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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions?

    Prasarita Padottanasana on a Nature Collection Ultra Mat

    How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
    Are New Year’s resolutions a thing of the past? An antiquated practice moving inexorably toward extinction? If you read the numbers, you could easily get that impression. According to a CBS poll, 68 percent of Americans claim they do not make resolutions. That number is 10 percentage points higher than it was just two years prior to the poll.

    Perhaps it is because we’re too busy and preoccupied to ponder our goals, or maybe it’s because time and again, many of us have...

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  • The Season of Generosity

    Photo courtesy of Santito the Cat

    ’Tis the Season of Generosity
    One of my clearest, most nostalgic memories from growing up is that of the excitement of Christmas morning. Our parents would round up my two sisters and me so that we could all converge on the living room simultaneously, run to our piles of presents, and ooooh and ahhhh in unison. The excitement of seeing my wishes granted, and the surprise of gifts I hadn't asked for was just so much fun. That excitement sustained me through the day as we visited relatives and friends.

    But the next...

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  • Why Bendy People Might Not Make the Best Yoga Teachers

    Trikonasana

    How the Struggle Teaches Yoga Teachers How to Teach
    Years ago, I heard a famous quote embellished in the film, Annie Hall. In the film Woody Allen said, “Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym.” (Allen’s embellishment is the second sentence.) It was meant to diss teachers, especially gym teachers I guess, but in my three decades of yoga practice and teaching, I’ve come to understand this quote in a completely different way.

    I was born with a very loose-knit body. My dad was a gymnast, and I inherited his hypermobile body. So when...

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  • Use a Yoga Wedge in Dog Pose

    How Using a Yoga Wedge Can Save Your Wrists
    Adho Mukha Svanasana, aka Downward Facing Dog Pose or simply Dog Pose, is arguably the most ubiquitous of poses. Yoga teacher Donna Farhi calls it the “‘garlic’ of yoga poses—a panacea for whatever ails you.” Dog Pose is simultaneously an inversion, an arm balance, a forward bend and a restorative pose. It opens your shoulders, strengthens your arms, lengthens your spine, stretches your legs, inverts your internal organs and nourishes your brain. It invigorates and calms. For dogs and cats, Dog Pose is the equivalent of a morning cuppa, an elixir to...

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  • Yoga Poetry - Everything That Rises

    Yoga Poetry - Everything That Rises
    Rise up without fear

    to the coffee and daylight

    skimming the dark.

     

    Rise through the remnants of the dream

    where you are lost, all pay phones broken.

     

    Rise toward the piano you haven’t played

    for months, and place your hands

    on the keys of your memory.

     

    Play badly but loud, and let the ringing

    rise through your arms.

     

    Rise into the first slant of light breaking

    across the living room floor

    to coat the sleeping dog.

     

    Open the door into the cold and run

    to the passenger door to lean in

    and start the car in your slippers.

     

    Rush back inside and let the next

    vessel warm for you as you dress...

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  • Instant Maui - Your 20-Minute Vacation

    Take a Midwinter Break in Instant Maui
    It’s the season of short days, long nights and monumental to-do lists. Potlucks, concerts, rehearsals (for those of us who play holiday concerts) and gifting take us out of our usual routines. At a time when our schedules are stuffed to capacity, often the first things to get knocked off our to-do list are those niceties we do to take care of ourselves.

    I’m writing this month to suggest—strongly—that you leave at least one of your self-nurturing habits on your list. Please note that I’m making this suggestion for myself as much as I am...

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  • Shoulderstand - Save Your Neck with Yoga Blankets

    Shoulderstand on Yoga Blankets

    How Using Yoga Blankets in Shoulderstand Can Save Your Neck
    Looking to see the world from a new perspective? Going upside-down is one way to shift your point of view—literally.

    Inverted yoga poses are perfect for cultivating fertile creative ground in the body/mind. In addition to their many physical benefits, inversions are said to allow us to see with new eyes. When we turn upside down, the world looks different. The world hasn’t fundamentally changed of course; it is our relationship with it that has changed. This shift opens us to new perspectives, the foundation...

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  • Yoga Gifts For Every Body and Every Budget

    Yoga gifts for every body and every budget

     Our Guide to Choosing Perfect Yoga Gifts
    Looking for a gift for your favorite yogi? We’ve created gift guides with suggestions for beginners, teachers, men who practice yoga, meditators, yogis who travel, and those who love hot yoga. There’s even a guide with gifts that every yogi would love to receive.

    Here’s a handy guide to gifts by price.
    Gifts under $15
    Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. A strap to bridge the gap when you can’t quite reach your toes. Grippy Toe Sox to keep you steady in poses...

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  • How to Choose the Best Yoga Mat for Your Practice

    So Many Choices

    How to Choose the Perfect Yoga Mat
    Before the late 1980s, there was no such thing as a yoga mat. The small but dedicated population who practiced yoga cobbled together an array of towels, blankets and foam pads for practice, but mostly we used whatever surface was available. Back then there were very few dedicated yoga studios. We practiced in church basements, YWCAs, gyms and school classrooms—where we had to move desks to clear a space. We practiced on linoleum, vinyl, concrete, wood, carpet—you name it.

    It was rustic, to say the least. So when Angela...

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  • Advanced Yoga — with Yoga Props

    How Using Yoga Props Deepens Practice
    Not too long ago, yoga made it into The Wall Street Journal. The article, titled “In Yoga, Blocks and Straps Get More Respect,” plugs yoga props as a way for anyone, including experienced practitioners, to deepen their practice while maintaining integrity. While acknowledging the mainstream misconception that many yogis see props as “crutches” to use until you can do the poses without them, the author debunks the notion by giving examples of ways experienced yogis use them move more deeply into practice.

    To this, I say, “Amen.”

    Some of my students have been attending my classes since...

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