By mobilizing prana – accompanied with mindful movement – effortless, joyful expression is set into muscle memory. The premise that cellular health aligns with thought and intention (the biology of belief) is the reason yoga pays attention to mental outlook, for while stress is perceived in the mind, it is felt in the body. Activating the joy paradigm provides the opposite effect yet happens through the same process.
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.
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...
It’s been a good experience these last seven months teaching YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers.
Next year, I will pan once a month for riders to meet at Superstition Harley Davidson, and then ride bikes to a separate location (park, river-flat, desert plain), where we’ll practice yoga. This practice will also provide each of us with ideas on how to put our minds and bodies at ease when we stop or take a break from riding.
Here are photos from one class in January that will set the stage for next year’s YOGA AND LEATHER.
In the meantime, I hope you all find a home studio or a place near you to practice. I’m convinced that yoga will benefit us on the road, and the more all of us practice yoga the more we’ll discover this for ourselves. Thanks for a good 7 months. We’ll see you again in October.
and many thanks to M.J. Britt for these photos of YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers in the Eagles Nest at Superstition Harley Davidson. Thanks also to Brina Brown and Superstition HD for opening the nest for yoga.
FEBRUARY SCHEDULE FOR YOGA AND LEATHER
FEBRUARY 18, Sunday at 11:00 am
FEBRUARY 21, Wednesday at 4:30 pm
FEBRUARY 28, Wednesday at 4:30 pm
Meeting on the second floor outdoor patio (The Eagles Nest).
Follow link to story in MEDIUM.
The next class for YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers, is Wednesday, Jan. 17, 4:30 at Superstition Harley Davidson. See how these bikers are keeping themselves ready to Ride On!
A BIG THANK YOU to M.J. Britt for taking these photos at Superstition HD.
When motorcycling and yoga come together, good things happen. Practice yoga at Superstition Harley Davidson and feel the roar of motorcycles below the Eagles Nest. It’s different, but bikers and yogis have never been afraid of different.
Yogis come in all shapes and sizes and so do bikers. Yoga and motorcycling require many of the same skills:
ability to be calm in the midst of stress
sequential learning to master corners or poses
movement with awareness and presence of mind
flexibility and balance
This is just a start. Find out how yoga can keep you riding now and into the future.
I’ll meet you in the Eagles Nest !
YOGA BENEFITS FOR BIKERS
Increased strength and muscle tone through weight bearing and power postures / for large bikes and long tours, building strength for long days on the road.
Improved balance by practicing one-leg standing postures / better control in tight U turns and backing.
Increased mental focus and coordination, clarity of thought developed by balance and silence in yoga practice / life and death on the bike is directly related to mental focus and clarity.
Improved sleep after a hard yoga practice / no dozing while driving, deeper sleep leads to increased energy on the road.
Improved posture / improved back and neck comfort on rides.… read more...
New dates for November and December YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for riders at Superstition Harley Davidson, Apache Junction, Arizona.
November 8, Wednesday at 4:30 pm December 3, Sunday at 11:00 am
November 11, Saturday at 10:00 am December 6, Wednesday at 4:40 pm
November 12, Sunday at 11:00 am December 17, Sunday at 11:00 am
December 20, Wednesday at 4:30 pm
No experience necessary.
GET BEYOND STEREOTYPES. The benefits of yoga for riders are too important to let worn out cultural ideas stop us from shedding old skin. “The times they are a changing,” Bob Dylan wrote. Yes they are, and yoga practice in a Harley Davidson dealership proves it.
Both motorcyclists’ and yogis should be able to see through stereotypes, having themselves been subjects of stereotypes in the past. In many ways, yoga and motorcycling have been subjected to a similar fate, and are often labeled, which is an easy way to dismiss someone as fringe or outsider.
Many believe yoga is only for women, but from its origin, and up to modern times, yoga was practiced only by men. Today, many women worldwide are practicing yoga, and in the US, about 80 percent of yoga participants are women.
Motorcycling falls to similar sexist stereotypes and many people still believe motorcycling is only for men. The reality today is that nearly 25 percent of all riders are women. The culture and times are a changing; stereotypes of motorcycling and yoga no longer apply.
BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR RIDING
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.… read more...
Recovered from Arizona Bike Week at Westworld last week where I co-led 25 DEMO tours in five days for Moto Guzzi. Was it hot? Hahahahaha.
Here is the Holy (or not so) Trinity of Harley-Davidson’s owned by yours truly in the forms of creator, motivator, and generator.
Wildfire, Feb. 4, 2000 – April 6, 2016.
Biggie, Jan. 1, 2017 – April 13, 2017.
Cleopatra, April 13, 2017 – ?
Click on each page to enlarge view.
Riders take a pounding on the road, and sometimes driving is stressful. But there are good ways to take on stress and care for ourselves. Yoga is one. Every four years the number of people practicing yoga in the US doubles. Estimates put at 40-million the number of people doing yoga in the US. Yoga helps with injury, it calms the mind, and people do it because it feels good.
Bikers know about good vibrations on the bike, but it’s time for bikers to learn about good vibrations off the bike.
Yoga isn’t just about flexibility, it’s about improving mobility to turn sideways and check our blind spot; its about balance in slow turns, and remaining calm in the midst of stress. And over time, yoga strengthens the skeletal, muscular, and digestive systems. It calms the nervous system and strengthens lymphatic systems.
Gregory Ormson, former MSF rider/coach and 200-hr. registered yoga teacher, is holding YOGA AND LEATHER, Yoga for Bikers classes at Superstition Harley Davidson in Apache Junction. Find out how YOGA helps bikers RIDE ON!
LOCATION: Superstition Harley-Davidson, Eagles Nest Patio, second level west side of building.
October 14 (Saturday) Noon to 1:00 pm
October 18 (Wed). 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
October 28 (Sunday) 10:00 am – 11:00 am
SUPPLIES: Bring a yoga mat if you have one. There will be a few extra. Wear comfortable clothing.
This is not an exercise class, but an introduction to yoga with basic poses as part of the experience.
See you soon!
Recently, I rode my Harley-Davidson to an outdoor festival. For these events, the parking lot is often a large field with hidden land mines for bikes. Waiting in line to park, I watched people march toward the festival’s front gate from their cars after parking a long ways away. They walked slowly, heads hanging, shuffling their feet through Arizona dust and brown grass.
But when I turned my bike toward the parking lot, the festival’s parking security stopped me and said, “Why don’t you park over there next to the Hummer.” I took an immediate sharp left and found my place right next to the front gate. For bikers, this kind of thing happens a lot.
I parked my bike, walked over the security guard and said, Thanks brother. I appreciate it.
“No problem,” he said. “I’ve got you over there by my Hummer. I’ll keep an eye on it for ya. No need to park out there and get your bike all scratched up.”
Damn straight. Thanks again, I said, and walked across the street to the festivals entry gates.
Many of us have this experience. Hotel desk clerks will suggest we park our bikes up front under the lights so they can keep an eye on them. As riders, we like “Motorcycle Only” parking signs and they’re often in a good location. And while Harley-Davidson is in negotiation with the Milwaukee Brewers over an expired contract, the Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturer used to have a special Harley-Davidson seating section in Miller Park’s left field. The game ticket included a buffet, two-beers, and – of course – parking for bikes in the front row.… read more...
Ever wonder what really happens in drinking communities. Here’s my take in a full article published 2/24/16 by The Good Men Project
Thank you to The Good Men Project.… read more...