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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Yoga and Flexibility: Do You Have to be Flexible to Practice?

    Why Yoga and Flexibility Are Not Synonymous
    Fred is hands down the least flexible person I’ve ever encountered. In 28 years of teaching asana, I’ve never seen anyone who came close to his lack of mobility. His Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) was little more than a forward nod. Before coming to my classes, he had not sat on the floor since childhood, and required tall stacks of blankets to do so. But he didn’t mind using props for every single pose. They helped him feel more relaxed. He came to my classes weekly for more than two years, and consistently reported...

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  • All Sewn Up - How We Make Our Yoga Bolsters, Eyebags and Meditation Cushions

    Trina Ensures Our Yoga Bolsters Make the Grade
    Have you ever wondered what makes great yoga bolsters stand out? Like most things, there’s not just one factor. The number one quality that makes yoga bolsters rise above the pack is the balance between firmness and softness. A great bolster is firm enough that it bends only a miniscule amount, but is soft enough on the outside that it’s comfy for Restorative practice.

    Abraham Avelar, Hugger Mugger’s bolster master of the past eight years, has found the perfect combination of firm and soft. In order to fill a bolster to perfection, he has...

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  • Tips for Practicing Yoga Outdoors

    Take Your Yoga Outdoors!
    Practicing yoga outside in the sunshine is idyllic. Maybe there’s a gentle breeze flowing, or you’re so close to the ocean, you can feel the wind off the waves. A change of scenery can shift your perspective, and inspire profound reflection.

    But what happens when it’s so hot outside, you can’t even touch your mat? Dark colored mats get really hot in the direct sun. Suddenly you’re not reveling in the fresh air, or the scenery. You’re looking for the nearest shade, or the nearest bodega where you can buy a cool drink.

    If you are planning to practice...

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  • Yoga Poetry - The Bridge

    Yoga Poetry - The Bridge

    White

    The bridge is made of weather. The bridge is made of time.

    Translucent, the color of water, it spans the world in sharp relief

    to lushness of green, western edge of blue, rain shadow in between.

     

    Five miles north, the cedars drink up the storm while the sky inhales

    old starlight, already dead when it lands, for rock and root,

    bowed thunderhead and nightfall, velocity and cricket song.

     

    The bridge is a slim path between dusk and longing, a wide swath

    from sleep to starlight, an arm of weather linking here and there,

    telling us...

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  • Chaturanga Dandasana: Help from Your Hyoid

    Chaturanga Dandasana

    Chaturanga Dandasana:  Help from Your Hyoid
    What’s an eight-syllable name that, when spoken by a yoga teacher, elicits fear (or at least, a groan) in roughly half the population that practices yoga? The same phrase evokes a feeling of invincible awesomeness in many others. The answer:  Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose).

    Chaturanga looks like a push-up, but it’s not a push-up. It is primarily practiced as a transition pose in Sun Salutations, often between Downward Facing Dog and Upward Facing Dog or Cobra. Chaturanga requires a great deal of upper body strength, and therefore, it also builds...

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  • Foot Yoga for a Fine Foundation

    Your


    Foot Yoga Pampers Your Feet
    If the Shoe Fits …
    I can’t claim to have made healthy choices in all areas of my life throughout my history on the planet, but I can claim relative intelligence about one aspect of being in a body:  I’ve always worn sensible shoes. I’ve owned one pair of heels in my entire life, a pair of platform shoes I wore a few times in the mid-’70s, before chucking them after twisting my skinny ankles in them one too many times. The last time I wore heels...

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  • Yoga Mat History 101

    Prasarita Padottanasana on a Nature Collection Ultra Mat

    Ever Wondered Where Yoga Mats Came From? Here’s Yoga Mat History 101

    Things in the Yoga world have not always been as easy as they are now. Back in the olden days of Yoga in the U.S., practitioners had to deal not only with the challenges inherent in practice, but also the added difficulty of sliding around on a variety of different types of floors. I liken it to how our parents had to walk miles to school in rain and snow, uphill both directions. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration—as...

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  • What to Do When Your Yoga Class Falls Asleep

    What To Do When Your Whole Yoga Class Falls Asleep
    They fell asleep, every last one of them. I could tell people were dozing off when I led them through a guided imagery in Savasana, telling them about the need for rest and replenishment as the seasons changed. They obviously took me at my word. Snoring abounded. Slow, deep breathing took over. Some people’s eyelids fluttered just a bit; others had their tired eyes well hidden under eye pillows.

    By the time I was done with the meditation, and it was time to go, everyone was marvelously relaxed, which was good except...

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  • Quick and Tasty Dinner - Romaine Salad with Chives, Pecans, Chevre and Chive Blossoms

    Fresh


    Romaine Salad with Chives, Pecans, Chevre and Chive Blossoms
    I’ve been eating garden lettuce for several weeks now. My Romaine is not quite as big as what you’ll find in grocery stores, but it’s so tender and fresh. I’ve been enjoying this lively salad for the past few days. It’s especially fun to make this salad at the moment because my backyard chives are in bloom and the blossoms make a delicate and pretty addition to the greens. Of course, store-bought fresh, organic Romaine hearts will make a tasty salad if you don’t grow your...

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  • Yoga Poetry - You Rise Up to Meet the Falling World

    Yoga Poetry
    You Rise Up to Meet the Falling World
    Whatever you lift to the sky, the sky covers:

    middle-of-the-night exaggerations dissolve

    to slivers of sadness on your pillow,

    middle-of-life jolts compress the heavens

    into one streak of sleet, thawing into softer ground.

    Like the rain cycle that obscures the view,

    you can lose your way on old ground or forget

    the innate blue light in everything, ready again.

    The surface of the tall grass spins in the breeze

    it swirls into existence. The present twists down

    to meet you each time you catch your foot.

    Stars inform daylight or its absence.

    We are made to catch the falling world,

    just as the earth is...

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