And The Diamond Speaks in Runes
— The Twin Bill (@thetwinbill) December 15, 2020
It’s good to see your leadership taking steps to become inclusive. I applaud it, and think it’s long overdue. My mentor taught me the importance of inclusion way back in 1975, and the lessons have, in part, driven my life decisions including failures, successes, and priorities. Harley Davidson, you’ve been kind-of-a-closed club to a lot of people in the past, and you have catching up to do, but at least you are on the road to opening up to change and diversity.
It can’t be news to leadership that few traditional Harley Davidson riders listen to Tupak Shakur. Most would probably categorically dismiss him and his music, and not many would recognize a Tupak rap. So when the December issue of The Enthusiast arrived – I was shocked to read several lines from Tupak printed on the full p.5. (right). Looking back at The Enthusiast covers from 1916 up to 2003, the lack of diversity in that magazine – compared to your emerging priorities – is striking.
Starting with HOG editor Matt King’s welcoming letter for issue 48, in 2019, I saw a new emphasis and read that Harley Davidson’s goal was to “grow ridership by as much as 2 million new riders by (in 10-years) 2029.” It signaled a change in your publications and a new outreach to diverse audiences by including: young people, women, and non-white riders not only in photographs but also in stories.
One large subtitle in the article, “Coming to America,” a diversifying feature story, quoted Freddie Franklin, a Milwaukee rider: “Harley Davidson has brought all ethnicities, races, genders, and cultures together, and it’s just been an incredible experience.”… read more...
If my friends could get out of their summer houses, we met at the diamond to sharpen the angles of our wild fastballs. The guts of our dirty brown ball unraveled like a tongue, wagging at the glove skipping by, hurling past the catcher in angry air like an exclamation point.
The neighborhood boys and I played in Little League as the North Menomonie Orioles. We met on green fields and became friends stitched together by bonds of wood and leather.
We tried—and failed—to throw a curveball, cursing the cowhide and dreaming of the day we’d be big and twist a ball that skipped away from trouble. To be young and play ball allowed me to dream big.
Summer passed quickly in Wisconsin, and every game was a life event I couldn’t miss. I lived to swing a bat, and if a bus filled with ballplayers drove by my house, I raced to Wakanda Park to compete against other kids for foul balls during games.
Yoga’s blueprint, passed originally by word of mouth, then written on banana leaves and now shared by books and digital media, is steeped in an elegant heritage which admonishes the yogi from seeds of an encounter with self.
This deepening with self is born in stillness and realized in the mind, body, and spirit. It’s a yogatecture, and with the application of yoga tools: meditation, deliberate movement, breath, and ease in stress, the yogi constructs a flexible yet strong building in their body.
The process is simple, and the blueprint is clear; take a seat and start with one conscious breath followed by another. Link this to meditation and deliberate movement for the start of a makeover that each yogi embodies in their own way. Yogis build a sacred and sound structure by following this practice. It’s the physical, non-physical, and metaphysical work of yoga; it is also yoga’s therapeutic.
Builders say the most important structural aspect of a building is its foundation. When building, it’s necessary to create a strong foundation. In the north, if the foundation is not set below the frost line, the freeze and thaw cycles of Earth will crack the base which starts the slow process of destruction.
B.K.S. Iyengar spoke directly on foundational work in, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom. “In each asana, if the contact between body and the floor – the foundation – is good, the asana will be performed well. Always watch your base: Be attentive to the portion nearest the ground. Correct first from the root.… read more...
Help me fill out this page by going to the URL listed below my name. #ridingforacause #dgr
I’m riding solo for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on Sept. 27, and I’m inviting anyone to donate under my page. You are not donating to me, but to
I put the goal at $500 and right now it’s $94. Every few days I’ll recycle this just to put it in front of you, if you feel moved, follow this link to the donation page.
I’ll be sharing it, along with our video entry on social media in the next week or two.
