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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • 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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  • Opening the Door of Compassion: A Response to the Tragedy of Cecil

    The Door of Compassion
    “The idea that some lives matter less than others is at the root of all that is wrong with the world.” ~ Paul Farmer

    I grew up in a mini menagerie. At various times my parents, sisters and I shared our homestead with parakeets, a goat, a horse, chickens (pets named Sam and Henry), tropical fish, rabbits, turtles, mice and cats, always cats. For years, my dad shared his basement workshop with a tarantula that came inside from the cold. He saw no reason to kill a creature that was doing no harm. He even named it.

    We treated...

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  • Meatless Monday: How to Make Slime-Free Okra

    Try Oven-Roasted Okra for Meatless Monday
    Okra has a complicated reputation. While it’s beloved in the southeastern United States, and often used to marvelous effect in East Indian cuisine, it is also infamous for having an off-putting slimy texture. It certainly can, but slime is not inevitable.

    Okra is not common out here in the arid West. But I happened to stumble upon some organic okra at Salt Lake City’s Downtown Farmers Market last year. I had no idea how to cook it, but decided to bring home a pound and see what I could come up with. Frying is traditional, and...

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  • Lengthen Your Spine: Ardha Matsyendrasana with a Yoga Block

    Yoga Block for a Happy Spine
    Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes) is one of yoga’s ancient poses. Named for the sage, Matsyendra, it is one of the relatively few yoga asanas written about in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It is said to have been Matsyendra’s favorite yoga asana.

    In the article “Heroes, Saints, and Sages” at yogajournal.com, Colleen Morton Busch writes about the pose’s namesake:
    “Matsyendra appears to have been an actual historical person, not just a figure of myth. Born in Bengal around the 10th century c.e., he is venerated by Buddhists in Nepal as an incarnation of the bodhisattva...

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