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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Yoga Blocks 3 Ways

    3 Great Ways to Use Yoga Blocks
    Yoga Blocks are one of the most essential tools in yoga practice. They give support, keep our joints aligned and allow us to breathe freely. Yoga Blocks were originally developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, who was well known for his insistence on alignment integrity. The three dimensions of standard-sized Yoga Blocks (4" x 6" x 9") were determined by Mr. Iyengar to offer the best choices for stability and versatility.

    Hugger Mugger designed our first Yoga Blocks back in the 1980s according to Iyengar’s specifications. Since then, we’ve pioneered the use of softer...

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  • Meatless Monday: Quinoa Salad with Zucchini and Herbs

    Meatless Monday: Protein-Rich Quinoa Salad
    Food always tastes better when you’re paying attention. Such was the case when I was on a silent mindfulness meditation retreat a couple weeks ago. The dinners at The Last Resort retreat center are stellar. They’re cooked with joy and served with love by Abhilasha Keays, whose culinary talents just keep blossoming.

    One of the new recipes that Abhilasha shared on the recent retreat is a quinoa salad with zucchini and herbs. She sent me the bones of the recipe and then told me how she played with it. I enjoyed the same improvisational...

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  • How to Choose the Best Yoga Blocks

    Bamboo Yoga Block (top), Recycled Foam Yoga Block (left), 4-Inch Foam Yoga Block (right)

    Choose the Yoga Blocks that Fit Your Yoga Practice
    The first time I used Yoga Blocks 30-some years ago I can’t say I loved the experience. The blocks were very heavy—solid pine—and had sharp edges that dug into my skin. They were also very slippery. The chances of dropping them on toes—and causing significant damage—were high. Plus my ego resisted using something I thought of back then as a crutch.

    All that has changed. My small studio has 50 Yoga Blocks...

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  • Meatless Monday: Piquant Panzanella

    Meatless Monday: Be Creative with Panzanella Salad
    For several summers in a row, I’ve attended meditation retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. It is always a joy—a “coming home”—for me to be able to sit, walk and be in silence for a week or two. In addition to the joy of practice, I seem to have lucked out on practicing in places where the meals are stellar. I often come home from retreats at both The Last Resort and Spirit Rock with new recipe ideas.

    One meal that inspired further exploration happened at Spirit Rock three summers ago. I...

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  • Just Sitting

    Just Sitting
    Our lives are so busy, so rushed. Sometimes it’s hard to find a moment to sit still.

    It’s one of the reasons that I love yoga. The moment I unroll my mat and sit down, the strains of my day seem to melt away. (Writing in my journal provides the same sanctuary from the daily rush of life.)

    But sometimes just sitting isn’t easy.

    Even though I’ve set my foundation and closed my eyes, my thoughts may keep racing, speeding ahead to what I have planned for the rest of the day, or backtracking to...

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  • Meatless Monday: Best Fresh Tomato and Ravioli Salad Ever

    Meatless Monday: Ravioli and Tomato Salad with Masses of Basil
    After a week away from my tomato garden—on a seven-day silent Insight Meditation retreat—I’m back to feverishly harvesting my back yard abundance. I did a major harvest before I left, so that the retreat center’s fabulous cook could add garden-fresh tomatoes and herbs to her creations. It was fun seeing my tomatoes, basil, mint and Italian parsley show up in meals throughout the week. Fortunately, there’s plenty more for me to enjoy this week and beyond.

    I’ve never been a huge fan of pasta salads. It’s not that I...

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  • Yoga Strap: Open Your Shoulders in Gomukhasana

    Use a Yoga Strap for a Great Shoulder Opening
    Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) is a staple in my morning yoga classes. Years ago, several of my students made up unflattering names for it—Cow Pie, Mad Cow, etc.—because it was so challenging for them. Now those same Cow Face naysayers have turned into Cow Face converts, even sometimes giving up a bit of their Savasana to do it if I don’t offer it in class.

    Gomukhasana is quite complex. It’s classified as a hip opening pose, as it stretches all the glutes—maximus, medius and minimus—as well as the piriformis and...

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  • Is Cleansing Right for You?

    Is Cleansing Right for You?
    Everywhere we look, people are talking about detoxes and cleanses. I have been using my diet and my yoga practice to cleanse my body and mind for many years. People often ask me questions about cleansing. Following are the questions I’m asked most often as well as my answers.

    Would a cleanse be right for you? For someone who is living in a polluted environment, eating processed foods, drinking alcohol, fluoridated and chlorinated water, smoking, taking medication, and anything else that puts toxins into your body, you would benefit from doing a cleanse. If you...

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  • Meatless Monday: Tender Tomato Tart (Yum!)

    Make this Incredible Tomato Tart for Meatless Monday
    It’s time to pull out one of my all-time favorite recipes. This tart is so good it defies description. The filling is exceedingly simple to make, and the results are unbelievably delicious. It’s light and savory, but the carrots and homegrown tomatoes give it a hint of sweetness.

    I’ve used a good-quality frozen whole wheat pie crust when I was in a hurry, and the pie was wonderful. But if you have the time and inclination, making a tart crust is well worth the effort. If you make your crust from...

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  • Why Practice Yoga and Mindfulness?

    What Does Mindfulness Have to Do with Anything?
    Patricia has been coming to my yoga classes for more than 15 years. Last week while we were in the midst of practicing a quadriceps stretch at the wall she said, “I have to say how much I appreciate the work we do in this class.”

    Patricia and her husband had spent the previous week hiking in Glacier National Park. They met a friend there whose back problems prevented him from hiking at all. He spent the entire week indoors at the lodge looking at his devices, she said. When she...

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