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.”
Here, original music score, videography, and editing by Mr. Randy Anagnostis (photographer, videographer, musician). I read a short piece on the inner workings of sitar. Enjoy the wild Mustangs cooling in the Tonto National Forest’s Salt River in east Phoenix.
Thank you 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...
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.
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:
- Ride to Prospector Park in A.J., a 12 minute ride from Superstition HD.
- Walk to a corner of the park and pause in quiet space.
- Breathe deliberately for 10 minutes.
- Walk back to bikes and stretch.
- Go home.
Link to info on the ride: https://www.facebook.com/SuperstitionHD/videos/1034031243636948/… read more...
OM Yoga Magazine has just released their March issue including the 85th of my #yogainspirationals. Thank you OM Yoga Mag.In the Phoenix east valley, this magazine arrives two weeks after publication in the UK. In each issue you'll find yoga insights in these areas: OM Body, OM For Men, OM Fashion, OM Mind, OM Spirit, OM Living, OM Family, OM Actions, OM Teacher Zone, OM Travel. Check it out.… read more...
In the yoga tradition of reverence for life, SAT SONG provides music for participation in a magnetic blending of East and West grounded in the language of soul. Through song chant and breath focus, repetitive words and musical phrases are well-suited to accompany yin yoga classes along with yoga workshops, events, retreats, music events, and festivals. SAT SONG is Gregory Ormson (G) and Soumya (Somi) Parthasarathy.
Somi comes from a long line of yoga and classical Indian music; Somi studies Indian classical music in Chandler, Arizona and practices Astanga style yoga. She enjoys blending traditions in music, lending her voice to raise songs of the soul. G teaches yoga and has practiced music instruments and vocal from the time he joined a choir at 10. He studies sitar at the SPK Classical Indian Music Academy in Chandler, Arizona.
The words SAT and SONG, in Sanskrit and English respectively, suggests the nature of hybrid music provided by Somi and G ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-Contact information for SAT SONG: email@example.com; 808-640-4624; #motorcyclingyogiG; @GAOrmson.
Video and photography at the Salt River by Randy Anagnostis; recording by Raven Studios, Mesa, Arizona.… read more...
Piano, photography, and videography by the talented Randy Anagnosis. He’s been an east coast marketer, recording artist, and now photographer for Superstition Harley Davidson. Anagnosis’ first CD was “Dreams,” c 1996, sold in hundreds of yoga studios. A second piano-driven album was “Full Moon Rising.” He also did a jazz album, “Thunder and Light.”
Video courtesy of Anagnosis, and Superstition Harley Davidson. Thanks to all the bike and yoga folks that showed up too. #motorcyclingyogiG
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...
Hear “When I Get Back to Marquette,” and “Mescalero Territory.”
Russell Thorburn, NEA recipient, is the author of four books of poems. His last book, Somewhere We’ll Leave the World, was published by Wayne State University Press. Currently he is producing and directing his one-act play Bomb Shelter for Black Box Theater at Northern Michigan University, where he teaches composition. It will premiere March, 2020, and includes original music for the end of the world that never happened in the sixties. www.russthorburn.com
Gregory Ormson, writer and musician living in Arizona, has collaborated with Thorburn over the last decade on word and poem projects. He writes on music, yoga, motorcycling, and landscape.
“Mescalero Territory” Lyric and voice, Russell Thorburn. Sitar, Gregory Ormson, engineered at Gummersound Studio, Marquette, Michigan. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7CJeFLGYOO8YVB0NjFQSUFhR0dJV09kSjlVZ2daTk5uYU9Z/view?usp=sharing
“When I Get Back to Marquette” Russell Thorburn, Marquette, Michigan lyric; Gregory Ormson, Mesa, Arizona, music, guitar, vocal, and lyric adaptation; Mike Bjella, clarinet, Montreal, Quebec; Peter Gummerson, Marquette, Michigan, sound engineering. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CiqMkl6W9OOuS82qWe-LASo3ytH_FNLw/view?usp=sharing
Check out my 83rd published yoga article, “Yoga’s Outliers,” in the January, 2020, Om Yoga and Lifestyle magazine. Better yet, get the mag.
