Here, original music score, videography, and editing by Mr. Randy Anagnostis (photographer, videographer, musician). I read a short piece on the inner workings of sitar. Enjoy the wild Mustangs cooling in the Tonto National Forest’s Salt River in east Phoenix.
Thank you @omyogamagazine for sharing (May 2020 issue) how bikers and yogis can get their zen (and their maintenance) in yoga and on the bike. Teaching yoga in a Harley Davidson Motorcycle dealership in the American South is not common. What is common is your willingness (Om Yoga Magazine) to publish a good story when you see it.
Your sharing of this three year outreach to bikers was wonderfully done, and I’m grateful to Martin ed., and the entire staff of Om Yoga Magazine. See the May issue by going to pocketmags.com., – or by ordering a subscription for the hard copy magazine – where a free digital issue can be yours. #yogainspirationals number 97 by Gregory Ormson, #motorcyclingyogiG. Writing on yoga, motorcycling, music, and landscapes at https://gregoryormson.com
An entry point to yoga often begins with quiet meditation or breathing exercises. We set our intentions and enter into our dedications with mindfulness. Through active imagination, we create positive mental space enabling us to move in every direction.
We may practice with others, but each yogi sets the table for their yoga banquet according to their capabilities. Setting the table well serves to elevate our mind/body readiness and prepares us to carry it through the session.
At the end of a one-hour session, I was moved when the teacher said, “Release into savasana.” This was a new phrase and a fresh way to enter the savasana moment.
In Living Your Yoga, Judith Hanson Lasater wrote that savasana taught her to dis-identify from mental storms and go within. “I learned to recognize more quickly when I had abandoned the present moment once again, and I learned not to judge myself when I had done it for the millionth time, and not to dance away so quickly with my thoughts.”
In a larger sense, releasing into savasana means to loosen my grip and to take a break from managing the persona, known as the outer image we construct, identify with, and project to the world. It’s important to get a grip on our lives, but it doesn’t have to be a stranglehold.
Perhaps this is why participation in yoga is growing. Many of us long for a place to release our grip – and we desperately need moments when the noise dissolves. We thirst for moments of freedom from the grasp of our ego, and are satiated by savasana as it leads us to soften investments in this life shaped by old fashioned hierarchical structures and obsessions with upward mobility.… read more...
The land was drunk on money and the illusion of freedom fired the Westlanders’ imaginations. Yoga’s eight limbs twisted in the creative chaos of post-modernism and strange ideas whispered in the wind. Gurus saw it all and wondered where the surf boards came from.
They didn’t understand what had happened to their movement and some of them lamented the loss of yoga’s mystical heart. They questioned the roots of atman and were agitated by vibrations from superhighways.
In time, yoga prospered, and people realized the teachers had brought good medicine. It seemed to help prisoners, alcoholics, those suffering pain, and even angry youth – but many feared it – especially the counsel to sit alone in silence.
Power brokers were terrorized by the nightmare of employees chanting Namaste and yoga threatened stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry.
Westlanders didn’t want gurus, they didn’t read books, they didn’t meditate, but they did compete. Soon the gurus were silent, confused by what happened and haunted by memories of peace and stillness. Some gurus returned to the source, giving up their mission.
One day, all the gurus were called to an ashram. They lamented the hubris of culture and false prophesies of comfort through technology, money, and convenience.
One reminded them of the illusions in misdirected ambition and they became silent. At the ashram, a yogi read a passage from Shelly.
“Life, like a dome of many-colored glass
Stains the white radiance of eternity.”
The gurus wept, and a world opened like the many petals of the lotus in a soft rain. A light from the crown of their heads went out to the dark and returned as eternal light in a deep, dark night.… read more...
In shadow and in light, we yoga, and our teachers observe. Together we’re co-creators in a new architecture – a yogatecture – and celebrate moments when a yogi gives shape to an old blueprint written on a banana leaf.
Everything is prepared as I enter yoga class where the nexus of a new identity is continually reforming me. I step into the room and hear the soothing melodies of dahina, tabla, and harmonium. Their compelling sounds pour over me like waves from the ocean. A pause . . . then class begins.
I’m present and following directions, but then mentally, I become unhinged for a moment. I try to concentrate on my pose, but my mind tracks the music, so I follow the sound like a rising cobra hypnotized by its flier. My reach aims for the sky, but my imagination takes me to a Hawaiian beach where I’m preparing for a dive.
