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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • How Aligning the Chakras and Yoga Can Change Your Practice and Your Life

    Anodea Judith on the Relationship Between Chakras and Yoga Practice
    Since first learning about the chakras in the 1970s, Anodea Judith has made teaching them her life’s work. Her first book Wheels of Life (1987, revised 1999: Llewellyn Worldwide) has sold more than 250,000 copies and been translated into 15 languages, with a number of best-selling books to follow. She calls them portals between the inner and outer worlds that provide a template for transformation and a map to manifest the lives we want to live. Jodi Mardesich recently spoke with her via Skype.

    How did you come in to this line of work?
    ...

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  • Supta Baddhakonasana: Rest and Digest

    Pushkin Instructing Supta Baddhakonasana

    Supta Baddhakonasana:  Rest and Digest
    As daylight hours wane, all living things naturally turn inward. Autumn is the time of inward and downward flow. In autumn, we hunker down, settle into our roots, and let go of what is no longer needed.

    As trees release of their leaves and plants turn brown and brittle, we also let go of the high-energy vibrancy of the sun’s radiance, in favor of the muted light of its more oblique rays. Consciously or subconsciously, we often mourn the seeming loss of summer’s vitality. But it’s...

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  • Urdhva Mukha Prasarita Padottanasana

    Urdhva Mukha Prasarita Padottanasana: Hugging the Earth
    I’d like to propose an inevitability to accompany death and taxes: gravity. In fact it’s arguable that gravity is more consistently inevitable than taxes, because there are ways to get around paying taxes if you can afford it. None of us escapes gravity.

    Gravity is responsible for keeping us from floating off the surface of the Earth. It is also responsible Earth’s orbit around the sun and the moon’s orbit around us. It is partly responsible for the tides. Yes, there are some who get to play around in anti-gravity environments, and...

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  • Yoga Strap: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

    Using a Yoga Strap in Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
    Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (UHP) is one of a class of poses my students call “flying poses.” Flying poses are the ones that feel as if they’re expanding your body to its outer reaches. When you’re practicing UHP, or any of the other flying poses, you may even feel that your body is on the barest edge of spontaneously taking flight. It feels fantastic.

    All too often though, in UHP we’re working so hard to grasp the foot with our hand that we end up contracting inward rather than expanding outward. If...

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  • Another Way of Looking at Body Positive Yoga

    Body Positive Yoga - Why Yoga Really is All About the Body
    “It is through the body that everything comes to the mind. It is through and with your body that you have to reach realization of being a spark of divinity. How can we neglect the temple of the spirit?” — B.K.S. Iyengar (Sparks of Divinity, Rodmell Press)

    When I first read this quote years ago I interpreted this way: It is through our practice of asana, at those times when we lose the struggle and become the asana, that we see into our true nature, the undefined...

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  • Lavender Flowers for Yoga and Beyond

    Lavender Flowers

    Ahhhh ... Relax with Lavender
    Autumn is the time when it’s natural to draw inward. Right now it seems that every morning is noticeably darker and daylight ends a whole lot earlier each day. As our exposure to natural light decreases, sometimes a little mood modification is in order.

    Lavender is the perfect herb to brighten the shortening autumn days. In addition to its lush and stimulating scent, lavender is said to be a mood lifter, but it’s probably best known for its calming properties.

    There are many different types of lavender...

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  • Using a Yoga Block: Trikonasana

    Using a Yoga Block in Trikonasana

    Using a Yoga Block in Trikonasana
    If you look at the shape of Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) it’s easy to see that a whole lot of what feels great about it is its expansion and openness. But sometimes when we reach what we think is our “fullest expression” of Triangle, we find it becomes hard to breathe freely, or we may feel collapsed or contracted, especially in the front of the torso—anything but expansive.

    There are many reasons that our Trikonasana might not look and feel as expansive as we’d...

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  • Bad Dog Arts - Art for All

    Masterpiece in Red

    Bad Dog Arts Inspires a Love of Art for Kids of All Ages
    “To be an artist, you have to be a risk taker.” So says Victoria Lyons, co-founder/co-director of Bad Dog Arts, an organization named for the star of an illustrated book, Bad Dog Rediscovers America, by Michael Morgan Moonbird, the organization’s other co-founder and co-director. In the book, Bad Dog is a risk-taking renegade who travels around the country getting into all sorts of sticky situations.

    When Victoria and Michael embarked on the project that would become Bad Dog Arts...

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  • Hanumanasana: Take a Flying Leap

    Hanumanasana with Block

    Hanumanasana: Take a Flying Leap
    A while back, I recounted the story of Anjaneya, a child prodigy—part monkey, godson of the wind god Vayu, and reincarnation of Shiva—that got himself into trouble for making a giant leap for the sun without the sun god’s permission. Long story short, Anjaneya was not only absolved of his crime, after some wrangling with the sun god, but even elevated to god status. Dubbed Hanuman, he took the form of a monkey-god.

    The Ramayana tells the story of Hanuman’s most famous good deed, a heroic leap...

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  • Yoga Poetry - Body of Time

    Yoga Poetry - Body of Time
    What did you expect?, the knee asks.
    Just the way of the world, says the elbow.
    The wrinkles of the knuckles laugh harder,
    and the little toes on both feet turn out
    as if escape was possible. This body of time
    takes another breath, sends another valentine,
    ignores another blast of hatred even as it learns
    new tricks: ways to hang upside down in ropes
    at the yoga studio, or catch the melting ice cream
    before it escapes from cone to sidewalk.
    Since it became an I, it revels in being owned,
    in being...

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