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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Supta Padangusthasana: Sustainable Stretching

    Supta Padangusthasana: Sustainable Stretching

    There are many reasons people decide to start practicing yoga. For me, it was simple curiosity, at least at first. Many of my students come to yoga to bring some calm to their lives. Some want to increase flexibility. A healthy percentage of my students originally came to practice hoping to resolve a physical issue, especially back pain. Whatever your intention, practicing yoga can indeed confer these …continue reading

  • Free Your Breath with a Yoga Block

    Prasarita Padottanasana with a Big Blue Block
    Practice Prasarita Padottanasana with a Yoga Block

    Prasarita Padottanasana is one of yoga’s most balancing standing poses. Its symmetrical shape keeps your pelvis, sacroiliac joint and spine neutral and quiet, while the active rooting of your feet and legs allows your upper body to be soft and receptive. I like to settle into Prasarita in between standing poses to allow my body to ground and integrat…continue reading

  • Parsvakonasana: Finding Continuity

    Parsvakonasana
    Parsvakonasana: Finding Continuity

    Utthita Parsvakonasana (Side Angle Pose) is a pillar among standing poses. It combines strong grounding with expansion and spinal rotation. It looks like a lateral stretch, and may even feel somewhat like one, but it’s not. In a true lateral stretch, your pelvis is not moving in the same direction as your spine (think Parighasana or Gate Latch Pose). In Side Angle Pose, your legs, pelvis, spine a…continue reading

  • Meatless Monday: Parsley Pesto

    Italian Parsley
    Meatless Monday: Parsley Pesto

    Most of us are familiar with basil pesto. It’s the most traditional form of pesto. But over the years, many other base ingredients have proven to make tasty, refreshing pesto pastes as well. Kale’s recent popularity has made it a worthy pesto base, by itself and in combination with fresh basil. Arugula also makes a delicious, savory pesto.

    Currently, parsley of both the curly and Italian varieties …continue reading

  • Yoga and Respect: Nothing is Trivial

    Yoga and Respect: It’s the Little Things

    I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1990. During that year Aadil Palkhivala frequented the Big Island to teach workshops. I was fortunate to get to work with him a number of times and very much appreciated the depth of his practice and teachings, even way back then.

    One of his workshops was held in a venue that usually accommodated tumbling and wrestling, so the floor was covered with gym mats. Aadil to…continue reading

  • Meatless Monday: Spring Garden Vegetable Hodgepodge

    Meatless Monday: Spring Garden Vegetable Hodgepodge I’m a big fan of Deborah Madison, former chef of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. For that matter I’m a huge fan of Greens Restaurant. On the fortunate occasions that I get to visit the Bay Area, I always make time to go to Greens at least once. The food is healthy, innovative and always inspiring. As a vegetarian since 1978, it’s like Christmas to go to a restaurant where I can order…continue reading
  • Compassion: On and Off the Mat

    How Practicing Yoga Cultivates Compassion

    It’s a mystery how it happens, but, thanks to the poses that I do on my mat, I can feel a deeper sense of compassion for others and for myself. Why is that, I wonder?

    When I press my palms against the mat in Downward Dog, I can feel compassion for my tight hamstrings and stiff shoulders.

    Standing on one leg in Tree Pose, I can feel compassion for the back of my wobbling calf, my out-of-balance hips.

    In Plan…continue reading

  • Ease Your Lower Back with a Yoga Block

    Standing Forward Bend with Big Blue Block
    How to Use a Yoga Block for Standing Forward Bend

    Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) is one of yoga’s most emblematic poses. We practice it in almost every style of yoga—as part of the Sun Salutation, as a resting pose between other standing poses and as a part inversion/part hamstring stretch on its own.

    The most immediately noticeable effect of practicing Standing Forward Bend is, of course, the sensa…continue reading

  • Yoga for Gardening: Poses to Practice in the Dirt

    Wall Dog
    Yoga for Gardening: Relief for Your Achin’ Back

    Springtime signals blooming bulbs, veggie planting and for me, lots of requests from students for yoga poses to counteract the effects of gardening.

    Shoveling, squatting, kneeling and bending over—the forms your body has to assume to get your garden ready for planting—all take a toll, especially when we likely haven’t been doing these things much over the winter. Here are some tips on…continue reading

  • Meatless Monday: Spring Arugula Salad

    Meatless Monday: Spring Arugula Salad

    Anyone who says salads are unexciting has never tasted arugula. When the leaves are small, they pack a hefty, savory punch; when they get bigger their peppery flavor can be downright spicy. I’m not sure how arugula grows elsewhere, but in my garden it’s always the first of my salad greens to be ripe for picking. It’s also the first to bolt, which it does quite suddenly.

    Because I usually have an abundance…continue reading

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