OM Yoga Magazine 5-part series on yoga and Christian spirituality
It is possible that nobody is asking the question above which I use as an entrée to this article. But to be an informed student or teacher of yoga, it is important to recognize it grew from a spiritual environment that included scriptural components, ethics and a cultural imprint, a devotional aspect, and a governing religious goal. Anyone who has been to India, the seedbed of yoga, quickly notices its spirituality is deeply embedded in the cultural fabric, one could accurately call India’s spirituality its fascia holding everything together.
In my trips there, I noticed the country’s intense spiritual nature and I remembered something I had read from the American Author Flannery O’Connor when she wrote of the American South. “Its not ghost-haunted,” she wrote, “but Christ haunted.” India is spiritually haunted too, but it’s a spiritual haunting I’d identify as complex and inclusive, not bad or scary. Christ is there, and so is Krishna, Allah, and Buddha. It’s a pan-en-theist culture, which I will write of later.
I’m a former clergy of the Lutheran Church in America. I’ve been keenly aware of spirit, and it’s part of the reason my first trip to India happened when I was 22 years old. I went there as leader of a music and ministry team on a four-month tour sponsored by members of the Lutheran churches in the United States and Canada. For many years afterward, ministry was my career, and I was employed by the church as a clergy and worked in campus ministry.
Campus pastors are well-versed in the Christian faith and its theology, but also in current events and other religions.
Neither you nor I can remain in a yoga session or meditation session without breath and patience, but when we attend to our guru – the breath – we are renewed, inspired, and transformed.
When led by a good yoga teacher, we’ll find words of encouragement and encounter something that we will not hear in other places. This “something” is embedded deep in yoga’s reforming curriculum where we find asana a positive but not necessarily easy pursuit.
Yoga’s teaching of ethics contains many ingredients. One not often talked of, but present like the yeast in bread – a small ingredient that raises the dough – is love. Love is the dynamic force of yoga’s recipe for change, the ingredient which creates healing for mind, body, and spirit. One key aspect of this ingredient proclaims to us that we are worthy of self-care while simultaneously teaching us what it is and how to apply it in our lives.
In savasana, yogis dip into a deep pool of love as they sink into the mat and their full body weight rests heavy and still. That’s when we remind ourselves to replace thoughts of self-recrimination and judgment with thoughts of praise and even love for ourselves and others. Recently, as the class was released into a state of savasana, the teacher said, “Let love fall upon your spine.”
Think about the powerful impact of this idea; the kind of thing yogis regularly hear during the marvelous privilege of practicing yoga, during which we absorb yoga’s ministry of spirit and its medicine for body and mind.… read more...
On International Yoga Day last year, Rochak Press of India Published Yoga Song. For sale on Amazon India at 1,417.92 rupees it looks odd and sounds expensive for people in the Earth’s most populated country, but a rupee is 0.012 U.S. dollars (India’s population recently passed China at 1.42 billion).
Even with a robber baron-sounding price, Yoga Song has generated interest from publicity in The Taj Mahal Review, Cyberwit, and the powerhouse book sellers Shree Hanumanth of India. Om Yoga Magazine (UK) Asana International Yoga Journal (India), and American Rider Magazine have also alerted their reading audiences to this book and I thank them.
I’ve been grateful for reviews, comments, and exposure from individuals who’ve written on Amazon or directly to me. And I’m grateful for opportunities to offer Yoga Song for sale here in the U.S.
My thanks to all who helped me with these two big undertakings: editors and book-format people for the paper version, and audio executives and sound engineers at Lantern Audiobooks. My friend Charlie Harvin, living in Bulgaria, designed the cover. People have complimented its look.
This year I recorded Yoga Song through Lantern Audiobooks, and it is now available on Lantern and 30 other worldwide distribution networks. On some it’s free with a trial and on others, less than five bucks.
Listen in to Yoga Song, an instrument of mass inspiration in 21 vignettes and five original songs. let the songs fall upon your heart, register in your body, and spark new life in your mind and spirit. Breath is yoga’s song, and when you breathe doing yoga, you are singing your love song to yourself.… read more...
With your Barnes and Noble trial subscription you can now get Yoga Song as an audiobook for free. Driving this summer, listen in to this high quality Lantern audiobook in five songs and 21 chapters for an integrative description of the Humble Warrior Pose in “Yogi, Heal Thyself,” an excavation of emotions rising up during the heart-lifting arc of a camel pose in “Making Heroes,” and the affirming mystery of yoga’s therapy falling upon you in “Yoga, A Breathcentric Community,” and much more.
I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed
I am false
-Rainer Maria Rilke
At times in yoga, locked in with heightened attention and awareness of emotion in motion, we catch glimpses of our story in every puraka and rechaka (breath in and breath out). Fully present and coming into perfect energetic alignment, the class seems easy.
Moments of ease during the stress of asana is yoga’s therapy, an integrative change agent built by years of practice, gallons of sweat, hours of driving time, bundles of cash, hours of study and stillness, and attention to the inner dialogue between mind/body/spirit, and the application of hatha (force).