“Men are still the minority when it comes to yoga in the West. They are yoga’s outliers,” says Gregory Ormson.
Read MORE below …
“Yoga’s Outliers” is a featured story along with an interview of London based international yoga teacher Sarah Highfield (#yogagise), Ibiza detox retreats on the Balearic islands off the Spanish east coast, and special coverage of vegan recipes and much more for the learning yogi. Thank you #OmYogaMagazine #yogainspirationals 83.read more...
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.
See you all at Yoga for Riders(18) & Ride & Stretch(29)this month!Yoga can help you gain more time in the saddle comfortably!
Posted by Superstition Harley-Davidson on Saturday, December 7, 2019
The December 2019 Om Yoga Magazine has published “Silence and Slow Time,” the 82nd of my published yoga articles under (#yogainspirationals). Thank you OM. Also see in this fine 114 page issue features on yoga at home and office, aromatherapy, meditation, breath work (pranayama), body positivity, and many more necessary reads for your yoga practice. In addition, as an end of year bonus OM Yoga Magazine has included a 2020 calendar and a 50 page insert on “incredible yoga retreats from around the world.” I’m honored to be a regular contibutor for OM Yoga and Lifestyle Magazine.
“Rough Road? Breathe . . .” Just published in H.O.G. Magazine. I’ve been reading H.O.G. Magazine since 2002 when I joined the national H.O.G. organization. This is the first time they’ve ever published a story on yoga, or yoga for riders. H.O.G. riders and all of us realize the times are a changin’ and if we are fluid we’re better able to adapt. Breathing well and being fluid is what we do in yoga. Check it out bikers. Thanks to H.O.G., (ed., Matt King), and Superstition H-D in Apache Junction, AZ.
Motorcyclists love to ride, they want to ride longer, and they want to ride skillfully. That’s why I started Yoga & Leather: Yoga for Bikers at Superstition Harley Davidson in Arizona. The story is now published in issue 51 of H.O.G. (Harley Owner’s Group) magazine in digital format accessed by HOG members.
Two pages of the hard copy I’ll pass it along here. Thank you Matt, ed., H.O.G. Magazine. Get your copy of H.O.G. magazine for updates from the world of H.O.G. and Harley-Davidson. it includes riding tips, vintage bike notes, mechanical advice, riding tales, and stories of the next ride.
Over the last 15 months, Soumya and I have been practicing music of the soul by working on bhakti music, blending traditions of the East and West. Our band Sat Song (truth song) has a first event Thursday night in Tempe. We’ll perform for the 10 year Anniversary Celebration of the Arizona Interfaith Power and Light organization. This is an organization demonstrating much needed cooperation and respect in our day of division along religious and cultural lines. I’m pleased to be part of this event. Wish us well!
Calling all motorcyclists’
November’s “Stretch Ride” at Superstition Harley Davidson will be the last Sunday of the month (Nov. 24). It will be a 12 minute ride from SHD to Prospector Park on Idaho Road,
Meet in the west side parking lot of Superstition Harley Davidson and leave at 10:30 to ride to this hidden gem (photo below) Prospector Park.
By this tree (below) we’ll spend 15 minutes in a couple breathing exercises and quiet time.
Then we’ll walk to our parked bikes where I’ll demonstrate – and you also practice – five simple ways to use your motorcycle as a prop for stretching. The ride and stretch will be less than an hour. Afterwards, everyone can go their own way.
This is 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 stretch ride is about conscious breathe (with awareness) and easy stretch moves designed to keep us riding longer.
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.
- The practitioner is ATTENTIVE to breath while focused on the process of asana and quiet.
- In movement, consciously linked to breath, we produce the rhythmic effect of life. It’s what humans have done for centuries; and therein lays yoga’s simple yet profound magic: breath in movement and rhythm.
- When a yogi comes home to their breath-centric core they kiss the soul to receive their full inheritance.
