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)
This isn’t your ordinary biker gang.
Technically, it’s not a gang at all — just a community of denim-clad Harley enthusiasts who love to roar down an open road, and then unwind with some deep breathing and meditative poses.
“Learning to breathe, be calm, work on your body — these are all things that you practice in yoga and that can translate into motorcycling,” explains Greg Ormson, ’77, founder of the Yoga and Leather: Yoga for Bikers program at Superstition Harley-Davidson in Apache Junction, Arizona. “It’s all predicated on the notion that, if you’re at ease in the saddle, you’re going to feel better and be a much better motorcyclist.”
Ormson is a true renaissance man — a biker, a yogi, a writer, a musician, a world traveler and a student of several religions. He is a shining example of someone who doesn’t just defy stereotypes, but disproves them.
After retiring from his marketing and communications job at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau in 2012, Ormson and his partner moved to Hawaii.
But in paradise, Ormson felt mostly pain.
I saw all these signs on the street corners: yoga, yoga, yoga, I decided to try it.
He had long struggled with back issues — the result of falling off a trampoline as a child and tumbling off a roof as an adult. Years of motorcycling only made it worse.
Then, walking around the streets of Hawaii, Ormson had an epiphany.
“I saw all these signs on the street corners: yoga, yoga, yoga,” he remembers.
In 2014 I wrote Guns ‘R US, part one which was published by The Good Men Project. They just featured part two, “Life in the Shooting Empire.” Thank you GMP. Link to full story below via The Good Men Project.
For Guns ‘R US part two, click this https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/guns-r-u-s-parf-ii-lbkr/
And what is the state of the state? For starters, a Pandemic killing millions worldwide; Armed insurrection at US Capitol; President calling to overturn Democratic election; Giant problems rolling out vaccine; Economy for average Americans failing; A crumbling infrastructure (dams, bridges, highways, small towns), across the country; Planetary overconsumption and stressed resources (water, food, land); Unfettered Earth degradation = mining and pollution (air); Climate change and waste/plastics/Nano plastics – even in our bodies; Injurious chemicals in our food and on plants; Overpopulation; Foreign policy disasters and breakdown of international cooperation; White supremacy and hate groups; Gun violence; Attacks on education and humanities; Machiavellian leadership. . . should I go on? Do not skip to denial or optimism; rather, understand the grave trouble we and the world are in. This is no conspiracy bullshit, it’s just the truth. Don’t run away or put God on it. It’s our mess.
The myth of a free republic for all seems to be a fairy tale falling under the weight of a hubris-fired dream married to corrupt ambition. This myth is fueled by a rabble chanting – USA USA USA – a prideful slog morphing into destructive action.
Diversity, nature’s fail-safe, is rejected by the fearful. The mob thinks they are losing something, but they can’t describe what it is. And how will the rise and fall of a once-great country work?
It will work like humanity and the planet, all three evolving on the same arc where the end is written in the means. And the means of our present say something sinister and deadly about the ends of our personal, corporate, and planetary journey.… read more...
If my friends could get out of their summer houses, we met at the diamond to sharpen the angles of our wild fastballs. The guts of our dirty brown ball unraveled like a tongue, wagging at the glove skipping by, hurling past the catcher in angry air like an exclamation point.
The neighborhood boys and I played in Little League as the North Menomonie Orioles. We met on green fields and became friends stitched together by bonds of wood and leather.
We tried—and failed—to throw a curveball, cursing the cowhide and dreaming of the day we’d be big and twist a ball that skipped away from trouble. To be young and play ball allowed me to dream big.
Summer passed quickly in Wisconsin, and every game was a life event I couldn’t miss. I lived to swing a bat, and if a bus filled with ballplayers drove by my house, I raced to Wakanda Park to compete against other kids for foul balls during games.
Yoga’s blueprint, passed originally by word of mouth, then written on banana leaves and now shared by books and digital media, is steeped in an elegant heritage which admonishes the yogi from seeds of an encounter with self.
This deepening with self is born in stillness and realized in the mind, body, and spirit. It’s a yogatecture, and with the application of yoga tools: meditation, deliberate movement, breath, and ease in stress, the yogi constructs a flexible yet strong building in their body.
The process is simple, and the blueprint is clear; take a seat and start with one conscious breath followed by another. Link this to meditation and deliberate movement for the start of a makeover that each yogi embodies in their own way. Yogis build a sacred and sound structure by following this practice. It’s the physical, non-physical, and metaphysical work of yoga; it is also yoga’s therapeutic.