My training reminds me of a breathing routine: a deep breath in, calm hold, and a slow release. Breath is my vinyasa, and for a moment, my yoga-pose rides side-saddle. My heartbeat slows, awareness creeps closer, and I focus on every sound.
I’m still in class, but I’m also down in the deep blue of the Pacific. I pine to hear the whale, and imagine the sound from its massive heart. I leave my imagining, rise to the surface, and open my eyes where I’m back in the yoga room and yoked once more into my corner of eternity.
Yoga moves me to imagine a long line of yogis fed by the garden and connected to source for nourishment.… read more...
Check out my 83rd published yoga article, “Yoga’s Outliers,” in the January, 2020, Om Yoga and Lifestyle magazine. Better yet, get the mag.
“Men are still the minority when it comes to yoga in the West. They are yoga’s outliers,” says Gregory Ormson.
Read MORE below …
“Yoga’s Outliers” is a featured story along with an interview of London based international yoga teacher Sarah Highfield (#yogagise), Ibiza detox retreats on the Balearic islands off the Spanish east coast, and special coverage of vegan recipes and much more for the learning yogi. Thank you #OmYogaMagazine #yogainspirationals 83.read more...
The December 2019 Om Yoga Magazine has published “Silence and Slow Time,” the 82nd of my published yoga articles under (#yogainspirationals). Thank you OM. Also see in this fine 114 page issue features on yoga at home and office, aromatherapy, meditation, breath work (pranayama), body positivity, and many more necessary reads for your yoga practice. In addition, as an end of year bonus OM Yoga Magazine has included a 2020 calendar and a 50 page insert on “incredible yoga retreats from around the world.” I’m honored to be a regular contibutor for OM Yoga and Lifestyle Magazine.
“Rough Road? Breathe . . .” Just published in H.O.G. Magazine. I’ve been reading H.O.G. Magazine since 2002 when I joined the national H.O.G. organization. This is the first time they’ve ever published a story on yoga, or yoga for riders. H.O.G. riders and all of us realize the times are a changin’ and if we are fluid we’re better able to adapt. Breathing well and being fluid is what we do in yoga. Check it out bikers. Thanks to H.O.G., (ed., Matt King), and Superstition H-D in Apache Junction, AZ.
Motorcyclists love to ride, they want to ride longer, and they want to ride skillfully. That’s why I started Yoga & Leather: Yoga for Bikers at Superstition Harley Davidson in Arizona. The story is now published in issue 51 of H.O.G. (Harley Owner’s Group) magazine in digital format accessed by HOG members.
Two pages of the hard copy I’ll pass it along here. Thank you Matt, ed., H.O.G. Magazine. Get your copy of H.O.G. magazine for updates from the world of H.O.G. and Harley-Davidson. it includes riding tips, vintage bike notes, mechanical advice, riding tales, and stories of the next ride.
With appreciation for your summary of YOGA & LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers (Starting Oct. 9th)
” . . . to improve the health and wellbeing of motorcyclists.” Yep, that’s it!
If ANY OF YOU have interest in Yoga for Bikers, a program at Superstition Harley Davidson now in its third year, here is a reminder of October’s yoga and bike events:
Wednesday October 9, 4:30 pm in the Eagle’s Nest
Wednesday October 23, 4:30 pm in the Eagle’s Nest
Sunday October 27, 10:30 am starting in the West Parking lot at SHD
Each year there are slight changes. This year, we’ll focus on a breath-centric class and slow movements in ease.
The “STRETCH RIDE” will take place the LAST Sunday of every month, starting at 10:30. We’ll ride a short distance to a green or desert space and there spend 15-20 minutes in breath awareness and quiet. Then we use the bikes for a few “stretch poses.” Motorcycles are perfect for this, they are stable props but also transfer us from place to place. The “stretches” are portable too.
What you do in Yoga for Bikers:
This beginner level class is offered to riders to stretch the areas where we feel tightness: hips, shoulders, back, and neck.
The purpose is to keep riders in the saddle longer by working gently toward flexibility and balance. This means longer at a time, but more importantly, longer for life.
The side benefit of all yoga is learning to be at ease in the midst of stress.… read more...
YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers begins its third year in October at the Eagles’ Nest (outdoor second deck) at Superstition Harley Davidson. Two Wednesday’s a month, riders and anyone interested will gather for simple movement and breath work. This beginner level class is open to all. This is offered to riders to stretch the areas where we feel tightness: hips, shoulders, back, and neck. This year we will work more with breath and movement in ease.
