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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

Celebrate The Journey

  • Meatless Monday: Refreshing Watermelon-Arugula Salad

    Few things are as refreshing on a hot summer day as watermelon. A slice of juicy watermelon is just the right taste and texture for taking the edge off a sweltering afternoon. The reason might well be that watermelon is 92 percent water. But in addition, has significant amounts of  vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. It’s also very low in sodium and calories. In July I attended an 18-day silent meditation retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In addition to the glorious 18 days of silence and meditation, the meals are always a treat...

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  • Parsva Balasana: Bird Dog Pose

    Chances are Parsva Balasana (Bird Dog Pose) does not have a 2,000-year history in the yoga tradition. More likely, the concept of a bird dog—symbol of one of their favorite pastimes—may have come from the British who colonized India, as did so many of yoga’s more gymnastic poses. This doesn’t diminish its value, however. Parsva Balasana confers many benefits. Practicing Bird Dog Pose: strengthens and stabilizes the core. strengthens the low back. challenges, and therefore increases, your ability to balance. may promote balance between the right and left lobes of your brain through the contralateral relationships between the arms and legs. As a core...

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  • Meatless Monday: Protein Power Quinoa Salad

    Last week, I published a recipe for a quinoa roasted veggie bowl for Meatless Monday. In the description of the recipe, I mentioned that the recipe I found online yielded a whole lot more quinoa than was needed for the bowls. The excess quinoa from that recipe was more than enough for another few meals, so I searched my cookbooks for another recipe that would accommodate all that extra grain. This tasty, well-balanced, protein-rich recipe is what I settled on. My partner and I enjoyed three meals from this salad. Unlike pasta salads, where the pasta soaks up the dressing, resulting in a...

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  • Pranayama Yoga Bolsters 3 Ways

    When we think of pranayama (breathing practice), our minds often conjure up a vision of someone sitting in Padmasana (Lotus Pose) or Sukhasana (Cross-Legged Pose). While pranayama has traditionally been practiced in a seated position, BKS Iyengar, master of props and adaptations, determined that sitting was not the best position for everyone. To accommodate these students, Iyengar came up with a way to allow practitioners to practice in a supine position. Placing a pranayama pillow under the spine from the lumbar to the head, and a blanket supporting the head and neck (see the above photo), any practitioner, no matter what their body...

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  • Youthlinc: Compassion in Action

    When Burmese refugees Win and Khin La were relocated to Utah, they were directed to Youthlinc, a non-profit humanitarian organization. They enrolled in the organization’s “Real Life: Peer to Peer Mentoring” program to learn the basics of navigating the culture they’d just entered. Native-born peers, who served as volunteers for the program, taught them the basics of living in a foreign culture, such as understanding finances and how and where to shop, and they helped them with English language practice. According to Youthlinc’s website, “Real Life focuses on supporting refugee and immigrant teens who suffer from a variety of issues as...

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  • Meatless Monday: Quinoa Roasted Veggie Bowl

    Roasted veggies are just so good. They don’t take a whole lot of time to prepare and cook, and they’re really flavorful. Roasting seems to concentrate their flavors. I made this recipe for my partner and me. As much as I love roasted veggies, they don’t work all that well as leftovers. So I chopped enough veggies for four servings, using the measurements below. Then I tossed all the veggies together and roasted half of them the first day. This made plenty of veggies for both of us. The next day, the bowls took very little time to prepare because my...

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  • Slip-Sliding Away On Your Yoga Mat? 3 Tips to Save Your Practice

    Back in the old days, up until the late 1980s, there was no such thing as a nonskid yoga mat. We practiced on an unpredictable variety of floors—wood, linoleum and carpet. We used outdated carpet samples instead of yoga blankets and neckties from a secondhand store for straps. Pretty primitive. The lack of a nonskid surface made for a sometimes-frustrating practice. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) and standing poses such as Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) were especially dicey. The effort to keep hands and feet from sliding out from under us and causing a crash landing kept us from fully extending...

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  • Meatless Monday: Roasted Veggie, Hummus, Mustard Bowl

    I seem to be on a roll with the bowl thing. I’ve always loved one-dish meals, but I have a big crush on the concept of arranging different ingredients in a bowl, each with its own special section. It’s aesthetically pleasing and makes for a well-balanced meal. I found this recipe on The Taste Space. I customized it a bit, using broccoli in addition to the cauliflower (including the broccoli stems). Also, on the second day—because this recipe makes enough for two people for two days—I substituted kale for the spinach. Because I could see that this was going to...

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  • Yoga of Patience: Learning to Spread My Toes

    It’s taken years for me to learn how to spread my toes. What looks like a simple act for most people in my yoga class isn’t simple for me. It has required patience and faith and a kind of stubborn determination that I hadn’t known I possessed to finally push apart the bones, flesh, and nails on the ends of my feet so that my toes could spread. When I first began practicing yoga, my teacher would ask us to stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and spread our toes as a way of setting a firm foundation. On either side...

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  • Parvrtta Utkatasana: Revolved Fierce Pose

    Utkatasana is popularly known as “Chair Pose.” But I can’t imagine that ancient yogis—who had never seen, let alone sat in a chair—would have invented a word for “chair” just in case. Truth is, they didn’t. Instead, the root word—utkata—means “fierce.” Utkatasana, a pose that strengthens the legs, feet and abdominals, is a staple in my healthy hips regimen. It strengthens muscles that can help stabilize hypermobile hips. In addition, it strengthens the core. The revolved version, Parvrtta Utkatasana, adds a thoracic spine rotation that can help soften shoulder tension. One of the keys to releasing upper body tension is...

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