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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • New to Yoga? 4 Essential Props to Bring to Class

    Are you thinking about trying a yoga class? Or have you just started a class? In either case, the tools you use to assist your practice can make or break it for you. It’s true that many studios and health clubs provide props. But sometimes they don’t, or the community props may not be in fantastic shape. In this case, bringing your own can really make or break your practice. In addition, having your own props can inspire you to practice at home—the heart of asana practice. If you’re new to yoga practice, choosing a class that fits you can...

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  • Meatless Monday: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and Cashews

    Brussels sprouts are among my fave veggies. They are often considered fall and winter vegetables. But there’s no reason we can’t have one last hurrah with them in the springtime as they fade from the produce shelves. As part of the brassica family, which also includes kale, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory. They’re also loaded with fiber. Even veggies, such as root vegetables, that are associated with winter can be lightened in the cooking. Sautéing and stir-frying are great, quick ways to make winter veggies feel and taste like spring. Today’s Meatless Monday...

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  • Parvrtta Ardha Padmasana: Lotus with a Twist

    Lotus Pose (Padmasana) may be yoga asana’s most recognizable pose. This is a bit odd, since many Westerners do not have hip joints that will perform the pose safely. Lotus Pose requires a whole lot of external rotation, more than many Western hip joints can muster. Perhaps Lotus Pose became an asana icon because of the practice’s East Indian origins. My own completely anecdotal observation from time spent in India revealed that Indian hip joints appear to externally rotate much more easily and universally than those of my students in the U.S. Poses such as Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose...

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  • Savasana for the Prenatal Practice: Part Two

    In Part One, we saw how a Pranayama Bolster can support an expecting mama in a comfortable side-lying position for Savasana. For Part Two, let’s see how a Standard Bolster can be used to create a modified version of the traditional Savasana pose during pregnancy. © Kaesie Cole Photography & Utah Prenatal Yoga Most pregnant women find it uncomfortable to lie on their backs for a long, traditional Savasana pose. This is because back-lying can put pressure on the inferior vena cava, which is the large vein that returns blood back to the mother’s heart and brain. However, creating a gentle...

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  • Meatless Monday: Caramelized Onion Pizza

    When I was in college at Indiana University I paid my tuition and rent working a couple nights a week at a legendary pizza place, Mother Bear’s Pizza Barn. (This was back in the days when tuition and rent were much more reasonable than they are today.) Mother Bear’s was a great place to work. The pizza was good, the tips were decent (for a college town) and best of all, my fellow employees were a blast to work with. Back then, the trendiest pizzas were thick-crusted and loaded with lots of ingredients. Deep dish, “Sicilian-style” pizzas were a specialty...

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  • TreeUtah: Planting Trees, Building Community

    When the Mormon pioneers first glimpsed the Salt Lake valley, it’s said that in addition to the huge, salty lake, there was a single tree in the entire valley. In response, the pioneers got busy planting acres of trees of all kinds. These newly planted trees provided not only fruit, but oxygen, shade and of course, beauty. Trees are, in fact, our partners on the planet. Through photosynthesis, they absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. A single tree can absorb up to 330 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, while providing enough oxygen for a whole family. As an integral thread...

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  • Meatless Monday: Greens and Cauliflower Indian Style

    As spring arrives—in fits and starts—my cravings turn to lighter fare. Just a few weeks ago, homey, baked dishes attracted me. Now, I’m craving sautés and salads. This week’s recipe, which features cruciferous cauliflower and peppery watercress, comes from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. The ingredient list may look long, but the recipe is easy to assemble. When I make a stir-fry or sauté, I like to get all my veggie chopping done in advance, so that when it comes time to cook, everything is ready to go. When a recipe contains a spices that will...

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  • Retiring Pigeon Pose

    I didn’t want to do it. I’ve always enjoyed Pigeon Pose, or at least the hip-opening variation that’s a preparation for Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon). Many of my students like it too. For many years Pigeon Prep was a staple in my classes. When we’d practice vinyasa-style, it felt wonderful to swing forward from Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) into Pigeon—it was a smooth move that I miss. But the more I’ve begun to delve into hip health in the past few years, the more I realize that Pigeon Pose is likely problematic for many practitioners...

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  • Meatless Monday: Spicy, Roasted Cauliflower

    I’ve been attempting to increase the number of cruciferous veggies in my diet. In the process, I’ve fallen in love all over again. Ever since I was old enough to appreciate food that wasn’t chips or sweets, broccoli, cauliflower and the like have been favorites. Cruciferous veggies are nutritional powerhouses. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals. Studies show that eating as few as three servings a week can reduce the risk of cancer. A doctor I’ve seen recently, Dr. Ana Maria Lopez, suggests that veggies occupy half your plate at every...

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  • Parvrtta Parsvakonasana: Rotated Side-Angle Pose

    If I had to pick yoga’s most complicated yoga asana—among the more commonly practiced poses—Parvrtta Parsvakonasana (Rotated Side-Angle Pose) would get my vote. Parvrtta Parsvakonasana is a Warrior Pose, a twist and a balance pose. Its benefits are many. According to Yoga Journal, practicing Rotated Side-Angle Pose: Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles Stretches the groins, spine, chest and lungs, and shoulders Stimulates abdominal organs Increases stamina Improves digestion and aids elimination Improves balance Parvrtta Parsvakonasana is commonly practiced in many popular classes, including fast-paced vinyasa classes. Even if you prefer moving quickly through sequences, it can be...

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