מאת Gregory A. Ormson. A writer and yogi from Israel asked to translate my yin yoga article for publication there. The copy below is it for my Hebrew reading friends. Yoga writing now published in five languages.
כתבה שהוא פרסם בפייסבוק ב- 27 ביולי 2020
למתבונן מבחוץ yin yoga נראית תירגול קל ופשוט אך זה ממש הכל חוץ מתירגול קל. מבחוץ נראה שהמתרגלים ישנים, או נחים בכדי להכין את הנשימה שלהם לתרגול ממריץ שעלול לבוא אחר כך. במצב “מנוחה” זה משהו אכן קורה. אבל זה לא שינה; גם זה לא תרגיל חימום לסדרה נמרצת הבאה.
תירגול של yin yoga מוביל לפתיחה פנימית מלאה שלוקח זמן להתנסות ולהבין אותה באופן מלא.
אחרי ש Gregory Ormson התחיל לתרגל yin yoga הוא הבין שהאתגר ב yinהוא נפשי ופסיכולוגי. הוא למד שהעקרונות היסודיים של yin שהם ויתור וכניעה – הם המפתח להשפעה הפסיכולוגית, הפיזית והיעילות של התרגול על ידי: כניעה, שחרור, וויתור. מבחינה פסיכולוגית, הכניעה ביוגה היא המפתח לכל דבר.
מזמין אתכם להתבונן פנימה, ותמתינו לכך שהקול הפנימי שלכם יומר לכם מה צריכים לרפא. לשחרר את ההתכווצויות בצוואר, בלסת, בכתפיים, את האי הנוחות בגב, ובקדמת הגוף. קחו נשימה ארוכה ושחררו אותה לאט. תרגישו איך בגוף משוחרר ומקורקע. למתרגל yin yoga, ככה זה מרגיש על בסיס קבוע.
השיעור yin yoga מביא אותנו לתחום של healing בו אנחנו משחררים משהו שאנו מגנים עליו או במשהו שאנו מתגוננים ממנו . זה מוחזק בגופנו, בפאסיה שלנו ובמוחנו. ב yin אנו מוזמנים לשחרר מתח, להפנות את המודעות שלנו פנימה ולהיפתח בכניעה ובאמונה ללב yin yoga המרפאת הזו. “… read more...
Embodying asana, I rejoice in the glimpse of periphery turned central, and inhabit an identity formed of particularity and universality. I pause to center myself in each moment and from this still point, know we are all a beautiful grey, a crush of salt and pepper.
Surrendering to moments that bend and shape me, no matter how I fail, I open as a flower to spring and seek to correct the direction of my inward compass. When I insert my ego and rough-hew the curriculum’s established gravity, I dim its shining divinity waiting to guide me.
Steadily I release into yoga’s entry point, listen to its song, and follow an inner melody to the beautiful transformation becoming me. Near the end, I sink into a container of heat and transformation, a liminal space where a guru points the way.
Yoga class ends. I hear my teacher, dedicated and honorable, give her blessing. Her voice, like the chant of angels, sounds a comfort upon the gathered yogis, one I accept.
“May this practice give strength to your body, kindness and compassion to your heart, calm and clarity to your mind. Namaste.”
I let this hold me as close as breath holds my life underwater. I walk away telling myself to take it all in deeply, to embrace yoga’s alchemy that connects me to all, and to not dig up in doubt what I’ve planted in faith.
Photo by Randy Anagnostis at the Salt River, Mesa, AZ., 7/22/2020… read more...
It may not seem a logical pairing, but to H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) member Ormson, the two effectively complement each other and share some similarities. He said beginners in either activity benefit from the guidance of a qualified trainer.
“With motorcycle instruction, the emphasis is on developing riding skills and environmental awareness,” said Ormson, also known as Motorcycling Yogi G. “But spending several hours in the saddle and handling unexpected situations that may arise requires mental focus, strength, flexibility and stamina. That’s where yoga comes in. It is increasingly viewed as the ideal exercise to improve overall mind-body performance.
