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Journey Pages, The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

category "Tips for Teachers"

Teaching yoga is a complicated, inspiring calling that brings to bear all our talents, knowledge and empathy. Read about the honor of teaching from some of the most experienced teachers around

Free Your Breath with a Yoga Block

posted by Charlotte Bell on June 11, 2015 |

yoga blockPractice Prasarita Padottanasana with a Yoga Block Prasarita Padottanasana is one of yoga’s most balancing standing poses. Its symmetrical shape keeps your pelvis, sacroiliac joint and spine neutral and quiet, while the active rooting of your feet and legs allows your upper body to be soft and receptive. I like to settle into Prasarita in between standing poses to allow my body to ground and integrate. Practicing Prasarita Padottanasana confers

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Parsvakonasana: Finding Continuity

posted by Charlotte Bell on June 9, 2015 |

parsvakonasanaParsvakonasana: Finding Continuity Utthita Parsvakonasana (Side Angle Pose) is a pillar among standing poses. It combines strong grounding with expansion and spinal rotation. It looks like a lateral stretch, and may even feel somewhat like one, but it’s not. In a true lateral stretch, your pelvis is not moving in the same direction as your spine (think Parighasana or Gate Latch Pose). In Side Angle Pose, your legs, pelvis, spine

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Yoga and Respect: Nothing is Trivial

posted by Charlotte Bell on June 3, 2015 |

yoga and respectYoga and Respect: It’s the Little Things I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1990. During that year Aadil Palkhivala frequented the Big Island to teach workshops. I was fortunate to get to work with him a number of times and very much appreciated the depth of his practice and teachings, even way back then. One of his workshops was held in a venue that usually accommodated tumbling

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Teaching Yoga: On Hip Joints and Humility

posted by Charlotte Bell on March 5, 2015 |

teaching yogaTeaching Yoga: The Wisdom of Humility For the past two years I’ve had the privilege of attending retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center led by Joseph Goldstein. Co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, Goldstein has written or co-written—with the likes of the Dalai Lama, among others—11 classic books on mindfulness practice. His voice has been a constant in my three decades of mindfulness practice. On silent vipassana retreats with my

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Feeling Sick? To Teach or Not to Teach Yoga

posted by Charlotte Bell on February 23, 2015 |

suptabaddhakonasanaHow to Know Whether to Teach Yoga When You’re Not Well Yesterday morning I woke up with a sensation that’s all too familiar, a little scratchiness at the back of my throat. That’s how a cold/flu/sinus infection always starts for me. I’ve been throwing some herbal defenses its way and it doesn’t seem to be getting worse, but it’s not getting better either—yet. By far the most stressful part of

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Why Listening to Your Body Might Not Be Enough

posted by Charlotte Bell on February 11, 2015 |

listening to your bodyListen to Your Body, but Also, Find an Experienced Teacher If you practice yoga, you’ve probably heard the entreaty, “Listen to your body.” It’s good, sound advice. When you embark on any physical practice, it’s important to know and respect your body’s limits. Those limits can change over time, of course, but tuning in and listening to what your body is telling you each time you practice is essential not

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Teaching Yoga: It’s a Two-Way Street

posted by Charlotte Bell on January 29, 2015 |

teaching yogaTeaching Yoga is All About Listening “Listen to your body” has become a widely disseminated instruction in the yoga world. It’s an important one, a skill that reaches out into life off the mat. But when we tell students to listen to their bodies, we teachers need to remember to listen to our students too. When we listen we create an environment where students feel respected and safe, and we

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Healthy Yoga Practice – Don’t Stretch Your Joints!

posted by Charlotte Bell on January 19, 2015 |

healthy yoga practiceHealthy Yoga Practice:  Don’t Stretch Your Joints! For the past few years, I’ve been on the faculty of the teacher training program at Avenues Yoga Studio in Salt Lake City. Early in the 2013 training, one student who had been teaching in a fitness studio asked a very important question. She explained that one of her female students became unusually flexible prior to ovulation, probably because of the presence of

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Why Bendy People Might Not Make the Best Yoga Teachers

posted by Charlotte Bell on December 17, 2014 |

yoga matHow the Struggle Teaches Yoga Teachers How to Teach Years ago, I heard a famous quote embellished in the film, Annie Hall. In the film Woody Allen said, “Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym.” (Allen’s embellishment is the second sentence.) It was meant to diss teachers, especially gym teachers I guess, but in my three decades of yoga practice and teaching, I’ve come to understand

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Advanced Yoga — with Yoga Props

posted by Charlotte Bell on November 18, 2014 |

yoga propsHow Using Yoga Props Deepens Practice Not too long ago, yoga made it into The Wall Street Journal. The article, titled “In Yoga, Blocks and Straps Get More Respect,” plugs yoga props as a way for anyone, including experienced practitioners, to deepen their practice while maintaining integrity. While acknowledging the mainstream misconception that many yogis see props as “crutches” to use until you can do the poses without them, the

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