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.
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...
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...
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...
Mantra: The Power of Word
Mantra is Sanskrit for a word or phrase that the yogi repeats during practice or meditation. Its benefits include anything from improved concentration to “feats making the impossible possible,” according to Dr. Gautam Chatterjee, a prolific author who coined the term positive mantra.
An empowering and healing word-based mantra starts as a simple exercise of mind. Over time, with steady use, one can imagine their mantra as a precious note brought down from sacred hills, delivering a genuine gift of centeredness to the yogi.
The power and centrality of word has always been recognized in philosophy and belief. John’s Gospel states, “In the beginning was the Word.” The Rig Veda strikes the same tone, “In the beginning was Brahman, with whom was the Word.”
A Guru’s Gift
Historically, for advanced yogis, the mantra was a gift from their guru. It was a vehicle that assisted the yogi in his or her soul’s drive to oneness with God.
Though most of us do not have such a grand purpose for mantra such as union with God, a well-chosen mantra can help us reconnect to a healing place, find a mother lode of peace andcontentment, or perhaps even move the impossible to possible.
While an active yoga practice does not demand that practitioners choose a mantra, I think it can help improve both one’s practice and one’s acceptance of their place in the world.
Turning to Mantra for Guidance
My mantra has proven its efficacy, even when I resist. I concentrate and silently repeat it with faith that important work is happening.
Thank you Dylan and Hello Yoga . com
link to story here: https://helloyoga.com/200-hour-intensive-yoga-teacher-training-course-retreat-reflections-857d0a954a7a… read more...
In November, Amanda Kingsmith conducted an interview with me on YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers, the program we started in September at Superstition Harley Davidson in Apache Junction. Here is the link to that podcast where I speak about parallels between yoga and motorcycling and about how this started.… read more...
If you believe yoga is a physical discipline, I’ll play mystic from the East and counter, yoga is not matter, its mind. If you were to say, “Yoga is a confusing philosophy,” I’ll rebut, its focus is the empirical (diet and bodily health). If one maintains yoga is found in the experience of asana, I’ll point to the crown chakra and our intimate participation with the cosmic Self. If someone says, “Yoga is spirituality,” I’ll ask, what do you mean? If a yogi tells me, “Yoga is a path to heightened consciousness,” I’ll say, okay, but to what end?… read more...
THREAD also comes from the Old English braed, meaning pulled through a needle. The modern yogi can take one or several threads from Pantanjali and imagine them as bundles connecting breath to body and soul to that which is not of this world. The chosen thread guides the yogi but also braids the yogi to a light of brilliance into which the flaws of our lives and asanas are absorbed and dissolved.… read more...
Breathing into the body leads to calmness of mind and a moment of stillness. When coupled with asana, yoga looks like movement into wider shape shifting in space. But these moves are designed to enable perspective shifting while intentional breath and movement relax the mind and open a pathway for a return to source. This quiet moment of healing and rest will not look the same on every yogi.… read more...
Asana becomes joyful and effortless when it is an expression of gratitude. In movement, our attitude is ingrained into muscle memory and our lives change. This is the premise of japa yoga; cellular shape aligns with thought and intention. Our bodies absorb everything our minds present. When stress is perceived in the mind it is felt in the body. Often it stays there to the detriment of our health and well-being.… read more...
I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed
I am false.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
Fluid yoga, going to six years, continues remaking and each remaking is connected to another. Born in water, I am dragonfly, now rabbit. I shift to camel, fish, or embody an ever-watchful sphinx. Then I evolve once again, going back and yet forward at the same time to my child in his innocent, trusting repose. My evolving is your evolving: inward, backward, downward.
Your asana is my asana, my bending and shaping is your bending and shaping, your practice of eustress and release morphs into luminous savasana. Your savasana is my savasana, and mine is yours: a cloud, salty and damp.
YOUR LONGINGS ARE MY LONGINGS
This cloud, a safe home for witnesses and their truths, where every joy and sorrow bursts forth in prophetic rain. And as colors bend to make a rainbow, these witnesses bend into their longings. Your longings are my longings.