“When riders are faced with executing a challenging move like a tight U-turn on a heavy bike, breathing shallows and the body tenses, affecting performance. Yoga training can lower stress levels through controlled breathing and meditation. The stretching and strengthening poses reduce the risk of injury by keeping the joints and muscles bikers rely on—hips, back, neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists—flexible and strong.”
“And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.”
Thank you to Om Yoga Magazine for covering Yoga & Leather (May 2020 issue) on 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 but OM published this story of an uncommon yoga outreach. Read all about it here, or see the video link at the end of this post.
See the May issue by going to pocketmags.com., where a free digital issue can be yours, or by ordering a subscription for the hard copy magazine. Yogainspirationals number 97 by Gregory Ormson,… read more...
Bikers: Covid-19 has paused everything.
It’s a gift given to us, a rare break in normally busy lives to think about things and even make plans to do something new. “Yoga and Leather: Yoga for Bikers,” is for you. This is not gymnastic yoga where your goal will be to nail a handstand or accomplish the splits. Yoga for bikers is for motorcycle riders showing up to a space apart for breathing with simple movement; and it’s a settling down in one place for a few minutes.
Doing a yoga class doesn’t mean you give up your identity, or that yoga makes you stop doing what you do. But yoga will lead you to experience yourself in a different way from what you ever have before. That’s it. Anything and everything else is your choice.
The story of yoga for bikers – in the OM Yoga Magazine May issue is for you. It’s now free to read because OM Yoga Magazine will not be printed for the month of May.
Take a moment to read how yoga benefits bikers. It’s all right here, the story of Yoga and Leather at Superstition Harley Davidson.
Here is your link for a FREE issue of OM Yoga Magazine: www.primeimpactmags.com
And if you want to see what Yoga and Leather looks like, follow this link to a YouTube video of our class from February, 2020.
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...
And here’s an example of how we use this space for renewal. Dave Swenson, brother of my long-time friend Lee Swenson, couldn’t gig tonight for St. Patrick’s Day, so he did a 40 something minute concert from the porch of his home in Iowa and streamed it to people in the US and afar. This is something to like about people: developing ways to renew self and others in the social distance space we’ve suddenly fallen into. Way to go Dave Swenson.
Here’s a link to Irish and Scottish music from fiddler Dave in Iowa. .https://www.facebook.com/dave.swenson.33/videos/10221681855654385/UzpfSTExOTQ1NjA2NzQ6MzA2MDYxMTI5NDk5NDE0OjEwOjA6MTU4NTcyNDM5OToyOTUyNTUyMzcwNDg4ODU5MDk3/
See you at Superstition Harley Davidson Jan. 8 and Jan. 22.
Stretch Ride on Jan. 26.
Check Superstition Harley Davidson events page on Facebook or their Website for current information on all events.… read more...
Thanks Superstition Harley Davidson for this 80 second video. See how yoga is similar to, but has one important difference from other movement oriented activities like motorcycling, judo, and ballet.… read more...
I’m pleased to have an invitation from OM Yoga and Lifestyle (magazine) Colchester, UK, to be a regular contributor, specifically, the OM Spirit section dealing with the spirituality inherent in yoga.
As a lifelong researcher of spiritual perspectives from around the world, I practice an ongoing evaluation of the esoteric. I’ve learned to be critical of every spiritual perspective yet remain open to the testaments of everyone’s perspective.
Theologians evaluate spiritual grounding by looking at the context of any spirituality. They call this discipline hermeneutics, which is a questioning and critical posture regarding: religious assumptions about humanity, spirituality’s inspirations, its leadership, and its goals.
But the most important aspect of critical thinking is that it can deliver us from the trap of believing that my culture – or my perspective – is the center of the world. This may open us to see both the wisdom and folly of our religious or spiritual background.
