Sickness Givers and the Shape of Hope part I. 2:22 (Navajo)
Sickness Givers and the Shape of Hope part II. 3:01 (India)
Sickness Givers and the Shape of Hope part I. 2:22 (Navajo)
Sickness Givers and the Shape of Hope part II. 3:01 (India)
If Arizona were to adopt an integrated austerity program, we could stop COVID. It would require 40 days of isolation, but without doing it, COVID will drag on and the Arizona Republic will keep limping along with no solution.
A committed public and government could “Get it Done in 21,” but my suggestions will be unwelcome to an American public driven by an outlandish notion of freedom; they will also be insulting to a governmental and industrial/technological base that has never been asked to work across boundaries for a common goal that has everything to do with the common good but nothing to do with profit.
Of course, specific steps would be the challenge here, and it would take leadership and coordination. But I thought that’s what government was about. Since nobody is talking about what to do, rather wasting energy by pointing fingers and blaming, I’ll say what we must do.
These 9 steps require coordination between Government and the fields of Education, Public Safety, Medical, Technology, Transportation, Banking/Finance, Utilities and power.
Each service sector will have to forego the safety and comfort of their tribal bubble and work together for the first time ever. If they did, we would stop COVID. This is what it takes:
Artists’ respond, aiming to align wonder, word, and music. They lean into imagining what the tree sees in relationships, in children, and in backyard dreams. Thorburn’s tree is a witness to life in the yard, the house, in the sky above, and the buckling sidewalk below; the whole tree-is-us in our tangled roots and bent branches, our rancors and revelries, and our brittle bark tattooed by the scars of our days.
We are like every tree and its intangible roots beneath the sidewalk, reaching from yard and house to neighborhood and back again. Enmeshed below ground, trees know things and their hidden network chronicles the backyard’s rich saga: kids climbing and laughing in the branches, people in houses looking back at the tree from behind windows, and the green sky of aurora borealis above.
In our winter of pandemic and discontent, the tree is abandoned by yellowing leaves born away by freezing winds, shivering branches, and dropped to their winter-burial grounds “Everything I know I’ve learned from trees,” a friend from Michigan wrote to me the week before Christmas. I love trees too, but not everyone does; and his note reminded me of the politician who said, “When you’ve seen one redwood you’ve seen ’em all.”
I pity those who see every tree the same. It’s a different kind of poverty from the ‘poverty of spirit,’ which the Gospels praise. Bereft of wonder, one is left with a forlorn poverty of being. Such a fool, unable to appreciate music, art, poetry, or trees, may have a heart pumping lifeblood through his/her veins and arteries, but they are dull in their feeling function, incapable of beholding a Christmas tree or any tree in wonder and awe.… read more...
Recorded with Audacity, Gregory Ormson lyrics and Washburn D-Series DADGAD guitar, played through Boss Acoustic Singer Pro Amp; keyboard by Randy Anagnostis on Yamaha PB125 with Focus Scarlet Gen 3 Audio Interface. One of several Anagnostis/Ormson original song collaborative pieces.
VIDEO link https://youtu.be/NfClYOCX3xA… 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.”
It appears as if nothing is going on and therefore not as impressive to the outside world as inversions like a hand stand; but the move from without to within is a highway to the heart, the compass for every decision, and the sacred center of every temple.
We’ve been on Earth for a while, both corporately and individually, and we know falling and rising. Aware of failure and success in life, in teaching, and in yoga, we listen when a guide addresses us with the courage to be.
Following my guide, I give myself to the moment and find my lifting gaze opens a new potential both fierce and divine. I lift my spine from behind my head and imagine never moving.
The crown of my head rises up and into an unseen sacred net of prana. I stand rooted as if I am a monument. I follow for several near-transcendent seconds where I become a living, breathing stone. Then I exhale to feel my shoulders slump setting myself at ease.
I go back with heightened awareness to calm breath. I stop traveling and arrive where my teacher’s soft words land in my ear. Her question is not judgment. It teaches awareness, “Where is your breath?” She says, “Let it go, it’s in the past.” In that yoga moment, I’m a thirsty man who’s been given water. It was all I asked of the day.
“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 @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...
