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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Meatless Monday: Penne with Tomatoes, Olives, Lemon and Basil

    Start Fresh

    Meatless Monday: A Simple, Fresh, Piquant Summer Pasta Dish
    Few things in life are more pleasurable than eating a sun-warmed homegrown tomato within seconds of picking it. So when I harvest tomatoes and herbs from my garden for a dish I’ll be making, I always indulge in some sweet cherry tomatoes while I’m at it.

    A close runner-up to eating tomatoes while you’re still in the garden is making a dish that uses fresh tomatoes that were picked within the last hour. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I feel that there’s a bit of extra prana in...

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  • How to Relieve Knee Pain with Yoga Blocks

    Yoga Blocks Alleviate Knee Discomfort
    Having spent most of my yoga teaching life in Utah, the place that touts the “greatest snow on Earth,” I’ve hosted a lot of dedicated skiers in my classes with various knee issues. Movement restrictions tend to fall into two camps: those whose knees don’t flex very far and those whose knees feel painful when the knees are flexed and the thighbones are externally rotated in seated poses, as in Sukhasana (Cross-Legged Pose). I’ve observed that if someone experiences one type of knee pain, they usually don’t have a problem with the other.

    In the first case...

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  • Ardha Padmasana: A Lotus Pose for Everybody

    Supta Ardha Padmasana: A Lotus Pose for Everybody
    In 2001, I co-taught a teacher training with Donna Farhi in Vancouver, BC. The 50 attendees were experienced yoga teachers and body workers from all over the world. During the training we questioned teaching methodologies that shoehorn students into a one-size-fits-all model.

    One misconception we talked about was the perceived necessity of practicing what is probably yoga’s most emblematic pose: Padmasana (Lotus Pose). That day we spent two hours practicing the poses Donna practices to prep her body for Lotus. When we tried Padmasana toward the end of the class, I noticed that despite...

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  • Meatless Monday: Chilled Avocado-Cucumber Soup

    Meatless Monday: Cooling Avocado-Cucumber Soup
    Soup from scratch is one of my favorite things to make. In the winter, a bowl of hot soup is comforting and warming, with the added bonus of providing meals for several days.

    In the summer I don’t have much of a taste for anything hot, including soup. So instead, I’ve collected several chilled-soup recipes that have become summer staples. This is one of them.

    The cucumbers make this soup very cooling and refreshing, and the avocados give the soup substance. Because the flavors of both are somewhat neutral, it’s the other ingredients—lime, garlic, white miso and dill...

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  • Entering a Pose or Entering Your Body? You Decide

    Entering a Pose or Entering Your Body? You Decide
    Last summer I was at an amazing workshop taught by Rod Stryker on his book, The Four Desires. His work is a yogic style of Desire Mapping.

    Not only was I learning how to excavate and manifest my heart’s desires in a new way, I was moving more deeply into an asana practice that yes, helped me to understand and love my body more dearly.

    It was not long after a skiing accident in April of 2014 that I attended this workshop, and I realized how my mind and body were affected by the...

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  • De-stress Your Shoulders, Chest and Neck with a Sukasana Pillow

    Simple, Supported Backbend with a Sukasana Pillow
    Most of us spend most of our days hunched over a keyboard. When we leave work, we hunch over a steering wheel. They we get home and hunch over a cutting board. You get the idea. We spend a whole lot of our lives bending forward, often to the detriment of our neck and shoulders.

    Yoga has many antidotes for this, of course. Twisting, side bending and back bending all help to loosen up our beleaguered upper bodies. I often recommend to my students who suffer from neck and shoulder stiffness that they set a...

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  • Meatless Monday: Kale Salad #4

    Kale Salad with Tomatoes, Olives and Feta for Meatless Monday
    The kale keeps on coming. Even if you don’t have a steady supply in your back yard, you can find organic kale in most grocery stores. Because it’s in season, it’s more tender than in the wintertime, making it great for raw consumption.

    This is the fourth kale salad I’ve offered in the Meatless Monday series. I made this one several times last summer, but had to wait a while to make it this year, until I had enough ripe cherry tomatoes in my back yard. Tomatoes are exceptionally slow to ripen...

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  • Align Your Side Angle Pose with a Yoga Block

    Yoga Blocks Help You Align and Lengthen
    There are so many positive things to say about Parsvakonasana (Side Angle Pose). It promotes strength, stability, flexibility, expansion, grounding and balance. Plus it feels really great. Side Angle Pose engages every part of your body.

    While Side Angle Pose may not be as glamorous as some of the backbendy, hip-openy, gymnastic poses you’ll see on Instagram, it’s a stellar staple of asana’s repertoire. If you do see Side Angle Pose on Instagram, the model usually has their bottom hand on the ground with a perfectly straight topside of their body. But many, if not...

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  • Moving Abroad: How Yoga Can Help

    Stop and Breathe

    Staying Calm While Moving Abroad
    If you are among the millions of people who reside abroad then you know that everything can get chaotic really fast. We must adjust to differing cultures, customs, language, food and lifestyles.

    How does one maintain balance in the midst of such disorder? By releasing all of the built-up anxiety on your mat, keeping up the one thing that can always remain the same: your yoga practice. As an American residing in one of the largest cities in the world, Shanghai, China, I’ve come to learn the importance of a regular...

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  • Meatless Monday: Farmer’s Market Spaghetti

    Meatless Monday: Summer Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Corn
    Sweet corn is still abundant at my local farmers market, and tomatoes have begun turning in my garden. So last weekend I decided to make a favorite recipe from my fave cookbook. Summer Spaghetti is a refreshing pasta recipe with a vibrant blend of sweet and savory flavors.

    Make sure you use fresh corn cut from the cob. It’s a whole different animal from frozen and canned corn. If you have your own tomato plants, homegrown tomatoes are always best, but if not look in your local store for heirlooms. They generally have a...

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