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Author Archives: Charlotte Bell

Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice, published by Rodmell Press. Her second book, Yoga for Meditators (Rodmell Press) was published in May 2012. She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to schools and to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.

  • 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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  • 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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  • Meatless Monday: Pesto-Quinoa Bowl

    I’ve enjoyed making one-dish meals for years. Soups, stews, meal salads, grains and beans, and the like have been staples in my diet. In the past few years, bowls have become a thing. Bowls are basically one-dish meals that combine grains, protein and veggies. You can find tons of recipes for vegetarian and vegan bowls online these days. I found the bowl I’m sharing in this post on a site called namely marly. I made a few modifications, for example, using fresh peas instead of frozen. It’s much more labor intensive to pull the peas out of their pods than...

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  • Meatless Monday: Chameleon Tortillas

    I love spending an hour or two in the kitchen making food from scratch. But weeknights don’t usually afford me—or most people—that kind of time. So I like having a menu or two in my back pocket that I can whip up in 20-30 minutes. I got the idea for what I call “Chameleon Tortillas” while on a 30-day silent retreat at The Last Resort in Duck Creek, Utah. The retreat chef, Abhilasha Keays, invented this one-dish meal. They are chameleonic because you can add lots of different ingredient combinations to the basic tortillas to make different meals. One thing...

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