The purpose is to keep riders in the saddle longer by working gently toward flexibility and balance. This means longer at a time, but more importantly, longer for life. The side benefit of all yoga is learning to be at ease in the midst of stress. This happens through breath work and deliberate movement.
Here are the dates for October yoga and leather at SHD in the Eagle’s Nest (a large outdoor deck above the dealership)
October 9 at 4:30 pm
October 23 at 4:30 pm
The “stretch ride” will be held October 20, at 10:30 am. You’ll hear more about that soon.
PUBLISHING NEWS RE: YOGA AND LEATHER
The AZ Rider Motorcycle News (now in its 21st year) will also include a short story in October via Internet link (issue number 239), where you can read more about Yoga and Leather. Thanks Betsy and Bruce!
July’s issue of YOGA Magazine from London featured the Yoga and Leather here at SHD in its cover shot and in its feature story with a five page coverage including photos.
HOG Magazine (Harley Owner’s Group) will be covering this story in their November issue.… read more...
I took part in the world’s largest charitable motorcycle event for owners of classic and vintage styled bikes on Sunday September 29th, 2019. This event, called the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, brings together over 113,000 well dressed riders on sweet, small bikes raising 5 million dollars in 700+ cities for men’s health across 110+ countries.
The goal for the once a year DGR is to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research – and men’s mental health – on behalf of charity partner the Movember Foundation. Next year, I’ll see if anyone wants to join me for this worthy cause and fun ride through Phoenix. A few photos tell the story of this event, which started at Four Till Four Coffee in Scottsdale with 218 registered bikes. It ended at Sazerac in downtown Phoenix.
REASONS to ride, or to donate:
It feels good to contribute to a good cause.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, taking 307,000 every year.
75 percent of all suicides are men too, taking one every minute (510,000) each year, most of them in the 20-39 age range.
Why don’t you get your CAFE RACER out of the barn and join me and over 200 others next year as Distinguished Gentlemen and Gentlewomen ride for a cause! AND . . . if you don’t have a cafe racer or vintage bike . . . rent a scooter :)
(Colchester, Essex Co., UK) for including “Conducting the Awesome,” in your October HOT YOGA special.
This magazine is ‘with it.’ Last month, they celebrated their 100th issue, and have published extensively on inclusivity, body positivity, yin yoga, retreats, men in yoga, Western Yoga, and breath training as the new yoga.
Breath Training is what I do, having just completed two yoga workshops in Wisconsin and Michigan on “Yoga Breath, Breath of Life.” Breath training is a new – but very old – emphasis growing from the needs of Westerners. By engaging the breath, we learn to calm ourselves in a conflicted world. My workshop is integrative: meaning it includes philosophy, linguistics, biology, mobilization of prana, execution of the bandas, the embodiment of asana, a practice of mindful release, and attentive work on drishti.
At my teaching site, Superstition Harley Davidson in Apache Junction, AZ., when motorcycling yogis focus on breathing, when they hear sitar gently pinging above the roaring big twin engines, and when they receive my final salutation, breathe deep and exhale a final OM, it begins to look and sound like something not heard or seen before; indeed, Western yoga is changing (practice at a HD dealership proves it) and slowly taking on a unique form and function. For me, it starts with the building block of it all – BREATH.This fall, I’ll bring even more breath training to my teaching at YOGA AND LEATHER (Superstition Harley Davidson) in October as we start year 3 of Yoga for Bikers.
If anyone wants to learn more about this focus on breath, I’m ready to conduct a two hour workshop for you – with original music on sitar and guitar – “Yoga Breath, Breath of Life.”… read more...
Every day, evaluate your riding. It’s a habit I picked up from my days as a MSF rider/coach in Hawaii. I’d tell students one way to improve is to ask themselves how they did on the road when they were home and the bike was parked. And then I started doing that in a deliberate way.
When I looked honestly at my riding, I noticed that I made mistakes. Mostly, they were mistakes of assumption or judgment. I’d assume too often that the person in the right-turn lane really was going to make a right turn. Sometimes auto drivers change their minds at the last minute (can you believe it) and veer into another lane. If you are in that lane, riding alongside them, you might be hit. I’ve assumed too many times and there is my point.
It’s not hard to evaluate our riding, and if you need an idea, imagine you have a 16 year old son or daughter taking up riding and one day they ask you for riding tips.
Do you have some to share … and I mean fresh tips? If not, it may be time to re-evaluate your assumptions and actions. Believe me, I’m not a perfect rider, but I’m working at getting better by ongoing evaluation.
