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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • The Mixed-Level Class Conundrum

    How to Keep Everyone Safe and Happy in a Mixed-Level Class
    (Hint: There’s no easy answer.)
    Last weekend began the first segment of a teacher training I’ve been coteaching for the past three years. It’s always fun to meet the new trainees and to hear inspiring stories about how Yoga practice has changed their lives.

    During the last class of the weekend, we asked them to share with us what they consider to be essential qualities for a teacher. We also invited them to share their experiences with various teachers and tell us about what has worked and what hasn’t.

    One student related this...

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  • Teacher, Know Yourself

    Meditation:


    Teacher, Know Yourself
    It is wisdom to know others; it is enlightenment to know oneself. ~ Lao Tzu

    I’ve been fortunate to learn from so many knowledgeable yoga teachers over the past 32 years. My first teachers, Olivia Cita Mason and David Riley, as a physical therapist and doctor, planted a seed of curiosity about anatomy in me, and introduced me to the Iyengar system. The late Mary Dunn inspired through her knowledge and enthusiasm. Judith Hanson Lasater has, among many other things, shown me how to be a teacher. From...

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  • Baddha Konasana - Barre to Blankets

    Baddha Konasana: Barre to Blankets
    During grade school, my sisters and I took ballet classes. We studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory with a lovely young dancer named Donna Ficker. A year or two into our lessons we had to find a new teacher when Donna’s mother moved the family to New York, where her younger sister Suzi changed her name to Suzanne Farrell and joined George Balanchine in the New York City Ballet. I particularly remember watching Suzi practice at the studio amid excited murmurs about her already burgeoning career.

    During our brief ballet career my dad, a gymnast with an eye...

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  • Yoga Poetry - What the Sky is Made Of

    Yoga Poetry - What the Sky Is Made Of
    The sky is made of soft rain and hard light,

    the old yearning to be held, the ancient fear of not

    having enough, and the fountain of wind that says,

    Something’s gone, something else is arriving.

     

    The sky is made of rocks shattered finer than

    the smallest atoms of human memory, air we call breath

    once we take it in and turn it to motion, anger, or song.

     

    The beating of hummingbird wings compose the sky,

    as well as the fluttering of muscle on muscle, the space

    in between the rain, the drum of the jackrabbit’s heart.

     

    The sky is made of...

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  • Youthlinc - Serving Communities Near and Far

    Youthlinc Creates Lifetime Humanitarians
    One of the best ways to gain perspective on your life—its ups and downs, joys and obstacles—is to venture out of your own back yard. Stepping away, even for a short time, creates space around the things that vex you, and helps your problems seem a little more surmountable. In that space, in relationship to others, you might also remember that you’re not alone. People outside your home, your town and your country are not so different, despite how different our lives might appear.

    This realization is at the core of Youthlinc’s work, which could be summed up...

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  • What is Iyengar’s Legacy?

    What is Iyengar’s Legacy and What Will be Yours?
    September 6th will be the 30th anniversary of my dad’s passing. Taken by a sudden heart attack while talking on the phone, his death was a huge shock. He was not old—63—and very athletic, vital and energetic. Here one moment, gone the next.

    About a year after his passing, my sisters and mother and I got together for a few days. I clearly recall sitting in my younger sister’s apartment one afternoon, all of us ranting about politics. Reagan had just been reelected, and none of us was happy about it. As the...

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  • How Iyengar Yoga Influences Your Practice

    Iyengar Yoga: What Makes it Different?
    In recent days, many in the worldwide yoga community have been aware that the 95-year-old yoga teacher, BKS Iyengar, was hospitalized last week. He left this life today at 3:15 am (India time).

    If you practice almost any form of Hatha Yoga, whether or not you have studied directly with BKS Iyengar or someone who teaches his method, your practice has likely been influenced by him. His explorations into alignment and its effect on the gross and subtle physical bodies have changed the way most of the world practices Hatha Yoga. His scientific way of looking...

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  • Eat Your Antioxidants!

    Boost Your Antioxidants with a Seasonal Fruit Salad
    One of the best things about summer is that the sweetest, most succulent fruits and veggies are in season. Berries, in particular, are so much better when you can find them fresh and at the height of their sweetness.

    Among the most antioxidant-rich foods are berries, with blueberries at the top of the list. Stone fruits such as plums also rank high for antioxidant power. If you can find fresh, in-season fruits at a farmer’s market, look for them there, but if not, natural foods stores are a good source for organic, in-season fruit.

    We...

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  • Where Is My Body? How Yoga Practice Answers That Question

    How


    Where is My Body? How Yoga Practice Answers That Question
    When I started doing yoga, I was confused a lot. Always having a hard time remembering left and right, and also being somewhat disembodied after years of residing in my frontal lobe, I had trouble following direction. In Warrior II, when the teacher said to turn my back foot in one way, I would often turn it the other way. Sometimes I would bend forward instead of sideways. Even how, over 10 years of yoga practice, when my yoga teacher says...

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  • How Yogic are Your Tomatoes?

    The Case for Homegrown Tomatoes

    A

    I’ll admit it. I’m a tomato snob. Homegrown, organic, heirloom tomatoes in all shapes colors and sizes make the heat of August worth enduring. Nothing parallels eating a ripe tomato, fresh off the vine, still warm from the sun.

    I first came to love homegrown tomatoes as a child—Big Boys and cherry tomatoes from our little patch in a sunny spot alongside our garage. I discovered heirlooms in the early ‘90s, and have grown them in my yard every year since then. Also in the early ‘90s I quit...

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