We’re all flat on our backs in a liminal place, fired by tapas and its heat of transformation. I’m listening as a guru points the way, and slowly my doubt is burned by fire and sent to the trash bin of insecurity.Heat and gravity are my honest teachers, and they’re worthy companions delivering an exacting curriculum of change. When I insert my ego into the moment and rough-hew its curriculum, I mute the shining fire of tapas branding me in this container.
The tapas of yoga is not of my making. It doesn’t heed my objections, or accept my charges to change or comfort me in the twinkling of an eye. In fire, I am only left to breathe and positioned to trust; by my simple presence and trust I participate in the yoga economy of rebirth out of the flame.
This economy doesn’t just subtract or burn away, it also adds, multiplies, and divides certainty into millions of shades. Yoga’s economy is Gandhian in its disciplined core, negative in its spiritual logic, countercultural in its teleology, and hotly shamanistic in its strategy.
In this season of our discontent, our wiser revelry may be composed of welcoming close the sublime inside a spoonful of shaman, holding forth with a pinch of subtraction for division and discontent, riding with attention on the coattails of science, and supping together with a cup of cheer for our endings not yet defined.
#Kilauea, #breathnotes, #satsong, #gregoryormson, #amwrititing, #yogainspirationals
Writing on yoga, music, and motorcycling @ https://gregoryormson.com Tweet@ GAOrmson… 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...
Restaurants and bars – common biker stops – are closed. Large scale events, including bike events, are cancelled.
If you want to ride, Yoga & Leather Stretch Ride is on for March 29. But . . . only show up at the Superstition Harley Davidson west side parking lot at 10:30 am if you can observe six (6) feet of distance between you and all others.
On the bike, keeping safe distance it’s easy, but I’m saying, when we meet in the west side parking lot, greet one another with voice but no physical contact. It’s always a good idea, but especially now, do not touch another person’s bike.
The recipe for shifting from discontent to contentment is simple:
Link to info on the ride: https://www.facebook.com/SuperstitionHD/videos/1034031243636948/… 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/
“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...
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...
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...
Thank you BAD YOGI MAGAZINE for publishing #YogaInspirationals 76.
One reference for this article is Science of Breath: A Complete Manual of the Oriental Breathing Philosophy of Physical, Mental, Psychic and Spiritual Development (1905). Yoga Publications Society. The book is out of print now, but I borrowed a copy last summer from Laurel Gyland Kieffer. It has provided new insight on breath work in yoga. Some of this will be included in the “Yoga Temple Breath Workshops” I’ll be conducting this summer in Wisconsin and Michigan.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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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...
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...
Thoughts on Run to the Rez by #motorcyclingyogiG
For the second year, I attended the 15th Annual Run to the Rez, a motorcycle ride and rally sponsored by the San Carlos Apache. Its intention is to honor veterans and provide a glimpse of Apache culture to those of us not part of its nation. They have a great deal of pride for the warrior way since their land is the homeland of Geronimo.
One of the events I participated in both years is the Apache sweat ceremony for men. I recommend it for a bunch of reasons, but one is that when we get out of our comfort zone we may learn something new. My friend Dan Meyer came over from Mesa to participate in the sweat, and here’s what he had to say: “So honored to be invited to participate in an Apache sweat lodge ceremony with the Apache tribe on the San Carlos Apache Nation. The San Carlos reservation was where Geronimo lived and hid out .“
Dan and I traveled through India together for four months and during that time we loved finding new experiences that stretched our horizons. It has been fun to get together over the last few months with Dan and do this all over again.
New experiences – as in the sweat lodge – are not something that one goes out to get, something one achieves or competes for; rather, a new cultural experience is something to receive. That means one attends them with humility and respect.
The prayers and songs of the sweat were in Apache.… read more...
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
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...
By mobilizing prana – accompanied with mindful movement – effortless, joyful expression is set into muscle memory. Cellular health aligns with thought and intention (the biology of belief) and its the reason yoga pays attention to mental outlook; for while stress is perceived in the mind, it is felt in the body. By moving in asana as an expression of gratitude, stress is perceived in the body but is not felt in the mind. This is the opposite effect from the normal experience of mind in stress. Yoga teaches us to be at ease in the midst of stress. This changes one’s response to everything.
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...
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...
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...