Skill development is important, but even more important is judgment on the road. We may think we have great riding skills that allow us to get out of dangerous situations, but the rider with great judgment skills is better prepared for the road because their judgment will not let them get into a situation where they have to rely on great riding skills for escape.… read more...
This is the last session this year at Superstition Harley Davidson in the Eagle’s Nest.
SHD located at 2910 W. Apache Trail, AJ, AZ.
Breathe in ease, move in ease, be at ease on both your bike and your life.
First, we learn to breathe in ease. Doing so, we teach our bodies that breathing in ease is a way to calm presence.
Second, when practicing asana (yoga poses) we intentionally put ourselves into stressful physical positions. The normal response to this is panic, quickening breath, and bodily tension. But then we are reminded to breathe in ease. Doing so, even while moving in asana, our bodies find breath as the way to ease and calm; then asana becomes easy.
Third, we listen to ourselves and become more aware of stress and disease. Without fail, this heightened awareness moves us to evaluate why we are at dis-ease. Thus begins the new way of being which opens each yogi to evaluate their personal and community behaviors (called yamas and niyamas).
This change is not a dogmatic program of religion or psychology, not a new path of sports medicine, or a combination of physical exercise steps; but this martial art of the soul is a drawing forth of the true inner self to teach us what we knew but have forgotten.
Indeed, it is the truth-force (satyagraha) of the practice and its’ available for everyone in every condition.
Thank you BAD YOGI MAGAZINE for publishing yogainspirationals 75. Read and share.
Thank you BAD YOGI MAGAZINE for publishing my 75th #YogaInspirationals.
This one is not an easy read, and not many places wanted to take it. But the editor agreed with me that sometimes a publisher ought to also challenge a reader, and not just feed them simple cookie-cutter articles like so many we see today e.g., “5 Ways to (whatever).”
If we stop expanding our vocabulary, quit reading to learn, or forego seeking out something new, our lives can easily fall into a rut. Then the mind and body go on autopilot and the spiral down begins.
Thank you to Bad Yogi Magazine, joining the following 15 publications sharing my visions of yoga, music, and wellness: Om Yoga and Lifestyle Magazine, Asana Journal, Yoga International, elephant journal, Yoganect, Sivana East, The Health Orange, Hello Yoga, TribeGrow, DoYouYoga, Yogi Times, Seattle Yoga News, The Yoga Blog, Boa Yoga and ArizonaRiderSouthwest.
The last Sunday of the month (March 31 and April 28) meet 10:30 am in the west parking lot at Superstition HD. On the 31st, we’ll ride about 20 minutes to a private spot close to the Superstition Mountains.
There we’ll spend 20 minutes in mindful presence and do a simple breathing exercise. Then we’ll walk to our parked bikes where I’ll demonstrate – and you practice – six ways to use your motorcycle as a prop for stretching.
The entire ride and stretch movements will only take about 75 minutes; afterwards, people can go their own way.
This is not an all-out yoga class, but a way to adapt yoga movements to parking lot stretching with the help of the bike. It’s something you can do on your tours and rides. No special clothing or props required.
The motorcycle is a steady prop, but also movable which means we can use it anywhere; and that’s the beauty of the stretch ride, where we focus on both conscious breath (with awareness) and easy stretch moves designed to keep us riding longer.
I hope to see you on March 31 and/or April 28 as we collect our place and presence in the midst of busy lives.
ps The stretch ride will also include a few safety tips I’ve learned as a MSF rider/coach. It never hurts to have a reminder about safe riding so that we can stay in the saddle.
Sunday, March 3, I attended RIDING FOR THE LONG HAUL, a day long event in Phoenix sponsored by the Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Foundation along with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Dignity Health, The Arizona Trauma Association, and Law Tigers.
While I’m no longer a rider/coach with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, I can help all of us remembering safety tips that could save us or the lives of others. I’m going to incorporate two or three tips into every Yoga and Leather class at Superstition Harley Davidson. There are many, but for now just these three:
- Wind gusts and gusts from large vehicles can be a serious hazard for motorcyclists
- Motorcyclists have to be much more concerned about road obstructions such as debris, potholes, and railroad tracks
- BE SEEN! The most common reason given by other motorists involved in crashes with motorcycles is, “I didn’t see the motorcycle.”
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 / back pain can be a thing of the past.… read more...
Shipra Saraogi (pictured) at the Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa, Arizona.
#MotorcyclingyogiG teaches yoga for riders (YOGA AND LEATHER) at Superstition Harley-Davidson in Apache Junction, Arizona. His classes demonstrate to riders how they might use their bike for a prop to stretch when taking a break from the road with the goal of keeping riders in the saddle.
