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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.

Chaturanga Dandasana: Help from Your Hyoid

posted by Charlotte Bell on June 24, 2014 |

chatturangaChaturanga Dandasana:  Help from Your Hyoid What’s an eight-syllable name that, when spoken by a yoga teacher, elicits fear (or at least, a groan) in roughly half the population that practices yoga? The same phrase evokes a feeling of invincible awesomeness in many others. The answer:  Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose). Chaturanga looks like a push-up, but it’s not a push-up. It is primarily practiced as a transition pose in

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Bridge Pose: Get Out of Your Chair

posted by Charlotte Bell on May 13, 2014 |

bridge poseBridge Pose: The Best Anti-Sitting Pose We all do it. Every day. Hunched over a computer, grasping a steering wheel, slouched on the couch or settled onto a meditation cushion—we all sit, sometimes for hours at a time. We take sitting in chairs for granted. It’s the go-to position for pretty much everything we do on a regular basis. Like standing and lying down, it’s something most of our bodies

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Hasta Padangusthasana – Time to Fly

posted by Charlotte Bell on April 7, 2014 |

hasta 2Hasta Padangusthasana – Take Off! Last month I wrote about Garudhasana (Eagle Pose), a pose that honors Garuda, the eagle god whose 40-mile wingspan caused hurricanes and dried up the oceans whenever he took flight. Garudhasana spreads our wings (shoulderblades) and our deep hip rotators, preparing us for flight. In a sense it is a jumping-off point for the expansion that April—derived from the Latin word aperire, meaning “to open”—

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Garudhasana: How to Spread Your Wings

posted by Charlotte Bell on March 9, 2014 |

garudhasanaGarudhasana: How to Spread Your Wings As gods go, Garuda is gargantuan. When he was first hatched from a giant egg, the half-man, half-eagle’s monstrous size so frightened the other Hindu gods that they implored him to shrink himself, which he happily did. Who knew that even gods have size issues? Garuda is known for his ability to grow and shrink in size at will, and to appear and disappear.

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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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