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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • 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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  • Fourth Street Clinic: Providing Vital Health Services to the Homeless

    Fourth Street Clinic Gives the Gift of Good Health
    In 1987, Dr. Allan Ainsworth was driving in Salt Lake City and saw a long line of people waiting for food and other social services. He thought to himself that no one should ever have to wait for basic life necessities. One year later Ainsworth founded Wasatch Homeless Health Care, Inc.,—now the Fourth Street Clinic—a place where homeless people could receive free primary health care services.

    The clinic started out as a one-room triage clinic with Ainsworth and a part-time nurse running the show. Now it resides in a newly remodeled, full-service building...

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  • Meatless Monday: A Not-Too-Sweet Dessert

    Meatless Monday: Black Rice Pudding with Fruit Topping
    I love taking advantage of the availability of fresh, organic fruits in the summertime. While a fruit salad melange of whatever’s available is always a healthy, refreshing option, I also like to add fruit to other desserts.

    Fruit is inherently sweet on its own, so when I add fruit to a dessert, I want that dessert to be on the less-sweet side. It’s easy to regulate the sweetness of rice pudding, because you can add a little sweetener at a time and adjust to your taste. A friend recently gifted me a package of...

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  • Use a Yoga Strap for Happy Hamstrings

    Supta Padangusthasana with a Yoga Strap
    Supta Padangusthasana is hands-down my favorite pose for addressing tight hamstrings. It’s also the safest in that it’s the least likely to irritate cranky low backs. Lying down to stretch your hamstrings gives you a constant reference point (the floor) to ensure you’re maintaining healthy spinal alignment.

    Using a Yoga Strap lets you to find the perfect angle for your leg that allows you to keep it straight while keeping the rest of the body in structural integrity. Lying down, in itself, allows you to release tension more easily since most of your body is supported...

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  • Cooling Ayurvedic Tips for Hot Summer Days

    Cooling Ayurvedic Tips: Dos and Don’ts for the Dog Days
    We’re in the midst of the hottest days of the year now, the so-called Dog Days. Keeping our cool, through diet, exercise and self-care is important in helping us maintain balance in life, at work and in relationship with others.
    Stay Cool

    • Avoid midday sun. Keep covered when it’s unavoidable.
    • Exercise earlier or later in the day. We benefit from outdoor activity and are more likely to enjoy activity outdoors than indoors.
    • Drink plenty of water, coconut water and herbal teas at room temperature.
    • Avoid large quantities of caffeine, which is dehydrating.
    •...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Corn Chowder

    Meatless Monday: Vegan Corn Chowder with Fresh Corn Off the Cob
    I may not be a fan of summer’s extreme heat, but I am am definitely a fan of the profusion of fresh produce available at Salt Lake City’s Downtown Farmers Market every Saturday. Last Saturday I came home with new potatoes, wild greens, okra, green and purple beans, and corn on the cob—all organic.

    It’s not always easy to find fresh, organic corn, so I take advantage of the opportunity when it arises. If a recipe calls for fresh corn cut off the cob, I never substitute frozen corn. Like the...

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  • Foot Yoga: Tap into the Power of Your Own Two Feet

    Foot Yoga: Take Care of Those Dogs!
    I’ve been blessed with many longtime yoga students. Many have attended my classes for more than 10 years, some for more than 20. It’s a privilege to move through life’s inevitable ups and downs with such a solid core of wise and wonderful humans.

    I met one of these students—I’ll call her Patricia—in the late ’80s. At that time she was in her 50s. She came to classes regularly for more than 20 years, participating fully into her late 70s. Balancing on one leg was her one nemesis. For decades she propped herself against the...

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  • Meatless Monday: Kale Salad #3

    Meatless Monday: Kale Salad with Miso-Roasted Tofu
    As my backyard kale started to proliferate a few months ago, I posted a couple of kale salad recipes (here’s one and here’s the other). Even later in the season, I find that my fresh-picked, homegrown kale is much more tender than what I find at the store. Kale salads are a great way to use tender leaves, and this particular salad, that I made just a few days ago, adds substantial protein to the mix.

    This salad is very simple. Except for the tofu and cheese, the ingredients are things I always have on...

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