Seldom does the 26+2 series of 90 minutes in 105 degrees and 45% humidity seem easy, but recently it was with @desertdragonyoga @thefoundry in Tempe. Desert Dragon Yogi (David’s) teaching and leading are systematic and artistic, a body/mind/spirit presentation that is incisive, insightful, and inspirational.
“Breath is your guru,” He said and he’s right. Thinking of this opens a fresh new way of viewing yoga, what I’ve called, a breathcentric practice.
Our breathcentric practice is animated by hatha, an applied force normally defined as the power of opposites. Hatha in yoga can never be an abusive force, but one tempered by balance and awareness. Hatha yoga is the application of stress and ease balanced and then applied in every posture; it’s discovered in contraction and expansion, ease and tension, puraka and rechaka, strength and flexibility, the hard and soft.… read more...
Chirp got it right with the summary:
“Yoga doesn’t just make a song within us, it opens us and makes us ready to receive a new song . . . there is no one track method or surefire formula by which the yogi receives yoga’s song because the lived experience of yoga is composed from threads of gray that become the seedbeds for change. . . .
The economics of yoga are simple; we give, and yoga performs the necessary soul-dialysis: it purifies toxicity, reroutes negativity, renews the body, trims ego, patches flaws, melts worry, takes on pain, renews our hearts, and recasts our breath. When I go to yoga (paraphrasing Rumi), I am like a man in a tavern with many wines but without a glass. I keep going back to yoga where I become a reed dipping into a well of fine wine. I absorb from the well and drink its fermented wisdom.”
FUN FACTS: the word “yoga” appears 631 times in Yoga Song. It is a 2-hour 32-minute audiobook. Kevin Stillwell, a professional actor employed by Lantern Audio, narrates the Foreword written by Dr. Yoaananth Andiappan. Yoga Song (print version) contains my six-point philosophical precis and a glossary where I define yoga.
The six points:
What do you think yoga is?
Yoga Song (sample available)
Yoga Song now available on LANTERN Audiobooks, Audible, Kindle, Apple Books, Bookbeat, audiobooks.com, audiobooksnow.com, downpour.com, Findaway, Google Play, Biblioteha LLC, Baker & Taylor, Follett Library Services, and 10 others, Hoopla, Kindle, Macklin Educational Resources, Overdrive, Kobo, Libro.FM, Nook Audio, Scribd, and Odilo.
Yoga Song is an instrument of mass inspiration in 21 vignettes and five original songs. While you listen, yoga’s song will fall upon your heart, register in your body, and spark new life in your mind and spirit. I narrate this book with my conviction that breath is yoga’s song, and when you breathe doing yoga, you are singing your yoga song and restoring your body’s equilibrium.
Hear Yoga Song on your way to yoga class, traveling this summer, or when resting in your comfortable place.
This preface to Yoga Song narrates the vision Gregory Ormson had when he expressed yoga as a song. The song, “Sit Where You Are,” co-produced by Randy Anagnostis, underlies the narration of this book, available soon on Lantern Audiobooks and many other platforms worldwide. 2:28 listening time. Underlying this text is the gentle chant and music of “Sit Where You Are.” It centers on explication of The Yoga Sutras, and Patanjali’s counsel in the opening thread “aham yoganasanam.” Music begins at 2:47
Audio version contains one new chapter and five original songs in a recording of 21 chapters
Ch. 1 The Sailing Forth
Ch. 2 Yoga: A Breathcentric Community
Ch. 3 OM
Ch. 4 Yoga: A Melody of Motion
Ch. 5 Yoga: Work, Play, Worship
Ch. 6 Making Heroes
Ch. 7 A Yoga Parable
Ch. 8 Finding Depth, Discovering Bliss
Ch. 9 A Child Leads
Ch. 10 Yoga and the Pure Consciousness of Healing
Ch. 11 Yogi, Heal Thyself
Ch. 12 The Power of Hot Yoga
Ch. 13 Endowed With a Longing for Connection
Ch. 14 Yogatecture: Blueprint of Transformation
Ch. 15 Transforming the Emotional Body
Ch. 16 Truth Force in Your Yoga
Ch. 17 Ritual Process and the Yogi’s New Song
Ch. 18 Release Into Savasana
Ch. 19 Armor On, Armor Off, the Psychology of Yin Yoga
Ch. 20 A Yoga Song for All Beings
Ch. 21 First and Last Breath
Ormson narrates a story of the yogi as an instrument made of mind, spirit, emotion, energy, and consciousness. In “Transforming the Emotional Body,” “Ritual Process and the Yogi’s New Song,” and “Yogatecture: Blueprint of Transformation,” Yoga Song advances an inspirational melody of motion, proclaiming to every yogi that their breath is their yoga song, a sacred song.
Review: INSPIRING AND ENRICHING
“Yoga song is the sound track to your journey of transformation.” This beautifully written book, expressing yoga in its most authentic way, is unique in its kind. This book takes the reader on a journey to self-discovery, providing helpful tools that encourage curiosity and introspection.