Builders say the most important structural aspect of a building is its foundation. When building, it’s necessary to create a strong foundation. In the north, if the foundation is not set below the frost line, the freeze and thaw cycles of Earth will crack the base which starts the slow process of destruction.
B.K.S. Iyengar spoke directly on foundational work in, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom. “In each asana, if the contact between body and the floor – the foundation – is good, the asana will be performed well. Always watch your base: Be attentive to the portion nearest the ground. Correct first from the root.… read more...
מאת Gregory A. Ormson. A writer and yogi from Israel asked to translate my yin yoga article for publication there. The copy below is it for my Hebrew reading friends. Yoga writing now published in five languages.
כתבה שהוא פרסם בפייסבוק ב- 27 ביולי 2020
למתבונן מבחוץ yin yoga נראית תירגול קל ופשוט אך זה ממש הכל חוץ מתירגול קל. מבחוץ נראה שהמתרגלים ישנים, או נחים בכדי להכין את הנשימה שלהם לתרגול ממריץ שעלול לבוא אחר כך. במצב “מנוחה” זה משהו אכן קורה. אבל זה לא שינה; גם זה לא תרגיל חימום לסדרה נמרצת הבאה.
תירגול של yin yoga מוביל לפתיחה פנימית מלאה שלוקח זמן להתנסות ולהבין אותה באופן מלא.
אחרי ש Gregory Ormson התחיל לתרגל yin yoga הוא הבין שהאתגר ב yinהוא נפשי ופסיכולוגי. הוא למד שהעקרונות היסודיים של yin שהם ויתור וכניעה – הם המפתח להשפעה הפסיכולוגית, הפיזית והיעילות של התרגול על ידי: כניעה, שחרור, וויתור. מבחינה פסיכולוגית, הכניעה ביוגה היא המפתח לכל דבר.
מזמין אתכם להתבונן פנימה, ותמתינו לכך שהקול הפנימי שלכם יומר לכם מה צריכים לרפא. לשחרר את ההתכווצויות בצוואר, בלסת, בכתפיים, את האי הנוחות בגב, ובקדמת הגוף. קחו נשימה ארוכה ושחררו אותה לאט. תרגישו איך בגוף משוחרר ומקורקע. למתרגל yin yoga, ככה זה מרגיש על בסיס קבוע.
השיעור yin yoga מביא אותנו לתחום של healing בו אנחנו משחררים משהו שאנו מגנים עליו או במשהו שאנו מתגוננים ממנו . זה מוחזק בגופנו, בפאסיה שלנו ובמוחנו. ב yin אנו מוזמנים לשחרר מתח, להפנות את המודעות שלנו פנימה ולהיפתח בכניעה ובאמונה ללב yin yoga המרפאת הזו. “… read more...
Embodying asana, I rejoice in the glimpse of periphery turned central, and inhabit an identity formed of particularity and universality. I pause to center myself in each moment and from this still point, know we are all a beautiful grey, a crush of salt and pepper.
Surrendering to moments that bend and shape me, no matter how I fail, I open as a flower to spring and seek to correct the direction of my inward compass. When I insert my ego and rough-hew the curriculum’s established gravity, I dim its shining divinity waiting to guide me.
Steadily I release into yoga’s entry point, listen to its song, and follow an inner melody to the beautiful transformation becoming me. Near the end, I sink into a container of heat and transformation, a liminal space where a guru points the way.
Yoga class ends. I hear my teacher, dedicated and honorable, give her blessing. Her voice, like the chant of angels, sounds a comfort upon the gathered yogis, one I accept.
“May this practice give strength to your body, kindness and compassion to your heart, calm and clarity to your mind. Namaste.”
I let this hold me as close as breath holds my life underwater. I walk away telling myself to take it all in deeply, to embrace yoga’s alchemy that connects me to all, and to not dig up in doubt what I’ve planted in faith.
Photo by Randy Anagnostis at the Salt River, Mesa, AZ., 7/22/2020… read more...
It may not seem a logical pairing, but to H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) member Ormson, the two effectively complement each other and share some similarities. He said beginners in either activity benefit from the guidance of a qualified trainer.
“With motorcycle instruction, the emphasis is on developing riding skills and environmental awareness,” said Ormson, also known as Motorcycling Yogi G. “But spending several hours in the saddle and handling unexpected situations that may arise requires mental focus, strength, flexibility and stamina. That’s where yoga comes in. It is increasingly viewed as the ideal exercise to improve overall mind-body performance.
“When riders are faced with executing a challenging move like a tight U-turn on a heavy bike, breathing shallows and the body tenses, affecting performance. Yoga training can lower stress levels through controlled breathing and meditation. The stretching and strengthening poses reduce the risk of injury by keeping the joints and muscles bikers rely on—hips, back, neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists—flexible and strong.”