Shipra Saraogi, yoga teacher and performance artist from New York City, stopped by Superstition Harley-Davidson and the Arizona desert for some warm up-on Greg’s 2016 HD Road King. This not recommend or taught in Yoga and Leather.
March 31, 2019 is the date for our next “Stretch Ride,” in Arizona led by #motorcyclingyogiG, Gregory Ormson. Meet at Superstition Harley Davidson 10:30 am. Ride to the desert, stretch, breathe, pose.
“Conducting the Awesome: What I’ve Learned from 7 Years of Hot Yoga” is live on elephant journal.
This is my 11th article for elephant journal since September, 2014, and the latest installment (73) of what I call YogaInspirationals, a collection of my yoga writing published by elephant and 12 other national and international magazines, Websites, and public social media sites.
I write lyric nonfiction and hybrid, and right now I’m pitching my latest work – a hybrid nonfiction piece – on drumming, and things that happen when I go to a rustic cabin in northern Wisconsin I share with my brothers. I call that place Oz no matter what roads I take to get there. It’s Oz to me even without a wizard, a Toto, or a Dorothy.
Thank you for comments, support, resharing, etc., Let’s keep on conducting the awesome in yoga, in writing, and in life.
Thank you OM Yoga and Lifestyle magazine (UK) for publishing my 72nd YogaInspirational, “Traveling OM,” December, 2018
By Dr. Gregory Ormson
THE POWER OF OM: rediscovering the deep, abiding peace of coming home in a frantic world.
“We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion-year old carbon…” Lyrics from the song Woodstock suggest that we are made of cosmic energy and matter. We have a hard time believing it because there are very few places that affirm such a grandiose and luminous being. But when we yoga, we participate in a pattern that moves the stars, and positions us to touch an inner OM at the core of our being.
In a soft chant of OM, rooted and expressed from the core, our cares are set free. Then we note our deepest truth: we are beings at one with a divinely animated critical mass of stardust and carbon waiting to meet and welcome us home.
But cultural voices bombard us with an unending cacophony of negativity and dismissal. This poisonous milieu is designed to make us feel small and inadequate, serving us from a menu of strife and anxiety. News and current events can leave us feeling like we’re a nonsignificant cog in a great drama that’s happening elsewhere.
The world is effective at labeling and objectifying. It does so with convenient categories submitted for fast indexing and stereotyping: age, race, sex, job, income, and education level. But a mountain is more than a geode, a river more than an eddy, men and women more than insignificant pieces of something more important.… read more...
Plan now. Don’t miss MOTTO yoga’s 5th Yoga Temple workshop on Sunday, January 13. Special guest presenter Mr. Marlon Darton, former Mr. Universe. Marlon knows what it takes to sculpt mind and body. Hear his story and learn how to keep not only New Year’s Resolutions but NewLife
In a lifetime practice, the yogi inhabits a ritual container where they are steeped in hours of wordless, focused being. In a deep breath and release, the gathering-round is moved by that which has not yet had the luminous drained from its presentation; and in its sound, a mystery of centuries in the awful exhale shifts matter into new shapes and in steps uncounted.
Their inner fire is animated by breath and stilled in meditative gaze. Their embodiment of asana and mobilization of prana rises anew in the “fierce breath” of simhasana. This breath elevates sleepy diaphragms and makes avatars of humans.
Yogis come to know their practice braids them to a light not of this world, for their choice of assembly over disassembly shapes them through a soul dialysis that cleanses. Carl Jung once said yoga is “psychic hygiene” and in their time on the mat they are cleansed from the inside out.
Yoga is not like the rest of life; neither is a yoga class just another class but a life-saving reclassification of the nature of being. Steeped in a history of insight, and grown from the dimensions of meditation and mindfulness the yogi looks out from another summit.
Yoga as a moral and physical compass is revealed in stages, starting when the yogi begins practice with sankalpa, or solemn vow. Step by step, through intention and awareness, the yogi encounters the core tenants of hatha which bring them to self. There, hand in glove with self and the philosophical satyagraha of the practice, the yogi is transformed.… read more...
Yoga for Bikers is restarting Nov. 14, at 4:30 in the Eagles’ Nest at Superstition Harley Davidson. One Wednesday a month, riders and anyone interested will gather for simple movement and breath work. This beginner level class is open to anyone. This is offered to riders because when sitting a long time on the bike, it helps to move and open up the areas where we feel tightness: hips, shoulders, and neck. The purpose is to keep riders in the saddle by working gently toward flexibility and balance.