Gregory Ormson is an internationally recognised author also known as a motorcycling yogi.… read more...
I’m happy to announce the impending release of YOGA SONG as an audiobook available on LANTERN Audio Audiobooks, Audible, and these distribution networks: Kindle, Apple Books, Bookbeat, Audiobooks.com, Audiobooksnow.com, Downpour.com, Findaway, Google Play, Biblioteha LLC, Baker & Taylor, Follett Libray Services and 10 others, Hoopla, Kindle, Macklin Educational Resources, Overdrive, Kobo, Libro.FM, Nook Audio, Scribd, Odilo
My first 26+2 teacher Mark Hough December 2012 @ Bikram Yoga Kona Hawaii; and my 500th session of 26+2 with teacher David King @ The Foundry Yoga, Tempe, AZ March 28, 2023. In between there were many others, and classes in vinyasa, yin, javamukti, and other yogas, but for my spine I choose 26+2 which I address below. Please read on.
I’ve told a common yoga story when writing about what happened to me. I moved to Hawaii but couldn’t enjoy paradise because I had a bad back that limited me. Out of desperation, I tried yoga in Hawaii and my back healed. I believe that yoga can fix our backs, spines, and minds. It’s as simple as that.
From the first glimmer of life, our spines constantly evolve. At first (in utero), the human spine looks no different than any other animal as it’s one simple curve resembling a comma, called the primary curve. When we make our way through birth trauma, our cervical spine begins its evolutionary adjustment and shifting of its shape which allows us to stand upright. This adjustment continues throughout our lives.
After several months and into our early years, we develop a second curve in the thoracic spine trailing down to the lumbar spine. This secondary spinal curve serves us well until our later years, especially if we begin to stoop forward (and we stop bending backward). If the older adult continues to stoop forward, the spine begins to look more and more like it was when we were infants.
The spine is made to bend and flex; it is built with both firm and soft mass which allows it to extend and compress, to rotate, support, adjust, and keep adjusting through life.… read more...
BREATH IS YOGA’S SONG, IT’S ALSO YOURS.
“I have never associated yoga with song, but I’ve practiced yoga with music for the past 25 of my 85 years. What a beautiful union that really gets you in the flow. I wish all the world leaders would read Gregory’s Yoga Song which could result in an ever so peaceful world.” John M. Manistee, Michigan
“Gregory Ormson’s Yoga Song is beautifully written from the heart and an absolute joy to read. This is a must-read for anyone who loves yoga or is simply interested in what it feels like to be completely present and fully connected.” – 5 stars, Amazon U.K – Sara Highfield, International Yoga teacher, retreat leader, model, and columnist for Om Yoga Magazine and others. Thank you John and Sarah for reading Yoga Song.
I have a message to share with you: Yoga song is the soundtrack to your journey of transformation. It will take you to self-care and open your body, mind, and spirit to wider circles with deeper draws of inclusion. In yoga, you are the embodiment of a mind/body/spirit therapeutic where ordinary moments stretch into extraordinary.
Yoga Song weaves a tapestry of meaning from the inside-out in 23 lyric vignettes: “Transforming the Emotional Body;” “Ritual Process and the Yogi’s New Song;” and “Yoga: a Breathcentric Community.” Yoga Song is informative and inspirational, proclaiming to every yogi that their yoga is their song . . . a sacred song.
I invite you to listen in on this yoga song; more importantly, to tune into your electric body and sing your yoga song.… read more...
Her comment had me think about yoga as play in space. Playing doesn’t eliminate effort and the physical work of asana, but I think it can lighten the mental aspect and open a sense of joy in us that may be a timely renewal point.
In the book, Work, Play, and Worship in a Leisure-Oriented Society, Author Gordon Dahl issued a stern critique of American culture when he wrote, “We work at our play, worship our work, and play at our worship.” Dahl maintained that we miss the point of all three if our intentions are misaligned with our actions.
From the age of 16, and through college, I had to work part-time at my father’s grocery store, and since I had to spend a lot of time there, I never liked going into the grocery store as an adult. We are required to work for our living, and work is satisfying when it’s something aligned with who and what we are, but at 16 I was just doing it from necessity, and it wasn’t my intended career.
In time, I started thinking about my avoidance of grocery stores and realized the problem was me, so I set out to change my perception (an important aspect of yoga life according to Patanjali). I tried to make grocery store visits fun by putting a smile on my face and offering random comments to people. Occasionally, I stopped to juggle oranges or avocados. Now when I go to a grocery market, I tend to frame it as play.… read more...
Mastering the Business of Yoga #mbom is an entrepreneurial podcast created by Amanda Kingsmith, a yogi-businesswoman who’s conducted interviews with yoga practitioners and business owners for over five years now. Great tips from yogi business owners big and small are curated by Amanda and broadcast on M. B. OM, her podcast. This week, I am Amanda’s guest, so tune in to hear about teaching at the interlap between motorcycling and yoga. At the end, I read a few paragraphs from my book, YOGA SONG.