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 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...
Video of wild Mustang grazing in the Arizona desert, filmed by Randy Anagnostis and accompanied by his original music and keyboard playing. We collaborated on a project which asked for a reading of Earth Teach fitted to a natural scene.… read more...
Bikers: Covid-19 has paused everything.
It’s a gift given to us, a rare break in normally busy lives to think about things and even make plans to do something new. “Yoga and Leather: Yoga for Bikers,” is for you. This is not gymnastic yoga where your goal will be to nail a handstand or accomplish the splits. Yoga for bikers is for motorcycle riders showing up to a space apart for breathing with simple movement; and it’s a settling down in one place for a few minutes.
Doing a yoga class doesn’t mean you give up your identity, or that yoga makes you stop doing what you do. But yoga will lead you to experience yourself in a different way from what you ever have before. That’s it. Anything and everything else is your choice.
The story of yoga for bikers – in the OM Yoga Magazine May issue is for you. It’s now free to read because OM Yoga Magazine will not be printed for the month of May.
Take a moment to read how yoga benefits bikers. It’s all right here, the story of Yoga and Leather at Superstition Harley Davidson.
Here is your link for a FREE issue of OM Yoga Magazine: www.primeimpactmags.com
And if you want to see what Yoga and Leather looks like, follow this link to a YouTube video of our class from February, 2020.
Thank you @omyogamagazine for sharing (May 2020 issue) how bikers and yogis can get their zen (and their maintenance) in yoga and on the bike. Teaching yoga in a Harley Davidson Motorcycle dealership in the American South is not common. What is common is your willingness (Om Yoga Magazine) to publish a good story when you see it.
Your sharing of this three year outreach to bikers was wonderfully done, and I’m grateful to Martin ed., and the entire staff of Om Yoga Magazine. See the May issue by going to pocketmags.com., – or by ordering a subscription for the hard copy magazine – where a free digital issue can be yours. #yogainspirationals number 97 by Gregory Ormson, #motorcyclingyogiG. Writing on yoga, motorcycling, music, and landscapes at https://gregoryormson.com
An entry point to yoga often begins with quiet meditation or breathing exercises. We set our intentions and enter into our dedications with mindfulness. Through active imagination, we create positive mental space enabling us to move in every direction.
We may practice with others, but each yogi sets the table for their yoga banquet according to their capabilities. Setting the table well serves to elevate our mind/body readiness and prepares us to carry it through the session.
At the end of a one-hour session, I was moved when the teacher said, “Release into savasana.” This was a new phrase and a fresh way to enter the savasana moment.
In Living Your Yoga, Judith Hanson Lasater wrote that savasana taught her to dis-identify from mental storms and go within. “I learned to recognize more quickly when I had abandoned the present moment once again, and I learned not to judge myself when I had done it for the millionth time, and not to dance away so quickly with my thoughts.”
In a larger sense, releasing into savasana means to loosen my grip and to take a break from managing the persona, known as the outer image we construct, identify with, and project to the world. It’s important to get a grip on our lives, but it doesn’t have to be a stranglehold.
Perhaps this is why participation in yoga is growing. Many of us long for a place to release our grip – and we desperately need moments when the noise dissolves. We thirst for moments of freedom from the grasp of our ego, and are satiated by savasana as it leads us to soften investments in this life shaped by old fashioned hierarchical structures and obsessions with upward mobility.… read more...
The land was drunk on money and the illusion of freedom fired the Westlanders’ imaginations. Yoga’s eight limbs twisted in the creative chaos of post-modernism and strange ideas whispered in the wind. Gurus saw it all and wondered where the surf boards came from.
They didn’t understand what had happened to their movement and some of them lamented the loss of yoga’s mystical heart. They questioned the roots of atman and were agitated by vibrations from superhighways.
In time, yoga prospered, and people realized the teachers had brought good medicine. It seemed to help prisoners, alcoholics, those suffering pain, and even angry youth – but many feared it – especially the counsel to sit alone in silence.
Power brokers were terrorized by the nightmare of employees chanting Namaste and yoga threatened stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry.
Westlanders didn’t want gurus, they didn’t read books, they didn’t meditate, but they did compete. Soon the gurus were silent, confused by what happened and haunted by memories of peace and stillness. Some gurus returned to the source, giving up their mission.
One day, all the gurus were called to an ashram. They lamented the hubris of culture and false prophesies of comfort through technology, money, and convenience.
One reminded them of the illusions in misdirected ambition and they became silent. At the ashram, a yogi read a passage from Shelly.