The new aspect of Yoga for Bikers this year will be a one-time per month ride to a second location. There, yoga teacher and former Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider/coach, Gregory Ormson, will show how riders can use their bikes as props in what we are calling the “Stretch Ride.”
We’ll start with a few simple breathing exercises, and then use the bikes to help us stretch. The entire class will only be 30 minutes. We’ll keep it fun and practical so you can do these stretches on your own whenever you stop.
The first stretch ride will be on Nov. 25. Meet at Superstition HD at 10:30, ride out to the Butcher Jones Recreation Site where we’ll park the bikes and use them in simple movements. If you don’t have a bike, don’t worry; they are big enough for two. After that, riders are on their own to enjoy the rest of the day but armed with some new ideas on how to stay in the saddle.
SUPERSTITION HARLEY DAVIDSON FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/2283158711912197/… read more...
YogaInspirationals number 72 #motorcyclingyogiG
I remind myself that in spite of the surrounding maladies, I must manage to hope. I also counsel myself, and anyone who will listen, that the yoga we do is not just a hobby or something to fill up the time; rather, it is the door through which happiness and joy enter into an arena where we share a divinity that transforms stories from iatrogenic to generative.
I WALK to my bike and notice my heart rate speed-up. Life shifts as I throw my leg over and sink down into the soft leather seat. I push the start button and feel the frame twist. I squeeze the throttle and a rumble opens the throat. I plan a casual ride; leaving the driveway, I start slow.
I’m at ease and positioned at a red light ready to merge onto the highway. Seeing the green arrow, I squeeze the throttle and gravity thrusts me back against the seat. Testing the Milwaukee iron, I feel the wind buffeting my face.
Two lanes converge and I jump to the 202. The green blinker light on the chrome instrument panel communicates my intention. A small white car in the next lane moves left, so I shift lanes and lean into gravity; in seconds, I’m slip-sliding past the car at 80 mph.
We’ve see them on the highway in stale containers messing with their cell phones and Cheetos while squinting through dirty windows. We sit over power and ride into the wind. Our hands and arms are engaged – NO DISTRACTIONS – as we listen to the language of the big twin’s explosions.
Ahead of me, a black truck is spilling small rocks from its bed. I squeeze the throttle and my back hugs the leather seat. The engine’s roar quickly sends me past the hazard. I sink deeper and notice the sound. It’s a sound I enjoy, and a smile crosses my face as I decipher a language fueled by a rich mixture of heat, highway, and Harley.… read more...
68th published yoga article, Issue 187 ASANA JOURNAL
Louie Netz, Director for Harley-Davidson’s Styling and Graphics Department once said, “Form and function both report to emotion.” It’s likely when observing a yoga pose, or the stylish symmetry of a Harley-Davidson taking a curve, to believe motorcycles are about speeding through curves and yoga is about perfectly aligned asanas.
A yogi on the mat or a Harley-Davidson on the highway both perform their function at a high degree and garner attention, but the brilliance of yoga – and a great motorcycle – is its move from form to function and ultimately to emotion.
Like many newcomers, when I started yoga, I thought it was about what I saw; and I noticed people bending into forms that were – at first – perplexing. I also thought it was about what I heard yoga could do for my injured back. I believed if yoga could heal my injuries I would feel better and that would be all I could expect.
My yoga evolution was gradual; I practiced to feel better, then to learn good alignment and accomplish more asanas. As a dedicated student, I paid attention to words from my teachers as they led me to correct placement of my feet and hands. I followed their instructions which led me through breathing techniques and transitions.
But right away, I sensed there was something happening well beyond what was taking place on my mat. I didn’t know, but I was on my way to connect, or yoke deeply to my full self, and at the same time, something much broader and deeper than just me.… read more...
Read my 64th Yogainspirationals published by Sivana East, by following the link under article snippet below.
The power of a word has always been recognized by schools of spirituality and in leadership studies. In the Christian Gospel of John, one reads “In the beginning was the Word.” The Rik Veda strikes the same tone, “In the beginning was Brahman, with who was the Word.” There are other examples, but the centrality and power of Word is the common insight.
An active yoga practice does not demand that practitioners choose a mantra, yer it can center one’s practice and improve an understanding of our identity in the world as both spiritual and physical beings.