FROM AMANDA: This week on the podcast, I am joined by Gregory Ormson. Gregory is a yoga teacher, an author, and a passionate biker. His yoga writing is published in 23 national and international magazines, journals, and online sites with over 5 million dedicated readers. Some of his articles have logged nearly 400,000 views and have been shared over 7000 times.
Known as #motorcyclingyogig, Gregory has taught yoga for bikers since 2017 at Superstition Harley Davidson, the only dealership in the country to hold yoga classes in its facility. Gregory first came on the podcast back in 2017 to share his business and unique niche with listeners, and he is back today to share how things have been going, what he’s learned through his career, as well as a little bit about his new book, Yoga Song. Enjoy!
Discussed in this episode:
Emily in Cali found inspiration from this paragraph in Yoga Song. (from IG).
400 sessions of the 26+2 yoga series known as Bikram Yoga. Each class is 90 minutes in a hot room, a yoga style that builds mental and physical willpower. For ten years now, I’ve observed and experienced how this yoga changes people.
First, it will get harder
Then it will get easier
Then it will get different
Then it will get way different . . . but so will you.
I started yoga in Hawaii when I happened to walk into a Bikram Yoga Studio to fix my bad back. After starting, I kept track of each session because I knew it could become important. I completed 325 classes during the four years I practiced in Hawaii. Most of my Arizona practices – by contrast – have been 75 minutes with music and limited dialogue.
It’s been known for Centuries that applying heat in ritual transformations tends to create and accelerate change. Mircea Eliade, former chair of the Department of History of Religions at the University of Chicago, wrote in YOGA: Immortality and Freedom, that the Rg-Veda identified heat and ardor with ascetic effort as a tapas. It serves to “heighten the Physico-chemical processes (of making gold) and is the ‘vehicle’ for psychic and spiritual operations.”
North American Medicine Men shared this practice too in the sweat. Eliade wrote of this, and other transformational rituals in his 1951 book, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy.
Yoga people find out that the practice of yoga in a hot room is hard. Writer Alyssa Dunn put it like this, “My yoga practice isn’t always stable.… read more...
If you view a photo of someone doing a pose called camel, you’ll notice it looks uncomfortable and it is. Along with it, you’ll frequently see a list of physical benefits that happen over time when doing the camel pose.
I’m certain that the combination of the backward-bending camel, alternating with forward bends healed my back. I’m aware, from my own experience, of how camel posture feels and how it works toward physical healing.
The benefits of doing a camel pose are improved breathing, fatigue relief, increased torso, and hip flexibility, strengthened back and glutes, toned thighs, and hips, stimulated endocrine glands, tensed organs in the abdomen, pelvis, and neck, correction of slouching posture, the opening of the respiratory system to better oxygen use.
In my book YOGA SONG (Rochak Press June 2022) I treat camel – and yoga- from the inside out. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 5 where I write what happened to me during a pivotal moment in my practice doing camel in Hawaii. You see, yoga is an inside job, and a lot is going on under the surface and it’s hard to describe. But that’s why I wrote a YOGA SONG. It’s yoga from the inside out in 23 lyric narratives.
Excerpt from YOGA SONG on camel pose from the inside in Chapter 5 “Making Heroes.”
The workshop leader said a deep backbend is a heart-opening pose and reminded us that an emotional reaction to a camel pose is normal because the posture can make us feel vulnerable. Pointing to his heart as the organ which should be at the highest position during camel, he may have even said, ‘lift up your hearts’ when stressing the importance of making one’s heart the highest point.… read more...
Taj Mahal Review, Vol. 22, 1 notes YOGA SONG.
Get your EVENTBRITE tickets here for Breath, Body and Brain (B3) workshop with Yoga Song author Dr. Gregory Ormson. Ume is pleased to welcome Dr. Gregory Ormson to our new studio space located at 407 Wisconsin St, Eau Claire, WI. The Wisconsin native, author, educator, musician and celebrated motorcycle yogi is visiting Eau Claire and will be offering a unique 90-minute breath centered practice.
This integative workshop/clinic will focus on the clear mind/body/spirit connection that draws many of us to yoga, meditation, music and other mindful activities. Yoga’s big idea is that everything is connected, and this four-part workshop will exercise mind/body/spirit activities by:
Part 1, Brief readings from Gregory’s book, Yoga Song
Part 2, Breath practice including techniques, breath holds, and benefits working with breath
Part 3, Movement with basic asana integrating part 2
Part 4, Music and mindfulness
Please bring your own yoga (mantra) mat (BYOM) and water bottle if you like. Additional blocks and props will be provided.
Thank you Asana Journal
Our world is in need. People are distracted, fractured, busy, angry and vulnerable to emotional hijacking. When this happens, its hard to experience the joy of being alive because we lose touch with ourselves and others.
Yoga meets this need by offering time for the busy to rest for a few moments, connect to our battered selves, and learn to breathe again which brings us into wholeness and gives us permission to focus in on the moment and the experience.