A hermeneutic evaluation means one is always suspicious of the texts and traditions from any school of thought. It leads one to dig in and find out what the text or tradition is really saying to the individual and the community, and then to ask if it squares with the entirety of what one knows deep down in their bones.
Hermeneutics questions every spiritual perspective and what it says about culture, religious leadership, and society. You have a question about yoga and spirituality? Send it to me, I’m looking for ideas to write about for OM Yoga and Lifestyle.
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...
One good thing about Facebook is that every now and then someone reaches from the past and makes contact with us in the present. This is the case from someone that contacted me yesterday and I’m glad he did.
Today (Aug. 13) is Kristen and Greg’s 25th wedding anniversary. Back then, I was the officiant for their wedding when I was working as a clergy for the Lutheran church and my assignment was to Northern Michigan University. Marquette was my home for 12 years, and two of my children were born there. Except for the cold – which I can’t stand – it was the best place I ever lived.
Along with his Facebook note, Greg sent one photo from his and Kristen’s wedding ceremony. I had never seen it, and it brought back many good memories of my time as a YOOPER in Upper Michigan.
Greg reminded me that I played my ceremonial wood duck drum as part of their wedding. Playing a drum wasn’t that far out of bounds -since I started drumming with a set at 14 – but I made the drum I used in their wedding and have used it in many ceremonies. The oak body for the drum came from a large tree that had been struck by lightning. The deer skin on top was from the last deer my dad had shot in Indian-head Country of Northwest Wisconsin.
Text below is from “Anchors,” a piece about drumming.
From early on, I heard text and sub-text in drums and memorized tom-strike patterns, rim hits on snare, and foot work for the high hat.… read more...
I ignore that which is trending and I despise the shallowness steering our culture to the banal and ugly even as I am caught within its mean cultural zeitgeist. It’s why I yoga: to take myself away from a greedy and ugly culture, awash in self-pity.
But I also yoga to take my selfish self away from my self – one session at a time – and there I meet my ego and engage in the soul’s martial art. I aim to breathe from the bones and continue yoga to open conversations of the yet unsaid, laced with elements of the unholy and blasphemous, the sacred and righteous.
Yoga takes me far from the realm of commodification. It cannot be rated on a scale of cuteness, its worth cannot be measured by production dollars, it does not yield to haste. Yoga wastes no time trying to harmonize with programmed music created in seconds on a computer keyboard. Yoga is not born of the formulaic for its process is unique and organic to each yogi.
Yoga empowers me with courage to cry out, to accept self, and be at ease. I do yoga, and I bring it. Yoga returns my investment through the beauty way of its physical, non-physical, and metaphysical medicine. It redeems my rough unfettered ego in a union where I am home at last.
Yoga resides deep in the sound of OM, and when listening, the yogi hears it in every breath, every move, every thought, and in the nervous firing of synapses. At the end, releasing into savasana in the hushed OM of the gathered, I brush against the deepest level of truth, and there, gather strength to get up and boldly face judgments that feed rigid walls within and without.… read more...
YOGA & LEATHER: A New Road for Bikers
Every yogi is the same. But every yogi has been injured in their own way. Debbie McGregor, passionate yogi and motorcyclist, was first injured at age 11. It happened in a rodeo mishap when she was locked in a cramped chute with a panicked horse. A broken back sustained in a motorcycle accident in her early 30’s became major injury number two, and she suffered a broken neck in a car accident during her early 50’s.
“When I read about YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers,” she said, “I couldn’t believe it; something combining my two passions, I had to come.”
After her car accident, Debbie was told she’d be paralyzed from the neck down, but she resolved to walk and was determined to ride her Harley Davidson motorcycle again. She invested in physical therapy and added yoga as a daily routine. Three years after the accident, Debbie is doing yoga and motorcycling around the country. “It’s unexplainable how much yoga does in the path of healing. The more I do, the more I want and the more I heal,” she said.