- At the center point, breath is the building of consciousness and through breath in heightened consciousness, jettisoning old scripts, the yogi constructs a personal story of renewal formed by inspiration.
- A breath focus narrows the gap between body and mind so that when the yogi concentrates on the physical act of breathing, the mind comes into the here and now.
- Breathing is both automatic and responsive to signals.
- Anyone can relieve tension within the body by using breath.
- Vinyasa is really about breath directed by asana.
- The all-encompassing breath within (samana vayu) circulates from the solar plexus in the middle of the body and contributes to healthy metabolism and digestion.
- Breath movement is secondary muscular movement.
- Pranayama (breath management) is a “calm and lucid entrance into the very essence of life.” M. Eliade
- 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 is embodied and forges a connection between the physical and non-physical. It works by calming the body to treat agitation driving the monkey mind, for while stress is perceived in the mind it is felt in the body.
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...
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.
This is the last session this year at Superstition Harley Davidson in the Eagle’s Nest.
SHD located at 2910 W. Apache Trail, AJ, AZ.
Breathe in ease, move in ease, be at ease on both your bike and your life.
First, we learn to breathe in ease. Doing so, we teach our bodies that breathing in ease is a way to calm presence.
Second, when practicing asana (yoga poses) we intentionally put ourselves into stressful physical positions. The normal response to this is panic, quickening breath, and bodily tension. But then we are reminded to breathe in ease. Doing so, even while moving in asana, our bodies find breath as the way to ease and calm; then asana becomes easy.
Third, we listen to ourselves and become more aware of stress and disease. Without fail, this heightened awareness moves us to evaluate why we are at dis-ease. Thus begins the new way of being which opens each yogi to evaluate their personal and community behaviors (called yamas and niyamas).
This change is not a dogmatic program of religion or psychology, not a new path of sports medicine, or a combination of physical exercise steps; but this martial art of the soul is a drawing forth of the true inner self to teach us what we knew but have forgotten.
Indeed, it is the truth-force (satyagraha) of the practice and its’ available for everyone in every condition.
Thank you BAD YOGI MAGAZINE for publishing yogainspirationals 75. Read and share.
Thank you BAD YOGI MAGAZINE for publishing my 75th #YogaInspirationals.
This one is not an easy read, and not many places wanted to take it. But the editor agreed with me that sometimes a publisher ought to also challenge a reader, and not just feed them simple cookie-cutter articles like so many we see today e.g., “5 Ways to (whatever).”
If we stop expanding our vocabulary, quit reading to learn, or forego seeking out something new, our lives can easily fall into a rut. Then the mind and body go on autopilot and the spiral down begins.
Thank you to Bad Yogi Magazine, joining the following 15 publications sharing my visions of yoga, music, and wellness: Om Yoga and Lifestyle Magazine, Asana Journal, Yoga International, elephant journal, Yoganect, Sivana East, The Health Orange, Hello Yoga, TribeGrow, DoYouYoga, Yogi Times, Seattle Yoga News, The Yoga Blog, Boa Yoga and ArizonaRiderSouthwest.
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.
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:
- Wind gusts and gusts from large vehicles can be a serious hazard for motorcyclists
- Motorcyclists have to be much more concerned about road obstructions such as debris, potholes, and railroad tracks
- BE SEEN! The most common reason given by other motorists involved in crashes with motorcycles is, “I didn’t see the motorcycle.”
YOGA BENEFITS FOR BIKERS
Increased strength and muscle tone through weight bearing and power postures / for large bikes and long tours, building strength for long days on the road.
Improved balance by practicing one-leg standing postures / better control in tight U turns and backing.
Increased mental focus and coordination, clarity of thought developed by balance and silence in yoga practice / life and death on the bike is directly related to mental focus and clarity.
Improved sleep after a hard yoga practice / no dozing while driving, deeper sleep leads to increased energy on the road.
Improved posture / back pain can be a thing of the past.… read more...
Shipra Saraogi (pictured) at the Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa, Arizona.