In yoga, we put-away the agenda for just a few minutes to remember who we are as people imbued with a divine spark that need not be named, claimed, or tamed.
Tune in at 7:05 pm tonight when I read sections from Yoga Song. Live Facebook feed from Salt Motion and Meditation in Wausau, Wisconsin. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1382068342295624/… read more...
Available Tuesday on International Yoga Day from Rochak Press
https://rochakpublishing.com/book-details.php?bid=574&isbn=9788182539594… read more...
“Your writing is very good and would be ideal if you ever fancy contributing on any regular basis, especially in our OM spirit section.” Martin Clark, ed., Om Yoga Magazine UK
“Gregory eloquently expresses from a place of depth and authenticity, inviting his readers to fully partake in the journeys he shares.” Cassandra Bright, Gilbert, Arizona
“Greg, you are a remarkable writer! I found it really interesting because so often we think about what yoga gives to us or what we get but very rarely do we think about what we give to the practice. I think what you wrote was thought provoking and absolutely beautiful expression. Leley Pelkey, Phoenix, Arizona
The book has been beautifully written and its words are well crafted. It will undoubtedly inspire students of yoga. Dr. Yogananth Andiappan, Hong Kong, Asana Journal, ed.,
“Your description of yoga as martial art of the soul, I love it, awesome.” Christen Tanner, Mesa, Arizona
“You are a very talented writer and storyteller, Greg. Congratulations on being published in Om Yoga Magazine and for sharing your path to self-discovery. You are an inspiration.” Bobbie Schmidt, Marana, Arizona
“This writing is really interesting and deserves to be in top 5 Google Search Results.” Sergio E (via Webpage email).
“Your articles interest our readers and that’s why we allocate pages every month in our magazine. Your view – and writing – of yoga practice is amazing.” Joe (sub-editor) Asana Journal
Yogi G! I feel so honored to have met Gregory while leading music and yoga . . . we have collaborated several times for Sound Meditations and Kirtan Cacao Ceremonies .… read more...
We held the first-ever yoga class at Pelican Lake Campground on this beautiful Sunday morning. Thank you Judy and Brittney, and the eight brave souls that showed up to do yoga at the campsite.
It’s all for life, for health, and for the good things that make us keep on keepin’ on.
New Year’s Eve resolutions are often made with an eye toward immediate results but without a long-term vision that includes commitment to a future that is different. Not even three full weeks into the New Year, New York University published a story stating that 90 percent of New Year’s Eve resolutions are abandoned.
It’s because changes happen by small degree and over time. It’s not by adding requirements or resolutions that our lives change; it’s by subtracting from our lives that which is unnecessary or unproductive.
This is one gift of yoga, we learn by the process of tapas to define more clearly what is necessary and leave the rest; it is yoga’s counter-intuitive mathematic, an equation suggesting that discovery and addition happens by negation and subtraction.
Yoga philosophy develops within the ebb and flow of culture, story, and time. It’s an ongoing journey of subtraction and addition. Civilizations grow, but they also burn to the ground. This is the key to yoga’s tapas, the burning away of that which is unnecessary.
In yoga, we respond to the yoga song that our body is singing, and since we occupy the best position to define and transform our emotions, we use this knowledge – when getting in touch with our emotional bodies – to rewire our lives and release negatives.
Yoga teachers rightly say your yoga song might bring some emotions out of you that you were not yet ready to receive. But this is how the growth curve works, we may not be quite ready but are pushed by the emotion and physicality of yoga into the next bend on our journey.
Recently a friend went to a Carlos Santana concert. He wrote that it was “a spiritual experience.” I asked what he meant by that, and he responded: “Music always moves me, but his words were filled with grace and love; with a mixture of children’s photos throughout the world smiling and dancing. He issued a call to ‘rise up’ above the hatred. The music just echoed the experience. It went deep with me!” It’s no surprise to hear that music does this; it’s also what the yoga song of your body does in practice.
Yoga, like music, is a visual, emotional, acoustic, vibrational, and feeling based experience in the moment. It goes deep, and when the yogi listens to the yoga song of their own body, yoga takes them to work on transforming the emotional body and vice versa. It may lead to engaging a professional therapist because through yoga many emotions arise from the deep well of biological and cerebral memory.… read more...
Every yoga song is composed by the yogi, an instrument made of mind, spirit, emotion, energy, and consciousness. In chapters like, “Transforming the Emotional Body,” “Ritual Process and the Yogi’s New Song,” and “Yogatecture: Blueprint of Transformation,” Yoga Song becomes an instrument of mass inspiration in a melody proclaiming to every yogi that their breath is their song, a sacred song and the soundtrack to their journey of transformation.
Bounced from a trampoline at 10, enduring a second back-injury weightlifting in school, and falling from a roof at 40, born-to-be-wild biker Gregory Ormson moved to Hawaii but was sidelined by debilitating back pain and couldn’t enjoy paradise. Dipping a toe into yoga, he discovered a healing road that reformed his mind and fixed his spine.
