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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • How to Choose a Meditation Cushion

    Zen, Zafu and V-Shaped Cushions

    How to Choose the Right Meditation Cushion—Zafu, Zen or V-Shaped
    People sometimes chuckle when I tell them that sitting meditation is physically rigorous. But it’s true. When you sit still and tune into your body for any length of time, you’re likely to become uncomfortable. And sitting for long periods in the same position will at some point start to make you antsy.

    Even in my hour-long meditation classes, people sometimes experience physical difficulties. That’s when I work with them to find the best sitting position and the best support for each person’s individual...

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  • Feeling Sick? To Teach or Not to Teach Yoga

    How to Know Whether to Teach Yoga When You’re Not Well
    Yesterday morning I woke up with a sensation that’s all too familiar, a little scratchiness at the back of my throat. That’s how a cold/flu/sinus infection always starts for me. I’ve been throwing some herbal defenses its way and it doesn’t seem to be getting worse, but it’s not getting better either—yet.

    By far the most stressful part of being ill—besides the misery of the illness itself—is making sure my yoga classes are covered, especially when it comes on suddenly. I’ve always been a “trooper:” If I can stand up, I...

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  • Meatless Monday: Homemade Polenta

    Meatless Monday: Make Your Own Polenta
    Okay. So it’s Tuesday. But it’s Fat Tuesday, which is all about indulging in conspicuous consumption before the Lenten fast. I’m not sure what this week’s recipe has to do with conspicuous consumption, humble and simple as it is. But polenta is capable of complementing, and starring in, a huge variety of dishes. It’s become ubiquitous among culinary creatives. Maybe that’s conspicuous enough to qualify it for a Fat Tuesday offering.

    Like most other foods, fresh, homemade polenta beats packaged polenta in terms of flavor, texture and liveliness. Polenta can be creamy or firm, depending on...

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  • Why Listening to Your Body Might Not Be Enough

    Listening to Your Body is Important, But So is An Experienced Teacher
    If you practice yoga, you’ve probably heard the entreaty, “Listen to your body.” It’s good, sound advice.

    When you embark on any physical practice, it’s important to know and respect your body’s limits. Those limits can change over time, of course, but tuning in and listening to your body and what it’s trying to communicate to you each time you practice is essential not only to your body’s health, but to the growth of your practice. How else can you really know the effects of an asana?

    As teachers, we can’t...

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  • Meatless Monday: Anna Thomas’s Green Soup

    Meatless Monday: Eat Your Greens!
    Dark, leafy greens are some of the most nutrient-packed foods around. The more you can integrate them into your diet, the better. Here’s an easy recipe that includes a huge amount of greens. Like all soups, the flavors will mellow over time, so make a big batch and enjoy it over a few days.

    Anna Thomas is the author of four cookbooks, including the original Vegetarian Epicure, one of the first gourmet vegetarian books published, back in the 1972. She knows her stuff. As with last week’s vegan chili recipe, feel free to use this recipe as...

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  • InBody Outreach - Yoga for Everybody

    InBody Outreach Provides Yoga for the Community
    “Yoga is for everybody” is not only a generous thought, but a reality many of us try to integrate in to our yoga classes. Many teachers are happy to welcome students of all sizes, ages and flexibility levels to our classes. But what about those who don’t have the means to attend a community class? What about seniors, people in treatment or in lockdown? Sometimes the people with the least access to the vitality and equanimity that yoga can bring are the ones that need it most.

    InBody Outreach shares on-site yoga practice with often-overlooked...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Chili, a Hearty Exploration

    Meatless Monday: Veggie Chili
    Winter is a great time to enjoy hot, hearty foods. A steaming bowl of chili warms you from the inside out.

    The fun thing about chili is that you can play a lot with the recipe. For example, I’ve added things like a few tablespoons of peanut butter; frozen, and then sauteed tofu; sautéed tempeh; a few tablespoons of various sweeteners; extra beans for extra protein; my own frozen, roasted garden tomatoes. You can add diced carrots, potatoes, pasta, quinoa, or whatever else you can think of to add nutrients, texture and flavor.

    The recipe below is my favorite...

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  • Teaching Yoga: It’s a Two-Way Street

    Teaching Yoga is All About Listening
    “Listen to your body” has become a widely disseminated instruction in the yoga world. It’s an important one, a skill that reaches out into life off the mat. But when we tell students to listen to their bodies, we teachers need to remember to listen to our students too. When we listen we create an environment where students feel respected and safe, and we also might learn something in the process.

    About 25 years ago I attended a workshop with a well-known yoga teacher. We were working up to Urdva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow), stretching our quads...

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  • Meatless Monday Recipe: Carrot Soup with Onion Relish

    Meatless Monday Recipe
    Meatless Monday has become de rigueur in many restaurants around the country. In honor of this new tradition, we’re going to feature a favorite meatless recipe each Monday. This week’s Meatless Monday recipe is a tasty carrot soup that’s good on its own, but great with a zesty onion relish. This recipe is vegan (when you use olive oil instead of butter) and gluten free.
    Carrot Soup with Onion Relish
    from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

    2 Tbs butter, olive oil, or a mixture
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 pound carrots, thinly sliced
    1 bay leaf
    2 Tbs chopped parsley
    3 Tbs white rice
    1...

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  • Healthy Yoga Practice - Don’t Stretch Your Joints!

    Some Ligaments of the Hip Joint

    Healthy Yoga Practice:  Don’t Stretch Your Joints!
    For the past few years, I've been on the faculty of the teacher training program at Avenues Yoga Studio in Salt Lake City. Early in the 2013 training, one student who had been teaching in a fitness studio asked a very important question. She explained that one of her female students became unusually flexible prior to ovulation, probably because of the presence of “relaxin,” a hormone that relaxes the ligaments that hold together the various joints in the pelvis—hip joints, sacroiliac joints and pubic symphisis...

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