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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

Celebrate The Journey

  • Spine-Healthy Forward Bends

    Forward bends are asana staples. In yoga practice, we bend forward while standing, sitting and even lying down. Actively lengthening back body muscles—especially the muscles of the hips and hamstrings—helps counteract the effects of sitting in chairs. Forward bending is inherently calming, as long as we approach it with an attitude of ease and curiosity, rather than an attitude of forcefulness.

    Keeping muscles of the hips and hamstrings supple can also be healthy for your back. Relaxed muscles in the hips and hamstrings help you maintain your spine’s natural “S” curves. Tight hamstrings can position the pelvis so that the tailbone...

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  • Meatless Monday: Simple Arugula Salad

    I love the peppery taste of arugula. Mixed in with other greens, it adds a tangy, spicy flavor. On its own, arugula—especially as it matures and its flavor becomes bolder—makes a flavorful salad that doesn’t need a whole lot of other ingredients to make it interesting.

    One of my favorite quick summer dinners is an arugula salad with a simple dressing, hard-boiled eggs for protein, and a crunchy sourdough toast. The idea comes from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. The original recipe doesn’t specify a particular type of dressing, but I use a very simple mix of lemon and olive oil.
    Meatless Monday...

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  • Coming into Fullness

    On my pre-dawn walks each morning, I gaze up into the dark sky, mesmerized by the moon as it appears in different shapes over the course of a month.

    Earlier this week I saw the thinnest sliver of a moon hanging over the rooftops, a fingernail moon, the faintest outline of white drawn around the edge of the sphere’s shadow like a piece of iridescent twine, giving the moon a three-dimensional depth that I don’t recall seeing before.

    Its striking appearance in the sky that morning reminded me of how the moon reveals itself in stages, and that the fingernail moon is...

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  • Meatless Monday: Arugula Pasta

    I don’t know about other climates, but peppery arugula grows like a weed in Northern Utah. Once the weather turns hot, it goes to seed so fast it’s hard to keep up.

    I love arugula raw, in salads. But as arugula matures, so does its bite. When I buy a bunch of larger leaves (or the leaves in my garden mature) I like to mellow the bite a bit by cooking them. Cooking arugula is also a great way to utilize the leaves you picked or bought a week ago. They still have plenty of flavor, but the texture of these...

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  • Yoga and the Unexpected

    What is it about a yoga and meditation practice that helps us to handle situations that would put many people over the edge?

    I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation for quite some time. A couple of months ago I had an opportunity to see how well my practice supported me. I had just finished an energy session. My phone had a bunch of messages from my son and the school counselor. I called the school and she told me that they received an essay from my son explaining that he had tried to hurt himself.

    My first reaction was to blame myself...

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  • Meatless Monday: Fruity Kale Salad

    Recently I read a post that claimed putting fruit in salads is blasphemous. While I respect the author’s cred, I can’t agree on this. Sometimes a sweet, juicy fruit is the perfect foil for bitter greens or a pungent cheese. Think gorgonzola and grapes.

    Such is the case for this easy-to-prepare salad that I made a few days ago. While it contains relatively few ingredients, each ingredient perfectly sets off the others—slightly bitter kale, creamy avocados, sweet strawberries, crunchy almonds and salty feta. The dressing is very easy to put together and again, a perfect combination of flavors to complement the...

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  • Alignment vs. Continuity in Yoga

    My 30-plus-year yoga practice is rooted in the Iyengar system. For decades, I studied with Iyengar teachers, almost exclusively. The non-Iyengar teachers I’ve gravitated to have mostly been people whose practice and teaching was grounded in the Iyengar system before they began moving in a different direction.

    B.K.S. Iyengar is probably best known in the yoga world for his emphasis on alignment. It makes sense. When I studied with B.K.S and his daughter, Geeta, in Pune many years ago, he stated that the purpose of asana practice was to create in the body an energized and peaceful environment to enable the...

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  • 3 Great Yoga Poses for Road Trips

    Dog at the Window Pose

    Summer is road trip time. Visiting familiar or unfamiliar places, seeing friends old and new, helps us see ourselves and our lives with fresh eyes. Travel can be both invigorating and exhausting—sometimes both at the same time.

    As with life, the journey is the destination. The travel is part of the fun, although it doesn’t always seem like it. When we sit for hours in a car, we’re subject to the same stresses as when we sit all day at our computers, only with the added stress of vibrations and even bumps.

    Gas stops...

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  • Meatless Monday: Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

    Yesterday I was invited to celebrate a milestone birthday with a friend and colleague. The gathering took place in one of Salt Lake’s expansive city parks and included longtime friends from the city’s diverse healing community.

    The gathering was a mid-afternoon snack potluck. My immediate impulse was to contribute hummus, perhaps using some unexpected bean—cannellini or butter beans—as a base. (If you haven’t tried this, it’s worth doing for the change in taste and texture.) But hummus has become a staple at potlucks. Surely someone else would bring it.

    I looked through my favorite cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison...

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  • Mindful Speech: The Power of Words

    If you like to keep up with national politics, this year is a doozy. The interesting clash of personalities has made the dialog perhaps even more contentious than it’s been in the past.

    This pattern is reflected in many of the toxic communications among online observers. Even people who stand on the same side of the issues regularly hurl insults about each others’ candidates of choice. It is sad to see such divisiveness.

    This is not especially new though. Online communications in general are a minefield. The proliferation of anonymous commenting on blogs and social media has allowed people to insult others...

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