Yoga Song is an instrument of mass inspiration in the song of the body which includes mind, spirit, emotion, and energy. Its melodies are alive in the sound of Om or a vocalized heartfelt Namaste. In breath-centered yoga practice, yogis experience a therapeutic and healing power where ordinary moments stretch into extraordinary.
“The yoga mat became my turf of tears, washing, and regeneration . . . these essays deliver us to a place of beauty and grace in words lyrical and reverential.… read more...
I glance around the outdoor deck and see the outline of my community. They are becoming new on a daily basis as they take up yoga. They acted on faith to get here, so I act on faith to teach as the practice of yoga meets them with its global and spiritual energy.
It takes courage to move beyond cultural stereotypes and do yoga. It also takes courage to teach this ancient, holistic discipline designed for everyone. As a teacher, I set the route; and when ready, they follow the road home to themselves.
Breath by breath, a universal yoga pilgrimage presses them to question their motives and boldly ask “why am I here?” When the question arises, yoga’s song takes over and the yogis remember their courage. They stretch into their containers of reform and travel back to the beginning once again.
The sun is setting on my biker-yogis, and I see them as hopeful; they tiptoe into newness, and sip nectar from an oxygen-rich moment. Western light, partially eclipsed by Earth, illumines their faces with golden rays as they play dead to integrate the last breathing moments of the best previous moments. Alone, quiet, and on the floor, they exhale. On their backs, they release into savasana . . .… read more...
Yoga Song is a story of transformation and redemption in 23 lyric vignettes from Dr. Gregory Ormson. Yoga Song’s author states there’s a song at the center of all time, being, and structure, and there’s a song in the center of yoga.
The instrument of a yoga song is the yogi’s body which includes: mind, spirit, emotion, energy, and consciousness. In a breathcentric yoga practice, yogis experience its transforming and therapeutic power where ordinary moments stretch into extraordinary.
Rochak Publishing ISBN: 978-93-88125-90-1 INR 200 US $ 15 — 109 pages. Available International Yoga Day June 21, 2022 www.cyberwit.net and on Amazon
ENDORSEMENTS FOR YOGA SONG:
“I am planning on taking 200 hour teacher training, and seeing your article yesterday, I was inspired to keep following my heart. I need to buy the book!” Pamela WB, Edmonton, Alberta
“I have been thinking of branching out and writing about my yoga practice so this is a big inspiration.” Dr. Chad Faries, Savannah , Georgia
“I am very glad to see you doing yoga Gregory. It is so good for the body and mind.” Sam Paul Raj, Chennai, India
“Thank you for a wonderful story.” Tee Daly, Austin, Texas
From chapter 3
Yoga’s song doesn’t just make a song with us, it opens us and makes us ready to receive a new song. This is the way of yoga’s song composition in, of, and through every asana in motion and stillness.
In a melody of motion, balanced by stillness, I open to gravity’s shaping no matter how I fail. I do yoga linked to breath in the moment.… read more...
Years ago, and far from the waters of Hawaii where yoga first tumbled me, I set out on a solo three-day vision quest in a barren land that Wyoming residents call the Red Desert. Before my quest began, I spent two days training in the Lakota way. Once I walked into the desert I would not eat or see anyone for three days. My instructions were simple and focused: drink water and pay attention.
For yoga, I’d give the same instruction today, only adding an admonition to breathe. I expected my vision quest would challenge me but also help me connect to that which I had not yet connected.
I didn’t know it, but at the time I was doing the work of yoga. At dawn on the scheduled day, I walked into the desert to seek a new vision. My intention was to strip away all distraction in my experiment with truth and give it my full attention with all my being.
This is what yoga is to me now. It’s a stripping away of distraction, which takes preparation and intention. It is the time and place to build my satyagraha or force of truth.
But in the Red Desert I learned from the birds that if I had a song to sing I had to sing it. It was not about how well I sang, but that I did. This is why I’ve written Yoga Song; it is not about how well I write or sing my yoga song, but that I do.
Sale links available soon.… read more...
Yoga Song is a story of transformation and redemption in 23 lyric vignettes from Gregory Ormson with a foreword written by Dr. Yogananth Andiappan of the Andiappan Yoga Colleges. Yoga Song’s author states there’s a song at the center of all time, being, and structure. There’s also a song in the center of yoga, and the instrument of a yoga song is the yogi’s body which includes: mind, spirit, emotion, energy, and consciousness.
In a breathcentric yoga practice, yogis experience yoga’s transforming and therapeutic power where ordinary moments stretch into extraordinary. Described in vignettes like “Transforming the Emotional Body,” “Ritual Process and the Yogi’s New Song,” and “Yoga: a Breathcentric Community,” Yoga Song proclaims to every yogi, with informative and inspirational content, that as they yoga they are a yoga song . . . a sacred song in mind, body, and spirit.
“This writing deserves to be in top 5 Google Search Results.” Sergio E (via Webpage email).
