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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • The Yoga of Surrender in Sayulita

    The Yoga of Surrender
    Sayulita is a small, laid-back fishing village about 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s the perfect place for a honeymoon if you just want to be on a tropical beach and do as little as possible.

    In our vast, open schedule, I imagined we would find time for lots of yoga classes, but that was not to be. First, there was the food poisoning—from the airport in Salt Lake City, which struck before we even landed. Then, I got the kind of cold that hits when you can finally let down your guard after a stressful...

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  • Body-Positive Yoga: The Aging Yoga Body

    Body-positive yoga is gaining ground. As we start to welcome all shapes, sizes, races and genders, here's a plug for celebrating our aging bodies too.

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  • My Body, My Friend?

    Yoga Body - My Body, My Friend
    I once had to initiate a break-up.

    With a friend.

    It took me a long time to realize it, but our friendship had become toxic. I shared responsibility for letting the relationship get to the one-sided point it did, but it wasn’t really about that.

    What it was really about was what I hadn’t let myself see, as well as what I hadn’t bothered to learn in the first place.

    You know what else that reminds me of?

    My relationship with my body.
    My Body, My Self?
    Although I guess I technically lived in my body (it seemed up for debate...

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  • How Yoga Can Change your Habits

    Junk Food Might Taste Good Going Down, But How Does You Feel After?

    How Yoga Can Change Your Habits
    When I first began practicing asana back in 1982, my intention was to regain my natural flexibility. Years of hiking, biking and not stretching had tightened me up, and I felt a need to balance my strength. I’d always been curious about the mental dimension of yoga, even though I had no idea what it was. So I found a hatha yoga class and from my first class, I knew I’d found a home.

    Back then I was 26 years...

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  • My Para Rubber Yoga Mat - Friend or Foe?

    My Para Rubber Yoga Mat
    I expected movie love. I wanted to fall head over heels in love with my brand new Para Rubber Yoga Mat. But that was not to be. I packed up my Para Mat and took her for an inaugural four-day retreat, banking on the fact that I would adore it. I actually spent a lot of that retreat thinking how much I regretted bringing her. We practiced for more than 15 hours over the course of the retreat. Think how nice it was for me to have something to vent my frustrations over (my mat).

    I didn’t...

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  • The Yoga of Swimming

    The Yoga of Swimming
    I step into the cold pond, each step a bit more of a shiver, my feet happy and a little nervous on the rounded rocks and moss. My friend surges ahead of me and drives up, splashing me with cold and life. I know I need to take another step and let go, sink in to my shoulders, but I also know that yelping will likely be involved as well as the urge to run back out. But retreat is not an option; surrender is.

    I jump in, shiver, yell, thrash around, and give myself over to motion...

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  • 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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