Greg Ormson couldn't move without pain, lying face up on a floor, hoping the spasms in his back would ease soon.
He had just moved from Wausau to Hawaii in 2012, and hefting heavy boxes and furniture led to a painful start to his new island life. Ormson had learned about yoga years before while traveling in India. Hawaii has a ton of yoga studios, and he decided to try the practice to strengthen his body and prevent another injury.
He found that he loved it and not only took a deep dive into the practice, he took courses to become a yoga instructor.
It didn't take long for Ormson, a retired English instructor at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, to realize that yoga fit in a surprising way with another of his passions, riding his aqua blue and white Harley-Davidson Road King. Ormson found that yoga kept him fit, flexible and focused, all skills important for riding a motorcycle. He decided he wanted to share what he learned with other bikers.
Ormson started calling himself the "Motorcycling Yogi" and holding yoga practice sessions with poses particularly geared to bikers. While all this was going on, he moved from Hawaii to Arizona, and began teaching yoga at Superstition Harley-Davidson in the Phoenix area. He spends a bulk of his summers in Wisconsin, and last summer he taught a yoga session at Bull Falls Harley-Davidson in Rothschild.
All along this journey, Ormson was writing about yoga and what it did for him. Now he's published a book that became available on Tuesday, International Yoga Day.
The book is called "Yoga Song," and Ormson describes it as a "story of transformation and redemption in 23 lyric vignettes." "Yoga Song" is an apt title; Ormson also is a guitar player who specializes in traditional Irish music.
"There's a song in the center of yoga," he said. "And the instrument of a yoga song is the yogi's body which includes: mind, spirit, emotion, energy and consciousness."
All this, Ormson said in an interview last summer, leads to "improved levels of calm and ease on the bike. ... The awareness levels are really important, and with yoga, you kind of come into your attention, to be really present at the moment."
How to order 'Yoga Song'
Contact Keith Uhlig at 715-845-0651 or email@example.com. Follow him at @UhligK on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook.
This article originally appeared on Wausau Daily Herald: Former NTC instructor Motorcycling Yogi Greg Ormson writes 'Yoga Song'