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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog
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... read more
The Case for Homegrown Tomatoes
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...read more
Why Be Mindful? Anything Can Happen Any Time
One chilly February day in 1997, I was rushing to a meeting with the founder of the soon-to-be-opened Cancer Wellness House. About three blocks from my appointment, I was happy to be greeted by a green light at a major intersection. As I entered the intersection, BAM! Suddenly, my car was turned sideways in the middle of the intersection and I was completely dazed and confused. A witness told police that another car T-boned mine while running the red light.
Although I was wearing my seat belt, my head hit the driver’s side window...read more
The Yoga of Patience
I had the good fortune to spend 18 days at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in the past few weeks. My partner and I attended two back-to-back nine-day retreats. The first nine days focused on the cultivation of kindness and compassion, and the second nine days focused on mindfulness practice. I feel immense gratitude for the teachings, the practice and the wisdom of the teachers.
When I tell people who haven't engaged in this type of practice that I’m off to attend a silent meditation retreat, most reactions fall into two categories: “I couldn’t be quiet for that long”...read more
Then It’s Over
The blue breaks through
the setting clouds, an old fire,
while the field lays down
its colors for the night.
Sky tumbles over itself
day to night, tension to calm.
What we think happened,
and what no one but the wind saw--
all lost to the first falling star.
Nothing hurts for a moment.
Those you love shine
whether still here or long gone.
A wide darkness envelopes
the world, takes your hand,
and shows you where to stop
looking and where to start.read more
I’ve always loved walking. Back in the 1960s, when most people considered going out for a drive to be a leisurely Sunday activity, my father took us out on walks. Unlike most kids in our neighborhood, my sisters and I walked the mile to school, rain or shine—but not uphill both ways. As a family, we spent summer evenings walking to the Ohio River to watch the barges and the occasional steamboat glide by. We never rode an elevator when we could climb the stairs.
So when I started practicing Insight meditation in the 1980s, I took to the walking meditation...read more
Sequencing Yoga Poses
In 1989 I went to India for a three-week intensive with B.K.S. Iyengar and his daughter, Geeta. Mr. Iyengar had just turned 70, and Geeta was officially handling the majority of teaching duties. However until the last week of the intensive, B.K.S. appeared every day and taught much of every class. During the last week, he traveled out of town to teach a class for one day, leaving Geeta to teach on her own.
Because most of us were preparing to board a plane for the long trip home, Geeta led a class designed to prepare us for flight...read more
Ending a Yoga Class
When we begin teaching at a certain time, we don’t usually envision the class ending. Such was the case with my Monday noon-1:00 pm. Class I started teaching three years ago. The class was one of the first at a new yoga studio in the west side of our town where there aren’t other yoga studios, which tend to be clumped on the east side. Our hopes were high: this was a suburban area with lots of people, and surely many would want to come practice yoga in their own neighborhood.
While the yoga studio has grown...read more
Revolved Lunge aka Chaise Lounge Pose
Born to Anjana (a supernatural woman) and Kesari (king of the monkeys), Anjaneya had magical powers and royalty in his genetic inheritance. His godfather was Vayu, the wind god. Anjaneya was considered to be the reincarnation of Lord Shiva. His auspicious pedigree made him a bit of a star among mortals.
According to legend, Anjaneya once mistook the sun for a glowing piece of fruit. In an effort to grab it for himself, Anjaneya leapt repeatedly, much to the annoyance of Indra, the sun god. After all, even the Koch brothers...read more
The Yoga Gossip Machine: What Do You Do When Another Teacher Disses You Behind Your Back?read more
When students ask my opinion about another teacher in town, I’m deliberately vague. First, with the plethora of teachers (100 or more) being trained annually in various local trainings, I no longer know 99 percent of the teachers in town. Second, even if I do know the teacher about whom they’re inquiring, I don’t necessarily know how the student and teacher might connect. I encourage them to find out for themselves if another teacher might have something valuable to teach them. My response is always...