“This fantastic inspirational essay written by Gregory Ormson is . . . a must read.” Jennifer Taylor, Tulivesi Yoga, Marquette, Michigan
“Ormson has written some profound articles about his expansion through yoga. This piece was beautiful and I know all my friends who practice yoga will truly appreciate it just as much as I did.” Meagan Rasmussen, Kona, Hawaii
Born-to-be-wild biker Gregory Ormson moved to Hawaii but was sidelined by debilitating back pain and couldn’t enjoy paradise. Dipping a toe into yoga, he discovered a healing road that reformed his mind and fixed his spine.… read more...
Many years ago, and far from the waters of Hawaii where yoga first tumbled me, I set out on a solo three-day vision quest in a barren land that Wyoming residents call the Red Desert. Before my quest began, I spent two days training in the Lakota way. Once I walked into the desert I would not eat or see anyone. My instructions were simple and focused: drink water and pay attention. For yoga, I’d give the same instruction today, only adding an admonition to breathe.
I expected my vision quest would challenge me but also help me connect to that which I had not yet connected. I didn’t know it, but at the time I was doing the work of yoga. At dawn on the scheduled day, I walked into the desert to seek a new vision. My intention was to strip away all distraction in my experiment with truth and give it my full attention with all my being. This is what yoga is to me now. It’s a stripping away of distraction, which takes preparation and intention. It is the time and place where I build my satyagraha.
In the Red Desert, I learned from the birds that if I had a song to sing I had to sing it. It was not about how well I sang, but that I did. This is why I’ve written Yoga Song; it is not about how well I write or sing my yoga song, but that I do.… read more...
YOGA SONG will be published on International Yoga Day, June 21, 2022.
Asana Journal contributor Dr. Gregory Ormson is a well-known author, who frequently contributes to the Asana International Yoga Journal. He expresses his sense of humour, admiration for yoga, and love of motorbike through his poetry.
He’s written several popular titles in the past for our readers, including “Enter the Master, Enter the Child,” “Making Heroes,” “By a Thread,” “Truth Force on Your Mat,” “Yogi, Heal Thyself,” and “Release into Savasana.”
Here, words of endorsement from Dr. Yogananth Andiappan, esteemed yoga teacher, scholar, and leader of the Andiappan Yoga Colleges in India and Hong Kong.
He expresses his sense of humour, admiration for yoga, and love of motorbike through his poetry.
This (Yoga Song) is fascinating and inspiring to read . . . it is apparent from the beginning of his writings that he loves yoga and that his view of the practice and discipline of yoga is extraordinary.
I would like to highlight a particuar paragraph which stands out to me and shows his sincerity and deep connection to the practice.
‘In the play of yoga, we invest all we are from the inside, here and now. The yoga we embody then becomes a defining storyline in our role. We are wise to invest in ourselves now, live it now, and find alighment within self.'”
This video shows Dr. Greg playing the sitar with one of the his yoga songs lyrics.
When born-to-be-wild biker Gregory Ormson (#motorcyclingyogig) moved to Hawaii, he was sidelined by debilitating back pain and couldn’t enjoy paradise. Dipping a toe into yoga, he discovered a healing road that reformed his mind and fixed his spine. Ormson’s yoga writing and publishing (#yogainspirationals) led to Yoga Song.
From YOGA SONG
Yoga equips us to meet a stressful world and greet it with equanimity; it’s why we practice, study, and seek to discover who we are as we fall back into the fullness of Self. We breathe deeply to inherit yoga’s spiritual science, and with that breath, release and enter the realm of Om, the universal vibration of creation animating all life.
Yoga sings a song of connection to the ground of our being that his holy at its core; and it offers a redemption song for our mistakes and failures. We meditate, practice asana, or follow yoga’s inner path to the eternal Om and experience how yoga expands the dimensions in which we live and move even as the cultural spaces we inhabit are pressured and restricted.
Yoga’s melodies come to us in soothing voice, chant, or in the spirited sound of a group together in deep exhale. It leads us to deepen our range of motion, expand our lungs with full breath, increase our stretch of spine, and extend our energy body into space.
Formed from the crucible of scholarship and exercise, yoga empties and then fills the thinking reed that is hu-man and teaches us to inherit new dimensions. In time, yoga levels our judgments and brings us to the healing ground of calm detachment while simultaneously counseling us through the yamas and niyamas to do the right things.… read more...
A day after moving into my apartment in Hawaii, I was on the floor with back pain. I had endured many injuries: at 10, I bounced off a trampoline and landed on the ground, a second back injury I endured while weightlifting, and yet again in my 40’s when I fell from a high roof.
In Hawaii, I noticed signs for yoga studios everywhere and I started thinking about claims I had heard regarding yoga and healing for back pain. One day, in a desperate attempt to fix my damaged back and with no background or knowledge of yoga, I decided to try it and hoped to find something to make me strong in my broken places. I feared collapsing in the hot yoga room, but was also confident that if my back held up I would too.
I planned to try yoga for 30 days and then decide if I would continue. I made it through 24 classes that month. My resolve was galvanized and my hope for healing ignited. In my journal entry I wrote, Yoga is the way to go for healing back pain. It’s so simple, why don’t more people do it? But my transformation from injury to healing went beyond my back as yoga steered me into deep waters.
