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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Hash

    A Quick Weeknight Dish for Meatless Monday
    Everyone wants to eat healthy, and nothing is better than fresh food made from scratch. But it’s not always easy to fit fresh meals into your schedule. Because I always cook from scratch, I often make big batches of soups and stews that we can enjoy for several days. But sometimes I like to whip up a quick, one-off meal.
    I recently discovered this recipe. It’s billed as a Paleo meal, but you don’t have to follow a Paleo diet to enjoy it. My partner and I found it to be satisfying, but not at...

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  • Meatless Monday: Snobby Joes

    Meatless Monday: A Vegan Take on an Old Favorite
    Meatless Monday wouldn’t be complete without the occasional vegetarian version of a carnivorous favorite. This week’s Meatless Monday recipe is Snobby Joes, a lentil-based version of traditional Sloppy Joes. The supporting players in this recipe are the same as what you’d find in a traditional Sloppy Joe recipe so the flavor is pretty much the same—only better IMO. This is a great recipe to try out on kids who resist vegan food.

    This recipe comes from a vegan cookbook titled Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. It’s a cookbook with...

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  • Grounding in Malasana

    Use a Wedge to Root in Malasana
    In India, where Yoga began, squatting is a go-to pose for many of life’s daily tasks. Before there were chairs, counters and tables, women squatted on the ground to prepare and cook meals. Some still do.

    Malasana supports apana, the downward-flowing energy that governs elimination. Apana energy grounds agitation, making Malasana a great counterpose for stress. Malasana also relieves constipation. In addition, it stretches the ankles, groins and lower legs, and tones the abdomen and pelvic floor.

    Some people don’t enjoy Malasana because their heels don’t reach the floor, making the pose feel unstable. This is...

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  • Are Yoga and Western Medicine Incompatible?

    Supported Backbend

    When Yoga and Western Medicine Can Work Together
    In the past few days, an article by a yoga teacher named Hemalayaa has been making the Facebook rounds via bloggers such as it’s all yoga, baby, YogaDawg and Linda-Sama Karl, among others.

    The author of the article expresses shock and disappointment at the use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications by yoga teachers who, she opines, are just taking a “happy pill” rather than doing the hard work of dealing with their issues. She then offers suggestions as to how to get yourself over the hump of depression, such...

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  • Teaching Yoga: On Hip Joints and Humility

    Eka Pada Rajakapotasana—A Pose from the Distant Past

    Teaching Yoga: The Wisdom of Humility
    For the past two years I’ve had the privilege of attending retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center led by Joseph Goldstein. Co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, Goldstein has written or co-written—with the likes of the Dalai Lama, among others—11 classic books on mindfulness practice.

    His voice has been a constant in my three decades of mindfulness practice. On silent vipassana retreats with my mentors, Pujari and Abhilasha Keays, we listened to Goldstein every day. This adds up to 200-plus hours of listening time for...

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  • Balasana: Bolster Your Child’s Pose

    Balasana: Practicing Child’s Pose on a Bolster
    Few things in life are more comforting than curling up in Balasana (Child’s Pose). Balasana quiets the mind and restores spent energy. Among its many benefits, Balasana focuses the breath into the back body and supports the natural outward expansion of the lungs on each inhalation. Like all forward bends, Child’s Pose turns our focus inward.

    But for some people, especially yogis whose knees and/or hips don’t flex deeply, Child’s Pose may not be all that comfortable. The good news is that most of these people can enjoy Balasana by adding a few props.

    The photo...

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  • Meatless Monday: Miso-Almond Sauce

    Meatless Monday: Miso-Almond Sauce
    You probably already know this, but we Americans don’t eat nearly enough veggies. An NPR story reported that rather than the 2-3 cups of green goodies that are recommended, we eat a scant 1.5 cups every day, mostly in the form of potatoes (read: fries) and tomatoes (read: pizza). Meatless Monday is the perfect time to ponder how you can add more veggies into your day.

    It’s truly not hard—or expensive—to incorporate more veggies. Chopping up a combination of a few veggies—broccoli, carrots, onions, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or greens such as kale, collards or chard—and steaming them takes...

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  • 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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