Gregory Ormson saw yoga on his first trip to India in the ’70’s. Currently, he writes and teaches at MOTTO YOGA in Queen Creek, Arizona, and leads his signature program, “Yoga and Leather: Yoga for Bikers,” at Superstition Harley Davidson in Apache Junction, Arizona. His doctoral degree (D. Min), from the Chicago Theological Seminary, focused on the power of touch for ritual healing in liminal environments. He’s worked as a public speaker, college teacher, retreat leader, corporate trainer, baseball and soccer coach.
Ormson graduated from The University of Wisconsin, La Crosse (BS), Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan (MA), Trinity Lutheran Seminary (M. Div), and The Chicago Theological Seminary (D. Min). Along with Sivana East, Ormson’s writing on yoga is published in 11 national and international journals, magazines, blogs and Web sites. He writes on yoga, motorcycling, music, and The Midwest.
https://gregoryormson.com… read more...
In the workshops I’ve done at MOTTO YOGA, I’ve included others to help lead the experience. In January, Dan Meyer showed up and dropped a REAL SWORD down his throat and talked about how that is worship for him. In the other workshops, I’ve had Cindy Cain and Lee Swenson accompany me with fiddle, guitar, and voice/rain stick.
Workshop at MOTTO YOGA, Sunday July 29, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
7529 S. POWER RD. Suite 101, QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA 480-819-YOGA
Pre register for this two-hour workshop at www.mottoyoga.com
Participants in this workshop will engage the dynamic force of their own breath – yoga’s therapeutic – through breathing exercises and healing sound, asana linked to focused pranayama, presentation and dialogue, and experimental movmement with rhythmic breathing. During the workshop, yogis will be positioned to encounter self in the ground of their being (BREATH) in their own way.
This 4th Yoga Temple workshop continues the theme of yoga as an embodiment of spirit.
The workshop will unfold as:
PART I 20-30 minutes engagement with the theme including physiology and philosophy through dialogue and presentation.
PART II 50-60 minutes practice with pranayama sets – some will be new to students but completely accessible.
** INCLUDING A TIP FROM ONE OF OUR YOGI’S WHO GREW UP IN INDIA.
SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE IN INDIA DOES IN YOGA BUT WE DO NOT FOLLOW HERE IN THE US. COME TO THE WORKSHOP TO LEARN OF THIS IMPORTANT PRANAYAMA INSIGHT. .
PART III 20-30 minutes of moderate asana with attentive breath focus
These activities will put yogis in touch with pranayama in new and even life-changing ways by:
- a therapeutic experience by engagement with presentation and breathing experiences
- silence and breath hold
- sound (soft volumes) gong, bowl, drum beat, music (recorded and live)
- movement linked to breath
SEE YOU at MOTTO yoga on Sunday, July 29, 1:00 pm for Yoga Temple Workshop #4.
Your hosts for Yoga Breath, Breath of Life
Gregory Ormson came to yoga from a background in athletics, teaching, and spiritual studies.… read more...
The assumptions of my inherited culture: the Euro-American, Lutheran-Christian, dualist WASP-centric perspectives have shaped my perceptions and limit my ability to truly inhabit the culture of others. But I am open to understanding others and in spite of my conditioning, I’m positioned like a hungry-man at a feast; I taste the food, but the flavor escapes me.
Each yogi stretches and lifts at the direction of the teacher: man, woman, Asian, African, American, and each one contributes to the curriculum growing into a great melting pot of diversity and energy. This restless American pastiche is soothed by the flavor of an ancient culture, and in the yoga room, we become part of its recipe.
My play to be a yogi brings me to discernment where the contraries press me to awareness and lead me to examine the how and why of fate. How did I, a Midwestern male, end up lying on my stomach – top and bottom of my spine arching up at the direction of an ancient Indian mind/spirit/body science – impersonating an Egyptian tomb-protector? My inhale takes me to the mystery of purushamrigasana, a figure with the face of Pharaoh that we call sphinx.
Seekers for a new way are everywhere – because we see the old way is clearly broken – and I praise them. They take off with tender wings to do asana as if they were nimble dancers or the stony sphinx. On the surface, we are childlike; but with each asana, with each breath, I witness a hope in reaching and lifting, learning and growing.… read more...
The movement became unpredictable, and while nobody took credit, yoga unveiled a curtain and people looked through the mirror to a radiance within. Westlanders were distracted; they didn’t listen to gurus and didn’t read books, but they took to their mats and became present with themselves. They remembered their joy and opened like the petals of a lotus in soft rain.
LOOK WHO IS “DOING IT” WRITING ABOUT YOGA!
