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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • 4 Ways to Cultivate a Meditation Practice

    4 Tips for Committing to Meditation Practice
    Meditation ain’t easy. It’s arguable that it’s a whole lot harder than yoga asana practice. When you’re practicing asana, your mind has plenty of sensations to occupy itself. When you sit, sensations are more subtle. It’s hard work to zero in on what’s actually going on moment to moment when it at least appears that there’s not a whole lot happening.

    People often tell me they can’t meditate because when they try, their minds spin off even more than they do in daily life. I tell them that’s not a sign of...

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  • Meatless Monday: Very Simple Fresh Tomato Soup

    Meatless Monday: The Simplest, Tastiest Tomato Soup
    A freeze is coming—tomorrow. I spent an hour on Saturday, wistfully pulling up my tomato plants and harvesting a whole lot of green tomatoes. I found a lot of ripe fruit though, and I used the not-so-pretty tomatoes in a very tart, very simple tomato soup.

    Homemade tomato soup, from homegrown tomatoes, is a totally different animal from the canned tomato soup I ate as a child. While we always diluted the canned stuff with milk to increase the comfort factor, I don’t know that it was actually necessary. The tomato flavor...

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  • Yoga Blocks for Chaturanga Support

    Yoga Blocks for Your Chaturanga Shoulders
    Chaturanga Dandasana is a pose that elicits strong feelings—from happiness to anxiety and everything in between. Even though we often see the Chaturanga as a shoulder strengthener, every part of your body really needs to participate.

    Shoulder strain, even tendon tears can come relying too much on arm and shoulder strength to do the pose. Unhealthy alignment can also cause chronic shoulder strain. Practicing with care and mindfulness is essential.

    Using Yoga Blocks in Chaturanga can teach your shoulders proper alignment by preventing the shoulders from pushing forward. Yoga Blocks can also...

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  • Yogic Freedom: The Space to Be

    Yogic Freedom: The Space to Be
    It doesn’t matter if we are single or married, if we’ve just found romance or just lost it, if we prefer being alone or if we’re addicted to groups, each of us needs a space to be ourselves.

    In this space we can find freedom from expectations, whether our own expectations or those that other people might place on our shoulders.

    In this space we can rest for a moment, undistracted by fear or worry or anxiety.

    We can take a breath and listen to our heart beating its unique rhythm, and...

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  • Meatless Monday: Lentils, Rice and Pasta with a Buttery Mint Sauce

    Try a Hearty Lentil Dish for Meatless Monday
    As the weather has begun to cool—if you call highs in the mid-60s cool—I’ve started to crave warmer, heartier dinners. Because of the unseasonably warm weather my garden is still a going concern. Not only are my tomatoes still ripening, but my herbs are still fresh and lively.

    Nothing in my yard is more lively than the mint. Mint is best grown in a contained area, because at least in this climate, it can easily invade everything else. I harvest it all summer long to keep it from overtaking my tomato...

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  • Use Yoga Blocks in Intense Side Stretch

    Use Yoga Blocks for Extra Length and Ease
    Parsvottanasana, aka Intense Side Stretch, stretches your hamstrings as it lengthens your spine. It stabilizes and challenges your balancing abilities and energizes your legs.

    However, sometimes the relationship between the hamstrings and back needs to be brought into balance. For most of us, moving too far forward in the pose will cause the back to round and the front torso to contract. There is a variation that allows the front body to rest on the front leg, but for most of us, the greatest, most expansive benefit comes from keeping your...

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  • Yoga Culture: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

    Yoga Culture: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
    In the past few days, I had the good fortune to attend the Parliament of the World’s Religions. I presented both a yoga class and a musical performance there, and attended quite a few panels and workshops.

    Leading panels and workshops were Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Humanists, Agnostics and Atheists. The purpose of the Parliament was to bring people of all faiths—or no faith—together to talk about how to solve very real issues in our world: climate change, environmental degradation, human rights and the promotion of...

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  • Meatless Monday: Quince, Fall Fruit of the Ancients

    Meatless Monday: Try Something New—Quince

    For me, autumn means quince—lots of it.

    Never tried it? You’re not alone. I probably wouldn’t know much about it if I didn’t have a very prolific Portuguese quince tree in my back yard. The large, five-petaled quince blossoms are stunning, but what can you do with a fuzzy, oddly shaped, hard-as-a-rock fruit that you can’t eat raw? As it turns out, a lot—both sweet and savory. In case you’re not familiar, here’s what I’ve learned:
    Quince Has a History
    Quince is one of the oldest cultivated fruits on the planet. Its...

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  • Shore Up Your Bridge Pose with a Yoga Block

    Restorative Bridge Pose with a Yoga Block
    Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose) is an all-around beneficial pose for counteracting the most prevalent poses we practice in our daily lives. You know the ones: hunching over a desk or a steering wheel, slouching in comfy chairs.

    Most of what we do every day involves flexing our hip joints and leaning forward, which shortens the front body and weakens the back body. When practiced actively, Bridge Pose is an accessible, easy pose that stimulates and strengthens the back body and expands the front body.

    Practiced passively, with the support of a Yoga...

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  • How Do You Find a Yoga Mentor?

    What is a Yoga Mentor?
    A few weeks ago I got to revisit the retreat center that became my spiritual home in 1986. I don’t remember how many retreats I’ve attended there, but I do remember there were some 10-day, a 21-day and four 30-day silent retreats. In addition I’ve sat a five-day and at least three seven-day retreats. I’ve also spent up to a dozen weekends there in retreat.

    You’ve probably never heard of the place. It’s called The Last Resort, and is nestled in the mountains east of Cedar City, Utah. If you haven’t heard of it...

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