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Journey Pages, The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

category "Yoga Pose of the Month"

Poses are a mainstay of yoga. We look to provide you with insight into the various poses, their origins and their value to your yoga practice.

Utthita Parsvakonasana: Face the Freeze with Ease

posted by Charlotte Bell on February 5, 2014 |

parsvakonasanaUtthita Parsvakonasana:  Face the Freeze with Ease It’s sunny and 14 degrees outside. The basement office in my 1917 bungalow is probably sub-60 degrees. I’ve been wearing layers indoors for more than a month. Every time I remember to pay attention, I find my shoulders ever-so-slightly hunched up and pulled forward, my body reflexively trying to guard against the cold. But here’s the thing. Hunching up and pulling in doesn’t

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Ardha Supta Virasana: The Courage to Open

posted by Charlotte Bell on January 6, 2014 |

supta virasanaArdha Supta Virasana: The Courage to Open What do skiing and sitting in chairs have in common? Well, not much in terms of musculoskeletal engagement, adrenal activity and sensory delight. However, there is one thing that both have in common. When you sit and when you ski, your hip joints are in a flexed position, i.e. you are bent forward at the hips. There’s nothing wrong with flexing at the

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Supta Baddhakonasana: Rest and Digest

posted by Charlotte Bell on November 25, 2013 |

Supta Baddhakonasana - Bound Angle PoseSupta Baddhakonasana:  Rest and Digest As daylight hours wane, all living things naturally turn inward. Autumn is the time of inward and downward flow. In autumn, we hunker down, settle into our roots, and let go of what is no longer needed. As trees release of their leaves and plants turn brown and brittle, we also let go of the high-energy vibrancy of the sun’s radiance, in favor of the

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Upavista Konasana: From Side Splits to Stillness

posted by Charlotte Bell on November 11, 2013 |

upavista konasanaUpavista Konasana: From Side Splits to Stillness My dad was a competitive gymnast in his teens and 20s. When he stopped competing, he still enjoyed practicing in our yard on his pommel horse. My sisters and I inherited his athleticism in various ways, but I ended up with the lion’s share of his flexibility. While my sisters and I had fun crawling around the yard, spider-like, in backbends—what yoga practitioners

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Gomukhasana: Facing the Cow

posted by Charlotte Bell on October 14, 2013 |

gomukhasanaGomukhasana: Facing the Cow It’s common knowledge that cows hold sacred status in India. To ancient nomadic and farmers, cows represented wealth, nourishment and nurturance. While they are valued for their milk that yields staples of the Indian diet—ghee, yogurt and cheese—cows are not slaughtered for their flesh. Only when a cow dies of old age can her hide be made into shoes. In Hindu mythology, Nandi the bull is

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Parvrtta Sukhasana: Ease with a Twist

posted by Charlotte Bell on September 11, 2013 |

sukhasanaParvrtta Sukhasana: Ease with a Twist I recently had the good fortune to sit a 10-day silent Insight Meditation retreat. A friend once compared these sitting marathons to extreme sports, calling them “extreme sitting.” It’s kind of true. All in all, at this particular retreat, we sat for almost eight hours every day, alternating with five hours of walking meditation, in 45-minute increments. In 1988, when I first started going

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Jathara Parivartanasana: Expand your Elixir Field

posted by Charlotte Bell on August 21, 2013 |

jathara parivartanasanaJathara Parivartanasana:  Expand your Elixir Field If you plant a garden, you know that August is your garden’s most bounteous month. Squash, eggplant, potatoes, onions, sweet corn, peppers, and of course, succulent tomatoes—an altogether different fruit from the mealy, pinkish orbs in the grocery store—are plentiful and at their juicy best. Late summer is the time we harvest and assimilate Earth’s bounty, the fruits of our labors. It’s likely no

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Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose: The Yogic Snake Dance

posted by Charlotte Bell on July 8, 2013 |

bhujangasanaCobra Pose – The Yogic Snake Dance Few members of the animal kingdom elicit more passionate reactions than snakes. Mostly known for their stealthy, slithery sinews and the venomous bites of some species, snakes have largely gotten a bad rap over the centuries. The truth is, as snake-a-holic David E. Jensen pointed out in the June Catalyst (“Confessions of a snake-a-holic”), most snakes are harmless. Snakes are stealthy and swift,

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Shoulderstand: How to Invert Safely

posted by Charlotte Bell on July 1, 2013 |

sarvangasanaSalamba Sarvangasana:  Bloom a New Perspective Looking to see the world from a new perspective? Going upside-down is one way to shift your point of view—literally. Inverted yoga poses are perfect for cultivating fertile creative ground in the body/mind. In addition to their many physical benefits, inversions are said to allow us to see with new eyes. When we turn upside down, the world looks different. The world hasn’t fundamentally

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Vasisthasana: Balancing Outside Your Comfort Zone

posted by Charlotte Bell on May 21, 2013 |

vasisthasanaVasisthasana:  Balancing Outside Your Comfort Zone If you practice yoga, you probably favor some poses over others. Most of us like the poses that are easy for us as well as the ones that show off our strengths. The others, not so much. At some point in my 30 years of practice, almost every pose that’s been within my reach has held favorite status for me, at least for a

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