp, Trust the way . . .
Chart a course, chronicle a title, engrave my name, be true.
AUTOGRAPH my correspondence, draw up, reveal and dream. Deliver my rap, savage the critic, curse the blow-hard, kill the perfectionist, punch – u – ate the negative.
CHERISH my cloud, enroll my allies, extract all good, bless my colleagues, publish my creed.
REMEMBER, advocate, strip away adiophora, exalt all heroes and discern.
CHOOSE to do, walk in sure steps, choose to be, hold my own. Honor each word, aim for truths, love creation, write the project, accept what appears. Wait.
Perhaps you’ve watched the A&E Network’s show, Storage Wars. In it, a group of people look for five minutes at the contents of a storage unit from its periphery, but cannot enter the unit. Then they bid to own the unexamined contents inside. The winner is the highest bidder, and his/her reward is ownership of everything in that unit.
The highest bidder might find valuable coins or artwork, antique toys or newspapers. In rare cases, they find instruments. However their newly-bought storage unit could be filled with dirty tee-shirts accompanied by soiled linens and parking tickets, vestiges of life in transit. More often than finding gold, the winning bidder finds the clutter of unresolved issues and remnant droppings of a human pack-rat.
The show is popular because it’s a modern day version of a mother-lode gold strike. In a few cases, bidders have made hundreds of thousands in profit. One bidder discovered Spanish gold coins, some dating back to the 16th Century, valued at half a million dollars. Another winner found a model grand piano and a third stumbled into classic toys worth nearly $13 thousand.
In our yoga bodywork, it’s not long before we are like most of those treasure seekers who run smack dab into unwanted leftovers and are faced with cleanup. It’s widely understood in our yoga communities that our bodies are storage units of past traumas. This includes mental and psychological trauma along with physical injuries.
Dr. David Berceli describes his work treating “deep chronic tension created in the body during a traumatic experience or that has accumulated from prolonged stress.” His therapy to clean up the human body’s storage unit is called TRE, Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises. … read more...
If you haven’t seen FX’s new series Fargo, you are in for a treat. Hamlet once prepped for a dual too. His word to Horatio before facing Laertes was curt, “The readiness is all.” But, to recite Jabberwocky in stride while preparing to blast the enemy . . . got to say . . . rad.
Sharing a few paragraphs from Garrett Hongo’s Volcano. Example of a smart and insightful writer working to capture the depth of his story.
Sections from Hongo’s book.
“IN the kitchen, my aunt made some tea, put pink and green rice cakes on a plate and poured some shining bronze crackers in a bowl, motioned me out to the living room, and we took seats there opposite each other. With no other preface than that, she began a long monologue that was a generation’s worth of family story. . . I was to quiet myself. My silence let her find a rhythm to her own telling, find the right tone of voice, the delicate colors of emotion and recollection. She was giving me a dimension to things which had been both veiled and excised from consciousness and curiosity almost since my own birth. She told me who I was.
. . There are dimensions to this story that I cannot imagine. There are reasons for flight, for theft, for abandonment that will transform their tellings into quests for freedom and sagas of pure survival.”
…The villagers here in Volcano know that you must water hapu’u from the top of its trunk, not at its base. Its roots are adventitious, bundled into a communal shape like a stovepipe in air rather than groping through the ash and loam and crumbling lava like an underground bole. The hapu’u grows, then, like a gigantic mushroom in the rain forest, its attachment to earth a fine and fragile thing, the step of an angel.”… read more...
Original illustration for my book by Kira Kamamalu, Hawaii.… read more...
The movement became unpredictable, and while nobody could take credit, yoga unveiled a curtain and people awoke to radiance within. But Westlanders didn’t want gurus, they didn’t read books. But took to their mats and the world opened like many petals of the lotus in a soft rain.
Ch. 17 Yoga Inspirationals