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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Why Use Yoga Practice Rugs?

    In most yoga classes, nonskid yoga mats are the standard. They can be thick, thin, patterned, solid, long, short, colorful, neutral, eco-friendly or not so much. What they have in common is that all these mats are patterned after our Tapas™ Original Mat, invented back in 1990. These mats have been a fantastic innovation for so many yoga practitioners, keeping all of us safe from sliding hands and feet.

    However, teachers in some traditions recommend practicing on a completely different surface. In Ashtanga Yoga, the style developed by the late Patabhi Jois, Yoga Practice Rugs are the standard. There...

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  • Junior Bolsters: Not Kids’ Stuff

    Hugger Mugger began making Standard Bolsters in the late 1980s. Since then we have developed and refined them to be the firmest, most stable and longest-lasting bolsters available. Our handmade bolsters are staples in studios and homes around the world.

    The design and dimensions of our Standard Bolsters are based on measurements we obtained 30 years ago from the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India, the place where yoga bolsters were born. Our Standard Bolsters still meet the same exacting criteria. This is because for most purposes in yoga practice, the Standard Bolsters fit pretty much every...

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  • V-Shaped Cushion for Sitting Support

    Most people learn pretty quickly that comfort is crucial when you practice sitting meditation. Maintaining your natural spinal curves in meditation is the key to ease in sitting. The key, even if your hips are very flexible, is making sure your pelvis is higher than your ankles.

    You can accomplish your perfect sitting position in many ways—by sitting on a Zafu, a Zen Pillow, Meditation Bench or a V-Shaped Meditation Cushion. Depending on the structure of your hip joints—which is unique to all of us—the V-Shaped Cushion may be a great, supportive choice for your sitting practice.


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  • 30 Years of Yoga at Hugger Mugger


    The Original Hugger Mugger Shorts

    In early 1986 Iyengar teacher Mary Dunn taught a weekend workshop in Salt Lake City. Mary was the daughter of Mary Palmer, one of Iyengar’s very early American students. Iyengar was Dunn’s only yoga teacher throughout her life.

    As an Iyengar teacher, Mary needed to have props on site at the workshop. The workshop sponsors Cita Mason Riley and David Riley cobbled together what passed for props in those days—straps (neckties from a secondhand store) and “blankets” (samples of outdated carpet from a local carpet store). There...

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  • Shriners Hospital for Children

     When most of us hear the word “hospital,” the first adjective that comes to mind is probably not “cheery.” And yet, Salt Lake City’s Shriners Hospital for Children fits that description. The color-studded building sits atop a hill surrounded by an expansive green lawn. As you walk in the front door, you’re greeted by life-sized renditions of Alvin and the Chipmunks.Shriners Hospitals have a long, storied history. Conceived at a 1920 meeting of Shriners International Fraternity, their mission is to provide orthopaedic care to children 18 and under regardless of their ability to pay. From the first Shriners Hospital, founded...

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  • Mindful Skills for Law Enforcement

    Recently I had a wonderful opportunity to work with new police recruits. Self-care and resiliency skills are imperative in our world. What better way to serve than to teach yoga, breathing and meditation skills to law enforcement officers? I don’t pretend that it’s THE answer to what has been happening in the United States, yet I do believe that it’s a beginning.

    I think of the adrenaline that flows when we feel our life is threatened, that fight-or-flight reaction that has helped humans survive. This happens on a regular basis for law enforcement officers who walk the beat, the...

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  • Meatless Monday: High-Protein Pilaf

    A few days ago I was asked to bring a favorite grain or bean salad to a dinner. Not knowing which to make, I decided on a salad that has both.

    But here’s a fun fact: Quinoa isn’t actually a grain. It is the seed from the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is often classified as a grain because we cook it the same way we cook grains, but it is, in fact, part of a subcategory called “pseudograins.”

    No matter. Besides its earthy taste and toothsome texture, quinoa is a complete protein. Paired it with chickpeas and...

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  • Yoga Practice is a Long-Term Relationship

    I began yoga practice in 1982. I was, of course, much younger then. I don’t know that it ever crossed my mind that I might someday enter my 50s or even my 60s. But once I began practicing asana, from the first class, I knew that I’d found a practice I could continue for the rest of my life.

    My picture back then was that my practice would probably look pretty much like this: I’d practice for at least an hour every day. I might change what poses I focused on, but the trajectory of my practice would always...

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  • Meatless Monday: Quinoa Pilaf

    I was fortunate to spend 18 days in July at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In addition to enjoying 2-1/2 weeks of noble silence and the teachings of some of the West’s most learned teachers, the 100 or so souls who sat and walked together were treated to creative, healthy vegetarian meals.

    One of my favorite meal days happened somewhere in the last half of the retreat, the day we enjoyed a chickpea salad and quinoa pilaf. Because we were in silence, ingredients were listed on cards in front of each dish, with potentially sensitive ingredients highlighted. On the day...

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  • Cool Down: Restorative Twist

    Spinal twists may be the most-often-requested type of asana in my classes. Not only do they feel good, but they also help keep your core muscles supple and your spine mobile.

    While the lumbar spine is only capable of twisting about five degrees, the thoracic spine—the section of the spine connected to the rib cage—loves to twist. The thoracic spine also happens to be an area that tends to become less mobile as we age. So twisting helps that more stable area of the spine maintain its range of motion.

    In yoga, we practice spinal twists in standing...

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