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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Meatless Monday: Spring Garden Vegetable Hodgepodge

    Meatless Monday: Spring Garden Vegetable Hodgepodge I’m a big fan of Deborah Madison, former chef of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. For that matter I’m a huge fan of Greens Restaurant. On the fortunate occasions that I get to visit the Bay Area, I always make time to go to Greens at least once. The food is healthy, innovative and always inspiring. As a vegetarian since 1978, it’s like Christmas to go to a restaurant where I can order anything on the menu. Back in the early days, salads were often the only thing I could order at most restaurants...

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  • Compassion: On and Off the Mat

    How Practicing Yoga Cultivates Compassion It’s a mystery how it happens, but, thanks to the poses that I do on my mat, I can feel a deeper sense of compassion for others and for myself. Why is that, I wonder? When I press my palms against the mat in Downward Dog, I can feel compassion for my tight hamstrings and stiff shoulders. Standing on one leg in Tree Pose, I can feel compassion for the back of my wobbling calf, my out-of-balance hips. In Plank, I can feel compassion for my aching wrists and elbows. And in Mountain Pose, I...

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  • Ease Your Lower Back with a Yoga Block

    Standing Forward Bend with Big Blue Block Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) is one of yoga’s most emblematic poses. We practice it in almost every style of yoga—as part of the Sun Salutation, as a resting pose between other standing poses and as a part inversion/part hamstring stretch on its own. The most immediately noticeable effect of practicing Standing Forward Bend is, of course, the sensation in the hamstrings. But Uttanasana has many other benefits as well. Like most forward bends, it calms the brain and nervous system. It is also said to reduce anxiety and fatigue, improve digestion, help...

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  • Yoga for Gardening: Poses to Practice in the Dirt

    Wall Dog Yoga for Gardening: Relief for Your Achin’ Back Springtime signals blooming bulbs, veggie planting and for me, lots of requests from students for yoga poses to counteract the effects of gardening. Shoveling, squatting, kneeling and bending over—the forms your body has to assume to get your garden ready for planting—all take a toll, especially when we likely haven’t been doing these things much over the winter. Here are some tips on how to minimize the effects of some of gardening’s most popular positions: • Shoveling: One of the problems with shoveling is that it’s asymmetrical. Most of...

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  • Meatless Monday: Spring Arugula Salad

    Meatless Monday: Spring Arugula Salad Anyone who says salads are unexciting has never tasted arugula. When the leaves are small, they pack a hefty, savory punch; when they get bigger their peppery flavor can be downright spicy. I’m not sure how arugula grows elsewhere, but in my garden it’s always the first of my salad greens to be ripe for picking. It’s also the first to bolt, which it does quite suddenly. Because I usually have an abundance of arugula in my garden, I’ve tried lots of salad recipes. I also enjoy it in frittatas, as an uncooked pizza topping...

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  • The Wisdom of Humility in Yoga Practice

    Humility in Yoga Practice “A deep sense of humility will help you learn yoga. It is important to remember that no one path or school has a monopoly on the truth. There are excellent and poor practitioners in all schools of yoga. “Gaining maturity in yoga practice involves learning to respect the paths that other people are on and acknowledging their merits, maybe even acknowledging that your own path is lacking in some area where another one excels.” ~ Geeta S. Iyengar I stumbled upon this quote by Geeta Iyengar recently. For me, it was both timely and resonant. If...

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  • Can Yoga Help Us Overcome Fear?

    Can Yoga Help Us Overcome Fear? I’m not sure when I realized this, but yoga has helped me to overcome many fears—fear of being seen, speaking in front of groups, trying new things. Fear stopped me from moving ahead. I have used and can use my practice to move through just about anything. Insidious as it sounds, the benefits of a daily yoga practice have a way of sneaking up on you. Of course, for humans, fear has kept us alive historically and presently. There are legitimate fears that teach us about survival: fear of moving objects, not having enough...

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  • Meatless Monday: Roasted Fresh Asparagus

    Meatless Monday: Roasted Fresh Asparagus We’re in that magical time of year when fresh asparagus is in season, and it’s not too hot to use your oven. Today’s recipe takes full advantage of this. Most of the recipes I’ve posted in the Meatless Monday column have been one-dish meals, or at least recipes that need little else to complement them. Today’s recipe is, instead, the epitome of simplicity. It is a simple side dish with only a few ingredients. So it can potentially complement a wide variety of main dishes. Asparagus tends to break down more quickly than most vegetables...

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  • Humane Society of Utah

    Humane Society of Utah: A Safe Haven for Animal Friends Many years ago, I went looking for one of my outdoor, community cats who had disappeared. I checked out both the county’s facility and the Humane Society of Utah (HSU). Both places were housing large numbers of adoptable cats in the standard square kennels, stacked one upon the other. (I did find my feral cat, in a back room reserved for “special needs” kitties.) My recent visit to the Humane Society of Utah revealed vastly different digs for the resident cats. A few years ago, funded by cat lovers’ donations...

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  • Meatless Monday: Kale Salad #2

    Raw Tuscan Kale Salad for Meatless Monday Last week’s Meatless Monday column touted raw kale and what a great base ingredient it is for a hearty salad. As a kale lover for decades, I’ve been really happy to witness its recent popularity, including throughout the yoga community. As a lover of cookbooks and recipes, I’m also grateful that kale is being featured in so many more creative recipes than it was in the past. Over the summer, I’ll be posting more kale salad recipes. If you grow your own and have an abundance, salads are a quick, easy way to...

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