Paul, a 79 year old retired Chicago police officer, is another dedicated rider of Harley Davidson motorcycles but new to yoga. Like Debbie, he found his way to YOGA AND LEATHER, and considers it healing balm and an island of peace.
Recently, Paul’s 900 pound motorcycle tipped over and landed on his foot. He hobbled into class wearing big boots and blue jeans, but did what he could. “I need it, it’s good.… 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 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.
Thank you #YOGANECT for publishing yogainspirationals number 74.
During my seventh year practicing yoga I started learning the sitar.
Immediately I realized it was a hard instrument to play and its technology is ancient: there’s a huge gap between frets and the strings which are painful on the fingers; the metal sitar pic winds tightly on the finger and pinches; the instrument’s lightweight strings go out of tune easily and there are 21 of them; but most of all, the traditional playing style requires sitting on the floor with the left leg crossed under the right while the sitar neck rests over the right thigh with the sound gourd perched on top of the left foot. This position is hard on the left knee, back, legs, hips, and both ankles.
At one point during my practice in the last few months, I started doing yoga before playing. I needed to set my legs, hips, and back at ease. When I did this first, I realized I could sit longer and concentrate better and my yoga practice tied directly to sitar practice became my daily ritual.
This two-step approach to sitar practice – beginning with yoga – became my entre into the world of classical Indian music. I now view yoga as my commencement ritual, and I won’t even try playing sitar without first doing yoga, or at the very least, until after breath work. Yoga and sitar, including savasana, tune me up for my day; now I hesitate to go out in public before this commencement.
A NEW TAKE ON AN OLD SKILL
I sang in a boys’ choir at age 10 and once performed with a small group at the World’s Fair in New York at age 11.… read more...
In this episode of Here You Are Wausau (click link) Dino Corvino and I discuss writing and yoga, breath, ego, truth, ayurveda, teaching, and journaling along with people and places of Wausau.
I’ll forever see you (Dino) as the weird kid eating chickpeas from a can in the UW Milwaukee student union. Click link and listen to get the full story. WARNING: Some adult AF language.
SHOUT OUTS TO: Basil Restaurant, Limericks Pub, Malarkeys Pub, NTC, Everest HS, Superstition Harley Davidson, Buffalo Springfield, Community Soul Yoga, Croix Croga Yoga, Lightbody Yoga, Gilbert Yoga, The Magees, sitar, satyagraha, Yoga and Leather, kids yoga, prana, agni, vayu, healing, and shout outs to: Debbie Iozzo, Robyn Bretl, Jim Daly, Kirsten Holmsen, Cory Holm, Blake Opal-Wahoske, Tyler Vogt, Nick Hoen, Jon Shea, Soumya Parthasarathy, Cassandra Wallick, Dan Meyer, kids yoga, Everest Family Fitness Fest, Asana Journal, slow down and breathe, freediving, hawaii, India, Ted Roe and freediving Hawaii, Mysore, India and the Calcutta sitar.
Thanks Eric Sorensen and Dino for @hereYouAreWausau… read more...
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:
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.
Tune into Diet and fitness
Sculpt body and breath
Develop mental and physical strength
Learn self-discipline and willpower
Study yoga poses and competition poses
Experiment with movement
Parallels with yoga are direct and applicable, starting with one’s intention long before lifting a weight or stepping onto a yoga mat. Yoga or athletic outcomes are unique to each person, but mental discipline and focus is required for both.
Mr. Darton has delivered workshops around the world detailing what it takes to sculpt a human statue. He will tell his story and offer experimental movements based on his lifelong experience and expertise.
People are drawn to Marlon and enriched by his knowledge and experience. The workshop will conclude with a brief yoga session.
REGISTER AT MOTTOYOGA.COM. Click on the Menu and choose the WORKSHOP option.
$25. in advance.
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
Once a day until December 6, Epiphany, I’m blogging a six point synopsis of my yoga writing from the last seven years. These blog posts are all arranged by: 1. The primary sentence. 2. The theologic and yogic summative word. 2. An explanatory paragraph.