Yogi Times Profile:
https://www.yogitimes.com/profile.php?personid=1f088e40ede195abf93ba8668a60eb0f&secid=232389dc98a87dbb07e1099753b73ddb… read more...
They practice yoga in a 104 degree room when it’s 105 outside. They come from all walks of life: age, race, physical condition, gender, profession, and status. But they all do YOGA to sharpen their mind and focus their will. They show up to strengthen their bodily systems, to ground their minds in the present and deeply draw breath to hold the vital principle.
This is inspiring to observe and compels me to write. I love yoga, and I love these yogis and yoginis that keep working, keep activating, keep grounding, keep breathing, keep centering, keep on keepin’ on to make their lives better, deeper, and more leonine.
They yoga to embody their asana, mobilize prana, focus the monkey mind, and surrender cares; and when they do, the transforming medicine of yoga in its physical, non-physical, and metaphysical form makes them anew.
The yoga journey is a process of transformation, and it’s stunning to observe. This is the privileged observation of a yoga teacher: nothing more or less than friend, companion, and witness to the truth of being.
Slow Down and Breathe
Yogis have been attempting to articulate the importance of pranayama for centuries, and the effort is still relevant because when a person starts yoga it doesn’t take long for them to realize its a breath centric practice which changes everything.
The practice of pranayama is an important observance by itself, but is often done in haste, as if a couple minutes at the beginning of class is sufficient warm-up for the real work of asana.
Patanjali wrote, by the right control of breath, we overcome ignorance. Breath work is a hallmark of the yogi’s intelligence, and control of breath is intimately linked to the yogi’s heightened awareness of biological and cosmic forces.
Approaches to Pranayama
It’s important to concentrate on breath or prana as a distinct activity with its own benefits and techniques as well as a guiding anchor for asana. Some yoga practices start with pranayama before asana while others pay attention to activating and sustaining ujaii breath throughout asana and pause occasionally to work on pranayama.
Another option is to end practice with a breathing set. But to fully activate the vital life force, central to building the foundation for yoga and life, attention to breath throughout must be paid.
Pranayama isn’t something to rush through in order to get to asana. One 80 year old man I know got the right idea after his first-ever yoga class at YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers. His replacement knees made it difficult for him to bend, and his large body ached, but he did the pranayama exercises – practicing inhale and exhale – while observing others do asana.… read more...
Relinquishment is to spirituality as rain is to flowers.
In relinquishing cultural norms, one becomes present to being, grounded in body, as the seat of religiosity. In every moment, yoga reassembles the truth-temple of flesh and bone; its molecular pilotry moves the yogi to become a seeker of breath and conduit of royal consciousness. “We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon.”… read more...
When yoga teaches us to breathe with ease and move in awareness, and when we learn to arrive at a pose – and life – with equanimity, that memory is lodged as experience in the body. In this way, yoga’s therapeutic forges a connection between the physical and non-physical. It works by calming the body to treat the monkey mind and anxious spirit, for while stress is perceived in the mind it is felt in the body.
If you are looking for new ways to cope in a world that’s increasingly distressed and dangerous, yoga can be your calm amidst rough seas, your shoreline of sanity, and your balm in Gilead.
MOTTO YOGA, Queen Creek, AZ.
Gregory Ormson, #motorcyclingyogiG , YOGA and LEATHER, yoga for bikers at Superstition Harley Davidson… read more...
Yoga inspirational number 36, published in YOGI TIMES, March, 2016. Update 3/27/18
It’s likely when observing the stylish symmetry of a Harley-Davidson, or a yoga pose in perfect aligment, to believe motorcycling is about the eye-catching chrome machine rumbling down the road and that yoga is about what we see on Instagram as yogis strike a perfectly aligned asana. That’s not to criticize this, for each pose represents the probability that thousands of practice hours went into the building these asanas. Nobody shrinks into inflexibility in mind or body overnight, and it may take years of practice to strike a pose where we bend like palm trees in the wind.
A yogi on the mat or a Harley-Davidson on the highway both perform their function at a high degree – garnering attention – but the brilliance of yoga is its regression from form to function and ultimately to emotion.
Like many newcomers when I started yoga I thought it was about what I saw. I noticed people bending into forms that were – at first –perplexing. To a lesser degree, I thought it was also about what I heard yoga could do, and that was to heal my injured back. I believed if yoga could heal my injuries I would be happy and that would be all I could expect. But there was more.
As a dedicated student, my yoga evolution was gradual; I practiced to feel better, then to learn good alignment.… read more...