“Life, like a dome of many-colored glass
Stains the white radiance of eternity.”
The gurus wept, and a world opened like the many petals of the lotus in a soft rain. A light from the crown of their heads went out to the dark and returned as eternal light in a deep, dark night.… read more...
In shadow and in light, we yoga, and our teachers observe. Together we’re co-creators in a new architecture – a yogatecture – and celebrate moments when a yogi gives shape to an old blueprint written on a banana leaf.
Everything is prepared as I enter yoga class where the nexus of a new identity is continually reforming me. I step into the room and hear the soothing melodies of dahina, tabla, and harmonium. Their compelling sounds pour over me like waves from the ocean. A pause . . . then class begins.
I’m present and following directions, but then mentally, I become unhinged for a moment. I try to concentrate on my pose, but my mind tracks the music, so I follow the sound like a rising cobra hypnotized by its flier. My reach aims for the sky, but my imagination takes me to a Hawaiian beach where I’m preparing for a dive.
My training reminds me of a breathing routine: a deep breath in, calm hold, and a slow release. Breath is my vinyasa, and for a moment, my yoga-pose rides side-saddle. My heartbeat slows, awareness creeps closer, and I focus on every sound.
I’m still in class, but I’m also down in the deep blue of the Pacific. I pine to hear the whale, and imagine the sound from its massive heart. I leave my imagining, rise to the surface, and open my eyes where I’m back in the yoga room and yoked once more into my corner of eternity.
Yoga moves me to imagine a long line of yogis fed by the garden and connected to source for nourishment.… read more...
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...
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...
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
“There was something about the way he played his Stratocaster that made it seem otherwordly.” –Eric Clapton on Jimi Hendrix
My sitar flows in 19 bands of light: their names are baaj, chikari, and tarab. Its journey to my hand is a mystery, but its music-medicine came to my doorstep from an old land, gripped me from the eons, and pulled my soul into its orbit. It’s a path unlike any other, bending more than notes. A musician friend and professor said, “Its all angles.”
Saraswati dances, sitar bends, and because I’ve heard its music and felt it in my chest I participate in its step. This step is toward the depths and from them rises a watery siren-song of the fathoms.
Sitar music is a never-ending river, shepherding me to a place close and yet far away. My teacher speaks in common tones and offers up clusters of daring: “Consistency, consistency, consistency,” she says. Her words; the kernel of all learning, teaching, and the core of every guru’s curriculum.
I’ve seen the rivers of India, but I can’t put myself and my sitar on their banks; but once at dusk, on a hot July night, I made my way with this rosewood, gourd, string & steel riddle to the banks of the Salt River in east Phoenix to listen. There, I realized sitar will not accompany me without shepherding along a river of souls.
Looking to the Salt, I could almost see a funeral pyre float past; a desert inspired mirage bobbing with the current, like a lazy raft ablaze in flames, scented smoke and grief trailing behind.… read more...
See you at Superstition Harley Davidson Jan. 8 and Jan. 22.
Stretch Ride on Jan. 26.
Check Superstition Harley Davidson events page on Facebook or their Website for current information on all events.… read more...
Thanks Superstition Harley Davidson for this 80 second video. See how yoga is similar to, but has one important difference from other movement oriented activities like motorcycling, judo, and ballet.… read more...
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.
Schedule change for November YOGA & LEATHER.
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.
Move and breathe with ease and attention to experience peace and relaxation
Hello everyone, here’s Analysa, one of the Rez Riders Angels, demonstrating the anjali mudra this past weekend on my bike. Notice she’s at ease. To be at ease on a motorcycle and in life is what we practice at YOGA AND LEATHER: Yoga for Bikers.
In our session this week, you’ll learn what this pose symbolizes and what means when yogis bring their hands together in front of their heart. You’ll also learn why yoga classes use this posture in class or at the end of class.
The anjali mudra (hands together) has to do with connecting the inner and outer self. Here, you see the left and right palms meeting at the center of being (the heart). There’s a lot more too, but I’ll save that for Wednesday.
I’m asking you to try this experiment sometime. When you are waiting at a stoplight – whether on a motorcycle, in a vehicle, or on a bicycle – tune into how you are feeling in your body. I’d almost be willing to bet that you will notice tightness. This might be in your shoulders or neck, maybe in your jaw, or you may even feel strain in your eyes.
We may think we are not under stress, but if it’s all around us, it’s hard to avoid and while we perceive stress in our minds, we feel it in our bodies. Yoga treats the body in order to treat stress.… read more...
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...
(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...
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.
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...