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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • 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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  • Meatless Monday: Waffles for Dinner

    Meatless Monday: Savory Corn Waffles with Salsa, Guacamole and Feta
    The unseasonably warm fall has been a boon to my tomato patch. Most years, tomatoes stop ripening toward the end of September. This year, with daytime temps in the 80s, my tomatoes are still ripening. This means that they’re still wonderful raw.

    Yesterday I decided to make fresh salsa and fresh guacamole with my fresh tomatoes. I wanted the salsa and guacamole to be part of a dinner, rather than simply an accompaniment for chips. Of course, I could have made burritos, tostadas or tacos as I have in...

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  • 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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