Your respectful comments are welcome.
DAY SIX, December 6, 2018
6. In savasana, space and time welcome the yogi for an anointing to the goodness of true self and true nature
THEOLOGICAL WORD: ANNOINTING
YOGA WORD, HEALING
Yoga’s internal work (the heat of tapas) teaches the yogi compassion for self; in savasana’s moments of rest, the yogi is anointed (bathed) in yoga’s healing tradition. This is not a cosmetic make over, but a weaving together of a timeless process which synthesizes everything up to that moment in a deep affirmation of life itself. Savasana is the yogi’s reception of yoga’s physical, non-physical, and metaphysical medicine.
DAY FIVE, December 5, 2018
5. The subject and object of yoga’s missiology is self
THEOLOGICAL WORD: MISSIOLOGY
YOGA WORD: PRACTICE
In the container, at the confluence of yogi, guru, and healing practice, a drop of sweat takes one to self and self to God. The yogi – a vessel devoid of armor and ego – incarnates a healing curriculum in a generative engagement translated to a focused biology of belief and concomitant mind/body/spirit reshaping.
DAY FOUR, December 4, 2018
4. A path to community opens with the relinquishment of armor.
THEOLOGICAL WORD: ECCLESIA
YOGA WORD: COMMUNITY
Inside the yoga room, an awakened center is tutored in self-love and love for others.… read more...
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...
Yoga braids us into a light not of this world. Its blueprint is not designed for appeal. It might be fashionably popular now, but popularity is built on a thin crust and designed for obsolescence. It has no Superbowl or competitive league. Yoga’s popularity has not inspired a mass uprising; it doesn’t lobby for causes or political persuasion.
Yoga is not well understood by the masses.
It is not cheered or toasted; it has no Super bowl or competitive league. Yoga practice draws from the force of a tall tree with deep roots, and to honor this ground, yogis stand in good relation to the craft, good relation to self, and good relation to one another.
From this center, at the confluence of yogi, guru, yoga mat, and container, the shape of receptivity animates the yogi’s being and opens the cold, steel traps that bind.… read more...
Asana is the body of yogic truth, and individual expression of yoga’s eight limbs reveals the efficacy of its healing medicine. Yogis breathe deeply in yoga and experience a perceptual shift. This new vision opens to the sacred horizon at which we gaze, and the shift – formed in concentration and attention – purifies our dysfunctional self by transmuting negative poison.
Asana and breath follow and yogis learn to re-route any short-sell of self. These elements move us from the core where a magnanimous grounding in the foundational principles (of yoga) proves yogis can handle the dreadful deceits and misapprehensions of our avidya (misperceptions and their consequences).
Asana, and the individual embodiment of asana, is made for flawed and taut souls; its work is to release the human beings caught in a play – sometimes not of their own making – as through asana yogis are welcomed into the practice of ease and steadiness . . . where they begin with the exhale.
Following the exhale, and its gentle massage of the nervous system, yogis take the deep inhale and their bendable habit grows to a lifetime practice. We keep on keepin’ on and stand in true presence where feet meet the ground.
Blossoming directly into self-care, yogis open like the petals of a lotus in a soft rain, and through the soul dialysis in yoga’s energy exchange, every samskara (action with intention) is transformed.… 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.
Thanks to Sivana east for publishing my 70th yoga piece (yogainspirationals).
Thanks also to: Yoga International, Yogi Times, elephant journal, Asana Journal, Do You Yoga, Hello Yoga, Tribe Grow, Seattle Yoga News, The Yoga Blog, The Health Orange, Medium, Boa Yoga, and AZ Rider Southwest.
#yogainspirationalsnumber70, #motorcyclingyogiG, https://gregoryormson.com, #amwriting, #arizonayogateacherandcoach, #mottoyoga #yogaandleather #superstitionharleydavidson