#MotorcyclingyogiG teaches yoga for riders (YOGA AND LEATHER) at Superstition Harley-Davidson in Apache Junction, Arizona. His classes demonstrate to riders how they might use their bike for a prop to stretch when taking a break from the road with the goal of keeping riders in the saddle.
Shipra Saraogi, yoga teacher and performance artist from New York City, stopped by Superstition Harley-Davidson and the Arizona desert for some warm up-on Greg’s 2016 HD Road King. This not recommend or taught in Yoga and Leather.
March 31, 2019 is the date for our next “Stretch Ride,” in Arizona led by #motorcyclingyogiG, Gregory Ormson. Meet at Superstition Harley Davidson 10:30 am. Ride to the desert, stretch, breathe, pose.
“Conducting the Awesome: What I’ve Learned from 7 Years of Hot Yoga” is live on elephant journal.
This is my 11th article for elephant journal since September, 2014, and the latest installment (73) of what I call YogaInspirationals, a collection of my yoga writing published by elephant and 12 other national and international magazines, Websites, and public social media sites.
I write lyric nonfiction and hybrid, and right now I’m pitching my latest work – a hybrid nonfiction piece – on drumming, and things that happen when I go to a rustic cabin in northern Wisconsin I share with my brothers. I call that place Oz no matter what roads I take to get there. It’s Oz to me even without a wizard, a Toto, or a Dorothy.
Thank you for comments, support, resharing, etc., Let’s keep on conducting the awesome in yoga, in writing, and in life.
Once upon a time a mystical movement became water and moved from east to west. The gurus of this movement dreamed it would take root, grow, and change people in the new land. A bold vision drove their mission; they were certain and sure. The gurus taught students but were confused by them. They were tall, loud, and rich, but they listened to their gurus and absorbed the way of wisdom and ancient discipline.
The gurus were overwhelmed by bright neon lights and an infant culture. They misplaced prayer beads and lost their way. Their movement danced and shape-shifted. It wasn’t what the gurus expected but better than they could have hoped for. In a short time, the practice prospered.
Many in the new land feared it, but someone discovered it was good for prisoners, alcoholics, the sick, those suffering pain, and even angry youth. The rich and healthy began to think that perhaps the gurus offered good medicine.
Western teachers, overlooking spirituality of the way, taught their version. The culture moved fast, like a river’s rapids. Westerners, motivated by money, fed off the illusion of freedom. The west land had great diversity and creativity; and when coupled with entrepreneurial spirit, energy drinks, and ambition, yoga flowed across the land. This was, after all, the guru’s original vision.
The movement became a symbol of youth, change, and the culturally hip. Athletes and celebrities endorsed the practice and photographs of yogis posed in peacock asana were featured in glossy magazines, billboards, and Instagram glossies.
But the Eastern gurus’ mystical remnant became a vanishing dream, a memory from a place and time long past.… read more...
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.
Thank you OM Yoga and Lifestyle magazine (UK) for publishing my 72nd YogaInspirational, “Traveling OM,” December, 2018
By Dr. Gregory Ormson
THE POWER OF OM: rediscovering the deep, abiding peace of coming home in a frantic world.
“We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion-year old carbon…” Lyrics from the song Woodstock suggest that we are made of cosmic energy and matter. We have a hard time believing it because there are very few places that affirm such a grandiose and luminous being. But when we yoga, we participate in a pattern that moves the stars, and positions us to touch an inner OM at the core of our being.
In a soft chant of OM, rooted and expressed from the core, our cares are set free. Then we note our deepest truth: we are beings at one with a divinely animated critical mass of stardust and carbon waiting to meet and welcome us home.
But cultural voices bombard us with an unending cacophony of negativity and dismissal. This poisonous milieu is designed to make us feel small and inadequate, serving us from a menu of strife and anxiety. News and current events can leave us feeling like we’re a nonsignificant cog in a great drama that’s happening elsewhere.
The world is effective at labeling and objectifying. It does so with convenient categories submitted for fast indexing and stereotyping: age, race, sex, job, income, and education level. But a mountain is more than a geode, a river more than an eddy, men and women more than insignificant pieces of something more important.… read more...