We breathe into sweet release, and the turning becomes a roadmap for traveling outward. The trail makes little sense; it leads down to the place where gravity rests. Tracking energy for centuries, the Tao notes that water flows to low places. My gravity is your gravity.
My guru said the way out is the way in. Her wisdom comes from a bloodline far to the east, from a practice that bent and molded her matter-mind, from evidence etched into the soles of her feet. Tucked in like a child, she steps over the soles of my feet, and your East meets my West.… read more...
Yoga will not be televised, its moves are not dictated by chart, table, or graph; yoga will not whiten your teeth, but you will be astonished in moments of fluid inspiration, and the deep breaths you take will sustain apprehension of a true presence at once ecstatic and sublime.… read more...
Yoga gives each of us more than we can repay. It’s the reason we continue our practice and make it a long-term life discipline. Yoga creates new space and provides the impetus for us to search for our true self. It has our backs and has fixed our spines.
Yoga balances our perceptions and teaches us to look to the horizon even when we resist and find it would be easier to look down and fall flat upon the mark of our diminished vision.
Yoga levels our judgments to a place of calm detachment; but also fills us with courage to say and do the right thing (on and off the mat) as often as we can. Yoga moves us to meet, greet, and bow to worlds upon worlds, and that is why those of us practicing yearn to find our limits, breathe deep to fully inherit the spiritual science of health, and release everything into the realm of OHM.
What do you give to yoga?
Every yogi answers in their own way, but here’s one yogis answer:
I give my pain.
Perhaps it’s a surprising answer, and this is open to misinterpretation. But yes, I give yoga pain. I know the pain I need to release, and I know from experience that yoga will keep teaching me how to release it. It’s a pain I hold in my being, in my body, and it’s the pain I hold for the world.
I give my love for family and friends.
I see them aching not just from the slings and arrows of misfortune, and the lance of gossip and backbiting envy.… read more...
Thank you to Asana Journal for publishing my 50th Yoga Inspirational, “Enter the Master, Enter the Child.”
Comment if you’d like. I always appreciate hearing feedback from you.
Greg, author at gregoryormson.com, @GAOrmson
Profiles: Tumblr StumblOn, Pinterest, Reddit, Discuss, Diigo, Xing, Asana Journal, DoYouYoga.com, elephant journal, Yogi Times, Yoga International, HelloYoga.com, The Health Orange, Tribegrow.com (April 2016),TheYogaBlog, Medium.com… read more...
This article (yogainspirational #46) from September is not yet online, but in the print version of Asana Journal, available at http://www.asanajournal.com. To read it, click on each photo. Articles in the magazine are excellent and informative for beginner or advanced practitioner. I took photos of these two bridges on my travels through Upper Michigan this summer. The first one made of concrete connects US 550 and crosses the Dead River as it flows into Lake Superior Marquette, Michigan. The second bridge is wood, and it allows a walker to get a nice view of Tioga Creek at the Tioga Creek Roadside Park off US 41 west of Nestoria, Michigan.
New Years’ Resolutions shot to hell? Pfffuf… so what.
Yoga time means a reductive mathematic, a Gandhian core and a shamanistic strategy.
That may mean taking a moment to swing through the trees.
From Michael Wiegers, editor in chief of Copper Canyon Press in Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Poets and Writers.
“On one hand, I don’t directly subscribe to a poetry that “does” something – but at the same time I believe in its power to do something. I don’t think that art or poetry needs to set out to change the world but I think that it can change the world and make us more compassionate, more just, more aware.”
Many years ago when studying for the ministry, one of my professors said something that has stayed with me. “The prayers in worship are where the people of God fight,” he said. Some will pray for rain, some will pray for sunny skies. To which group of devotees should God grant the prayers’ fulfillment?
Today, I refuse to identify any single gathering as “the people of God.” Nobody owns that title; neither do I care about other people’s prayer subjects or what they fight about in church. But I thought long and hard about what my professor meant.