“Sail forth – steer for the deep waters only
Reckless O soul, exploring, I with thee and thou with me”
American poet Walt Whitman in, “Passage to India,” from Leaves of Grass
I continued with yoga and wrote about my experience because I thought my practice in a heated room would also benefit me in other ways.… read more...
During the last class of spring/summer we were happy to welcome “Chuck-A-Dog.”
Good energy in yoga, good energy wind in the face, good energy in yoga.
It’s not surprising because yoga fully anchors the physical body in the moment. If someone has not really been present in their body, but focused on what they are doing while forgetting about themselves, yoga and grounding in the present moment through breath and movement will feel foreign . . . . almost like an out of body experience. But in fact it’s just the opposite.
The yogis have told us for centuries that the body is not just the physical self: they believed what we see is a layer over four other layers which they called koshas. Koshas consist of the biological body — the one we see — but unseen layers are breath or the ethereal (which gives life); consciousness; spirituality, and the mental body.
When we get into the physical body, we also get into the spiritual body, the mental body, the ethereal body, and the consciousness body. This may be what some people feel for the first time doing yoga.
Spirituality is in our body even if most spirituality doesn’t honor this fact. Humans are spiritual by nature. This (spirituality) is not the same as holding a particular religion or belief system; rather, spirituality and the nature of being is not based on creed or belief for it is truly beyond definition.
Can anyone sufficiently package a multifaceted human being into into a summary or belief system? I’d say no, because mystery is at the center of human experience and being.… read more...
A couple paragrphs from the full text (below) written originally as: “Endowed With Longing for Connection.”
Perfection in yoga may have been an ancient goal, and to achieve that goal many yogis spent time alone and in isolation; but I don’t know anyone with perfection on their bucket list. I’ve not heard anyone say, “Yea, I want to become the perfect yogi, to levitate, reach santosha, and become one with God.
. . . The myth of rugged individualism, a notion that’s driven the ethic of individualism and ambition in my country really is a myth. We all need connections with others; and that need is so powerful that people will change their identities, alter their most treasured beliefs, or explore far and wide to find a niche or group from which to draw comfort.
Yoga communities around the world continue to be deeply affected by an invisible virus called COVID-19. Starting in 2020, our community in-person gatherings have been stunted and its intensified the challenge to make important new social connections.
Now for the third time, I’ve scaled back my regular yoga attendance at a studio and I’m bummed about it. But with a worldwide pandemic still happening, and my aversion to sickness, I’m on pause.
All of us in the yoga community have responded the best we can, and we’ve learned to use social media tools to stay in contact with others. But we also noticed that while communities established through the World Wide Web were important, they were different.
I taught online for six years, but it never felt natural to me.… read more...
Yoga teaches us to be still and live in a way formed by new dimensions from an old script. It levels our judgments and brings us to the healing ground of calm detachment while simultaneously counseling us through yamas and niyamas to say and do the right things.
In the pressured spaces of post-Modernism and its perilous stress, yoga moves us to meet a difficult world and greet it with equanimity. Yoga’s song teaches us to expand the being out of which we live and move as we practice, study, and seek to discover who we are as we lean into the fullness of Self.
In that center, lessons of motion and stillness teach us to extend our range of motion, deepen our breath and fill our lungs, lengthen the stretch of our spine, and grow the reach of our limbs in space.
To fully inherit yoga’s spiritual science we breathe deeply, only to release and enter the realm of OM. Yoga formed in the crucible of scholarship and exercise will empty and then fill the thinking reed that is the human-being. It redeems scapegoats and embraces the full panorama of humanity in all its races, colors, and identities.
Yogis then join a long line of grateful beings stepping into a parade made by kings and queens where many are yoked together as one in yuj (union), cleansed and restored into a new creation by the old song of an eternal melody.… read more...
By any measure, a photo of this tree is unremarkable. It’s my yoga tree, an uncrowded place I go to move, breathe, and sit in stillness. This spot brings together my past and present; my past represented by the baseball field a few feet away and the present in my grounding movement above the roots of this gnarled cipher.
The twisted branches above remind me that yogis refer to the strands of yoga as limbs. But limbs or branches are also used to illustrate human avidya, our klutzy and misplaced aggressions and ambitions. The tree grows down and up; I stand in the middle where my biology holds pieces of both the cithonic and the radiant, dust and stardust. Above the roots I reach and yet am grounded; below the limbs I am grounded and yet reach. All the while, doing yoga in the force of hatha’s opposites.
Under the yoga tree I do my yoga and find – in this sparse, grassy veranda between past and future – my present. And it really is a present . . . for which I’m grateful. AND, it’s outdoors too for which I’m doubly grateful. I hope that you can get out and find a place to do your yoga today.
Spiritual leaders through the Centuries have reminded us that living in the present is important; yet this counsel is often overlooked. We might want to ask of ourselves then: