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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Should You Teach Yoga When You’re Sick?


    Creating Safe Space:  Should You Teach Yoga When You’re Sick?
    Last winter dealt me a double whammy. After three years free from all manner of maladies, the sore throat/sinus/fever malaise caught me in early December. Then in the wee hours one January morning, the nasty norovirus took hold. The most violent symptoms abated after about 24 hours, but I felt the effects for four or five days. I hear that norovirus is making the rounds again this season. I’m knocking on wood …

    (FYI: Norovirus is the leading cause of temporary...

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  • Preparing the Body for Surgery: A New Kind of Yoga

    Preparing the Body for Surgery: A New Kind of Yoga
    “Breathe in one nostril for a count of four, and out the other for a count of eight,” Ursula told me today, sharing the kind of thing you might hear in a yoga class. Only I wasn’t in a yoga class, and Ursula isn’t a yoga teacher, but an energy healer. Lying on a massage table, breathing as she told me, I was learning another kind of yoga: a way of yoking with my body and soul that doesn’t involve Downward Facing Dog or Trikonasana, but there’s certainly enough Savasana to...

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  • Body Mindfulness - Why Yoga Really Is All About the Body …

     … Even Though Yoga’s Not Just About Asana
    “It is through the body that everything comes to the mind. It is through and with your body that you have to reach realization of being a spark of divinity. How can we neglect the temple of the spirit?” — B.K.S. Iyengar (Sparks of Divinity, Rodmell Press)

    When I first read Iyengar’s quote many years ago I interpreted this way: It is through our practice of asana, at those times when we lose the struggle and become the asana, that we see into our true nature, the undefined spaciousness that connects us all. This...

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  • Why Things Go Better When You Listen to Your Body


    Why Things Go Better When You Listen to Your Body
    Once I started listening to my body (admittedly <1% of the time, especially at the beginning), I was surprised by how it affected how I felt. (I’m obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed sometimes.) My bodily experience shifted—in that, I actually had one. Unreal. (Thank you, yoga.)
    Shouting From the Rooftops
    As my yoga practice helps me continue to hone this tool, and my body has to use more of a microphone and less of a bullhorn (we’re still a ways away from a...

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  • Ardha Supta Virasana: The Courage to Open

    Ardha Supta Virasana: The Courage to Open
    What do skiing and sitting in chairs have in common? Well, not much in terms of musculoskeletal engagement, adrenal activity and sensory delight. However, there is one thing that both have in common. When you sit and when you ski, your hip joints are in a flexed position, i.e. you are bent forward at the hips.

    There’s nothing wrong with flexing at the hip joints; our bodies are meant to do that when we sit, walk, ride a bike or ski. But most of us spend a significant portion of our lives in flexion, mostly...

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  • Tips for Yoga Teachers: Honoring Our Teachers

    Tips for Yoga Teachers:  Honoring Our Teachers

    Teaching Yoga is an honor. It is an opportunity to share what is most sacred in us, and an opportunity to guide others in the process of transformation. This is not a small thing. It is not only an honor; it is an enormous responsibility. For who among us can point the way to transformation if we ourselves have not tread that path?

    No one steps into the role of Yoga teacher without a whole lot of support from our families, friends, communities and our own teachers—Yoga teachers and teachers of other disciplines. In other...

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  • Yoga Resolutions - 4 Things You Can Wish for Your Yoga Practice in 2014

    Yoga Resolutions - 4 Things You Can Wish for Your Yoga Practice in 2014
    Are New Year’s resolutions a thing of the past? An antiquated practice moving inexorably toward extinction? If you read the numbers, you could easily get that impression. According to a CBS poll, 68 percent of Americans claim they do not make resolutions. That number is 10 percentage points higher than it was just two years ago.

    Perhaps it is because we're too busy and preoccupied to ponder our goals, or maybe it’s because time and again, many of us have learned that those resolutions are pretty hard to...

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  • How Important is Yoga Alignment?

    All Channels Clear in Trikonasana

    How Important is Yoga Alignment?
    My first yoga teacher was a student of the venerable Indra Devi. I only took classes from her for six months before moving to another state, but those classes planted a seed that has been flowering for 30 years now. June Bains was not a flashy teacher. She didn’t teach detailed yoga alignment—at all. But somehow who she was gave us all permission to explore not only the muscle-and-bones physical body, but the subtler layers as well.

    When I moved to Salt Lake City, I was introduced to Iyengar...

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  • Yoga Poetry: Speaking to the Wind

    Yoga Poetry
    Speaking to the Wind
    Where are you now, wind, when you’re everywhere?

    Jack rabbit of shadow, rustle of dry grass.

    Then it’s night, and you sweep through the center

    of tree or field, your hands too in love

    with what their wrists do when dancing.


    What unfolds its wet wings in the shimmer

    only to be dried into flight by you?

    What climbs a happy slope of light

    then the walls of the sky start, clanging happy

    fast down to the earth where a dragonfly

    holds tight to the paltry underside of leaf.


    Up or down.  That everywhere motion that love imitates,

    or at least what we think love can be, when...

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  • In Praise of Older Yoga Teachers

    Why Older Yoga Teachers Have a Lot to Offer—If You Take the Time to See It
    Truth be told, this post has been brewing in me for a while. But today when author and yoga blogger extraordinaire Carol Horton posted this blog on Facebook, I finally decided it was time. (Please note that Carol didn’t write this blog; she found it and posted it for discussion.)

    Let me start with this disclaimer: I am an older yoga teacher. I’m 58 years old and have been teaching for 27 years. So you may choose to filter this blog through the lens that it...

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