When I deconstruct Facebook postings to their most basic level (mine included), I see postings about self and opinion postings as prayer wrapped in a secular (and public) delivery system. My take on self-posting is that nobody is as happy as they want to appear and I apprehend most opinion as misdirected wishing, aimed at hope for a God that will grant my prayers and thereby make the world into what I want.
Take any issue today that sparks a deep reaction, something “prayer-worthy” if you will. When the Confederate Flag issue was hot, Facebook posts were filled with opinions about it. Most of my friends thought the Confederate flag should come down, but some disagreed.
Guns are again a popular subject on Facebook and there, the people fight .… read more...
Think of standing on your mat in class holding Mountain Pose, and that your mat is the entire focus of your attention. In your mind, shift your awareness to the place where the soles of your feet make contact with your mat and pretend as if that place is all that exists. Your entire world is made up of the space that forms two outlines on the bottom of your feet. This is what Gestalt calls the “figure,” and everything else – except that one patch where your two feet make contact – is the background/landscape of perception and awareness.
My yoga class sometimes reminds me of lectures in Gestalt psychology when my professor spoke about making contact; and with that heightened contact, the impact of fully digesting food and digesting experience. His inference was that one can digest both life and food when one takes time for focus on the figure of awareness.
Recently, while absent-mindedly walking barefoot on a wood floor, I reached for something and felt a little off balance. Immediately, I was aware of a strong corrective to my imbalance, but it wasn’t coming from my brain, it was coming from the soles of my feet.
I was surprised, for I had never before felt a corrective to in my balance coming from my feet. I asked myself, Are my feet becoming smarter, or am I just becoming more aware of their contact and catching up to that reality? This small example is the wider truth of yoga practice. It increases bodily intelligence and directly related mental intelligence.… read more...
My teacher speaks in clusters of daring “The way in is the way out.” It’s her graceful word rising from years looking at the blank slate over the Pacific, her lungs breathing deeply of this rolling mist. Her wisdom “the way in is the way out,” comes to me from her bloodline far to the east, from a practice that bent and molded her matter-mind, from evidence etched into the soles of her feet.… read more...
“Because breath is life, the art of judicious, thoughtful
ungreedy breathing is a prayer of gratitude we offer to life itself.” B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life.
The movement became unpredictable, and while nobody could take credit, yoga unveiled a curtain and people awoke to radiance within. But Westlanders didn’t want gurus, they didn’t read books. But took to their mats and the world opened like many petals of the lotus in a soft rain.
Ch. 17 Yoga Inspirationals
July 20, 2015 DoYouYoga.com/the-three-stages-of-a-yogis-transformation-59820-97291/
July 2, 2015 Yogi Times http://www.yogitimes.com/article/peace-just-a-pause-now-accepting-practice-yoga
June 20, 2015 elephant journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/06/relinquishment-how-a-trip-to-India-can-redefine-our-lives
June 12, 2015 elephant journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/06/why-bad-prayers-are-good-prayers/
June 5, 2015 elephant journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/06/yoga-and-the-place-of-soul
2015 Yogi Timeshttp://www.yogitimes.com/article/yoga-covenant-agreement-vow-commitment
Marach 2015 elephant journalhttp://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/03/how-yoga-makes-us-kinder/
February 21, 2015 DoYouYoga.comhttp://www.doyouyoga.com/why-yoga-should-bring-us-to-social-action/
February 15, 2015 Yogi Timeshttp://www.yogitimes.com/article/who-moved-the-yoga-mat-practice
January 6, 2014 DoYouYoga.comhttp://www.doyouyoga.com/4-reasons-teachers-should-use-touch-in-yoga/
December 27, 2014 elephant journalhttp://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/12/the-yoga-pose-that-healed-my-lower-back-injuries/
December 11, 2014 Yogi Times http://www.yogitimes.com/article/story-of-yoga-poem-parable/
November 24, 2014 The Yoga Blog http://www.theyogablog.com/favorite-quote-practice/
November 21, 2014 DoYouYoga.com http://www.doyouyoga.com/mantra-the-power-of-word/October 22, 2014
The Yoga Blog http://www.theyogablog.com/doing-yoga-30-years-now/
October 16, 2014 elephant journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/10/ego-injury-10-questions-for-yoginis/
October 2, 2014 The Yoga Blog http://www.theyogablog.com/find-silence-yoga-practice/
Sept. 21, 2014 DoYouYoga.com http://www.doyouyoga.com/how-yoga-moves-from-it-to-it/
Sept. 17, 2014 elephant journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/09/mapping-yogas-breathcentric-diamond-body-gregory-ormson/
Aug. 15, 2014 The Yoga Blog http://www.theyogablog.com/take-inventory-yoga-yoga-like-aa/
Aug. 2, 2014 elephant journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/08/the-savasana-cloud-gregory-ormson/
July1, 2014 elephant journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/07/the-importance-of-living-in-alignment-gregory-ormson/
March 12, 2014 The Yoga Blog http://www.theyogablog.com/yogas-hidden-benefit-unconscious-mind/
Feb. 3, 2014 The Yoga Blog http://www.theyogablog.com/365-days-yoga-completely-changed-life/… read more...
