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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Sankalpa: Setting Your Intention

    Sankalpa: Setting Your Intention “Our intention creates our reality.” Wayne Dyer Until I took a yoga class, I’d never heard anyone talk about “setting an intention.” Years ago my father encouraged me to set goals, make outlines, form plans, but he never spoke about setting an intention. What did my yoga teacher mean, I wondered, when he spoke about setting an intention? What exactly was an intention—was it the same as a goal or something different?—and how did one go about setting it? In English, the word “intention” is defined as “a course of action that one intends to follow...

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  • Meatless Monday: Picnic Potato Salad

    Meatless Monday: Picnic Potato Salad with Marjoram and Pickled Onions Independence Day weekend may have just come and gone, but it is clearly not the end of potluck barbecue season. A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for tempeh skewers that lets vegetarians and vegans join the barbecue. Today I’m sharing a vegan version of another barbecue staple: potato salad. When I was a kid, I loved German potato salad. Although I was never a fan of the requisite bacon that was always peppered throughout, I loved the deep, vinegary flavor so much more than that of creamy mayo-based...

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  • Lightweight Sukasana Pillows Travel Easy

    Use a Sukasana Cushion for Ease in “Easy Pose” In some ways you could call sitting meditation the ultimate vacation. When you make the effort to step away from your mind’s usual drama even for a few minutes, you can feel refreshed, energized and peaceful. So it’s ironic that when we go on vacation—unless we’re going on a yoga or meditation retreat—we often leave our practice behind. Part of the reason could be that most meditation cushions are bulky and heavy, which is great for home practice, but not so easy when baggage space is limited. That’s why Hugger Mugger designed...

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  • Yoga Straps: Forward Bend with Ease

    Use a Yoga Strap to Maintain a Healthy Spine in Seated Forward Bend Even if you’re flexible, it’s not that easy to maintain your spine’s natural curves when you sit in Dandasana (Seated Pose). As with every pose, there are as many variations as to how Seated Pose will look as there are people. Dandasana, despite the fact that it looks simple, is challenging for almost everyone. At least, it’s challenging for almost everyone to practice it in a way that supports a healthy spine. This is because it’s not actually natural to sit with your legs straight in front...

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  • A Meditation for Abundance

    The Goddess Lakshmi A Meditation for Abundance Often people ask me how they can create more abundance in their lives. My experience is that the Universe answers our requests so it’s important to be very specific about what we want an abundance of in our lives. After doing some asana (maybe some sun salutations) and pranayama, take a seat, make sure you sit in a comfortable fashion where your spine is upright and you’re not likely to slouch. Set your intention or sankalpa. Commit to the practice and decide what your focus of abundance and generosity is. I recommend...

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  • Meatless Monday: BBQed Veggie Skewers

    Meatless Monday: Join the Barbecue with Tasty Skewers In the decades since I stopped eating meat, people have often asked whether I miss eating hamburgers on the grill. I don’t. I actually don’t care for the smell of barbecued burgers, but I do like the taste of grilled foods. Barbecues and potluck picnics abound in the summer. Vegetarians can always partake of the meatless sides at an outdoor barbecue, but why not participate in the main event? You can always bring a ready-made or homemade veggie burger, but making skewers (aka kebabs) is easy and fun, and there’s lots of...

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  • Supta Padangusthasana: Sustainable Stretching

    Supta Padangusthasana: Sustainable Stretching There are many reasons people decide to start practicing yoga. For me, it was simple curiosity, at least at first. Many of my students come to yoga to bring some calm to their lives. Some want to increase flexibility. A healthy percentage of my students originally came to practice hoping to resolve a physical issue, especially back pain. Whatever your intention, practicing yoga can indeed confer these benefits, along with other unexpected rewards. This month’s pose is one of my favorites for increasing mobility, helping alleviate back pain, and for helping connect students to the present...

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  • Free Your Breath with a Yoga Block

    Prasarita Padottanasana with a Big Blue Block Practice Prasarita Padottanasana with a Yoga Block Prasarita Padottanasana is one of yoga’s most balancing standing poses. Its symmetrical shape keeps your pelvis, sacroiliac joint and spine neutral and quiet, while the active rooting of your feet and legs allows your upper body to be soft and receptive. I like to settle into Prasarita in between standing poses to allow my body to ground and integrate. Practicing Prasarita Padottanasana confers many benefits. It strengthens and stretches the inner legs, hamstrings and spine; tones the abdominal organs; and calms the brain. It’s said...

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  • Parsvakonasana: Finding Continuity

    Parsvakonasana Parsvakonasana: Finding Continuity Utthita Parsvakonasana (Side Angle Pose) is a pillar among standing poses. It combines strong grounding with expansion and spinal rotation. It looks like a lateral stretch, and may even feel somewhat like one, but it’s not. In a true lateral stretch, your pelvis is not moving in the same direction as your spine (think Parighasana or Gate Latch Pose). In Side Angle Pose, your legs, pelvis, spine and head are all on a continuum. Finding that continuum is the art of the asana. Utthita Parsvakonasana is one of the poses that felt good for me...

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  • Meatless Monday: Parsley Pesto

    Italian Parsley Meatless Monday: Parsley Pesto Most of us are familiar with basil pesto. It’s the most traditional form of pesto. But over the years, many other base ingredients have proven to make tasty, refreshing pesto pastes as well. Kale’s recent popularity has made it a worthy pesto base, by itself and in combination with fresh basil. Arugula also makes a delicious, savory pesto. Currently, parsley of both the curly and Italian varieties is going crazy in my backyard garden. I can see that I’m soon going to have a hard time keeping up with it, so I’m working...

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