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Yoga Products

Yoga products is a category that lists all of the discussions that surround the use of various types of products in all different kinds of yoga practices. Yoga products can be as familiar as mats or as exotic as bolsters and pillows and other forms of accessories.
  • Cool Down: Restorative Twist

    Spinal twists may be the most-often-requested type of asana in my classes. Not only do they feel good, but they also help keep your core muscles supple and your spine mobile.

    While the lumbar spine is only capable of twisting about five degrees, the thoracic spine—the section of the spine connected to the rib cage—loves to twist. The thoracic spine also happens to be an area that tends to become less mobile as we age. So twisting helps that more stable area of the spine maintain its range of motion.

    In yoga, we practice spinal twists in standing...

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  • 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...

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  • Supported Fish Pose Eases Tension

     

    Matsyasana (Fish Pose) is one of yoga’s traditional poses. Because it expands the chest and throat, it is often practiced as a counter pose to Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand).

    In the traditional version of Matsyasana, the neck is placed in extreme extension as you bend the neck back and place the top of the head on the floor. I no longer teach the full version of this pose. In my opinion, it is difficult for most people to do it safely. Extreme extension of the neck, coupled with pressure on the the cervical spine, often causes dizziness...

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  • Try an Alternate Meditation Posture

    Sitting on a Round Bolster

    Do you find sitting meditation uncomfortable? You’re not alone. For many people, sitting cross-legged is not ideal. The good news is that cross-legged is not the only way to sit. Perhaps an alternate meditation posture can help create ease in your sitting meditation.

    If your knees are higher than your pelvic rim when you sit cross-legged, your back will naturally have to round. This means you will have to tighten your core in order to sit up straight. This is not a sustainable position and will likely cause you...

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  • How to Choose the Best Yoga Bolsters for Your Practice

    Do you ever feel the need to just lie down and do nothing? It’s no wonder. Most of us spend most of our time working, running from one scheduled commitment to the next—either at work or at home—until we fall into bed to sleep. Or course, sleep is essential, but so is rest. And there is a difference.

    According to Judith Hanson Lasater, rest differs from sleep, at least partially because in deep sleep our brains are still being stimulated by dreaming. Dreaming, especially stressful dreaming, can create tension in our bodies. When we consciously rest, the aspects of...

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  • How to Use a Pranayama Pillow

    One of the first bolster-type pillows that Hugger Mugger made back in the 1980s was the pranayama pillow. Made to BKS Iyengar’s specifications, the pillow is designed to support the spine and expand the chest for free respiration in supine pranayama practice.

    Until the 20th century, pranayama was always practiced in a sitting position. BKS Iyengar discovered that not all his students could sustain this position easily for long periods of time.

    Using props, he designed a way for practitioners to practice lying down instead. This allowed students of all body types to practice pranayama with a neutral...

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  • Celebrate Earth Day with Hugger Mugger!

    On April 22, 1970, the modern environmental movement was born. The very first Earth Day, conceived by then-Senator Gaylord Nelson, drew 20 million activists from all over the U.S. who took to streets, parks and university campuses to protest environmental degradation and advocate for environmental stewardship. Forty-six years later millions of people in 192 countries all around the world celebrate Earth Day.

    Yoga’s yamas (ethical precepts) and niyamas (personal practices) are replete with practices that support sustainability and stewardship. These include non-harming, non-greed, cleanliness, contentment and surrender to something greater than ourselves.

    In keeping with yoga’s philosophy of...

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  • Ahhh … Lateral Bending on a Bolster

    Lateral Bending on a Junior Bolster

    There really aren’t a whole lot of day-to-day tasks that require lateral bending. That’s probably why most people find side stretches in yoga—such as Parighasana (Gate Latch Pose), Talasana (Palm Tree Pose) and Parvrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head-of-the-Knee Pose)—so invigorating.

    Lateral bending can also be woven into Restorative Yoga practice. Practicing a supported lateral bend early in a Restorative session not only feels wonderful, but it also helps prepare your thoracic spine for other poses, especially for supported back bends such as Supported Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) or...

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  • Relax Your Back in Forward Bends

    Forward bends are an integral part of asana practice. Bodies folded in half “like a jack knife” are iconic images in the yoga photo canon, and loose hamstrings are often considered to be essential to being a “good” yogi. (I quibble with this, but that’s another post!)

    Because of the wide variations in body structures, many—probably most—people will never touch nose to knee with straight legs. This is not a problem. Yoga practice was never meant to be about performance.

    The good news is, forward bends confer other benefits beyond hamstring stretching. Forward bending is calming and grounding...

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  • Yoga Bolster Love: Enjoy the Ultimate Savasana

    What’s Better Than a Yoga Bolster in Savasana? How About Two?
    There’s nothing easier than lying down on the floor for Savasana, right? In many cases, the answer is yes. But in some ways, Savasana demands more of us than yoga’s more active asanas. Other asanas can create a fair amount of sensation, making it easy for our minds to focus on the moment. Savasana, on the other hand, with its relative comfort factor, requires a bit more of our minds. Unless, of course, it isn’t actually comfortable.

    When I’m leading my classes through Savasana, I always stay vigilant...

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