24th Installment Yoga Inspirationals. July 2, 2015
Peace just a pause away. July 2, 2015
With thanks to the following, where these articles first appeared:
TheYogaBlog.com, elephant journal.com, DoYouYoga.com, and YogiTimes.com
June 12, 2015 http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/06/relinquishment-how-a-trip-to-india-can-redefine-our-lives/
June 5, 2015http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/06/why-bad-prayers-are-good-prayers/
April 12, 2015 Yogi Times http://www.yogitimes.com/article/yoga-covenant-agreement-vow-commitment
March 11, 2015 elephant journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/03/how-yoga-makes-us-kinder/
February 21, 2015 DoYouYoga.com http://www.doyouyoga.com/why-yoga-should-bring-us-to-social-action/
February 15, 2015 Yogi Times http://www.yogitimes.com/article/who-moved-the-yoga-mat-practice
January 6, 2014 DoYouYoga.com http://www.doyouyoga.com/4-reasons-teachers-should-use-touch-in-yoga/
December 27, 2014 elephant journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/12/the-yoga-pose-that-healed-my-lower-back-injuries/
December 11, 2014 Yogi Times http://www.yogitimes.com/article/story-of-yoga-poem-parable/
November 24, 2014 The Yoga Blog http://www.theyogablog.com/favorite-quote-practice/
November 21, 2014 DoYouYoga.com http://www.doyouyoga.com/mantra-the-power-of-word/
Notes from The Old Style Place
remains upright, anchored in stubbornness. Its steadfast preachment to tenacity
has denied gravity its victory. This stubbornness was earned by hammer and saw,
shovel and plane, elements of willful ambition. Having endured tornado-force
winds, the yearly push and pull of cold and hot, nearby forest-fires and
electrical wiring that’s older than the oldest goat, somehow it’s still
“updates.” There is no indoor plumbing or bathroom. To leave it all
behind, I walk outside to a small outdoor toilet where I encroach upon the
world of bugs.
doorframe. On a narrow window sill facing north, dead flies pile up forming a
grizzly pyramid to mortality.
framed hunting cabin, it remains a testament to quality. The two by four framing
boards really are 2 x 4, not the cheap sticks sold now that have been shaved
over time until what we call 2 x 4 is really more like 1 5/8 x 3 5/8.
its truth upon my bones, and I unmask the lessons to absorb what I need to
learn. I sit at the metal table in the cabin’s main room and I’m reminded of
the hours my brothers and I sat here. We argued and competed. I cheated by
moving game pieces or hiding cards.
Battleship, Five Straight, Password or Jeopardy.… read more...
https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3262854555252514049#editor/target=post;postID=7609855544855442390;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=0;src=postname… read more...
If one strikes a covenant with yoga, they do not inherit guarantees and neither are there predictable outcomes; but a time-tested truth demonstrates if the yogi bears their weight of the oath, the yield will be rich. Yoga will always do its share in this bendable arc of change.… read more...