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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Why Bendy People Might Not Make the Best Yoga Teachers

    Trikonasana How the Struggle Teaches Yoga Teachers How to Teach Years ago, I heard a famous quote embellished in the film, Annie Hall. In the film Woody Allen said, “Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym.” (Allen’s embellishment is the second sentence.) It was meant to diss teachers, especially gym teachers I guess, but in my three decades of yoga practice and teaching, I’ve come to understand this quote in a completely different way. I was born with a very loose-knit body. My dad was a gymnast, and I inherited his hypermobile body. So when...

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  • Use a Yoga Wedge in Dog Pose

    How Using a Yoga Wedge Can Save Your Wrists Adho Mukha Svanasana, aka Downward Facing Dog Pose or simply Dog Pose, is arguably the most ubiquitous of poses. Yoga teacher Donna Farhi calls it the “‘garlic’ of yoga poses—a panacea for whatever ails you.” Dog Pose is simultaneously an inversion, an arm balance, a forward bend and a restorative pose. It opens your shoulders, strengthens your arms, lengthens your spine, stretches your legs, inverts your internal organs and nourishes your brain. It invigorates and calms. For dogs and cats, Dog Pose is the equivalent of a morning cuppa, an elixir...

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  • Yoga Poetry - Everything That Rises

    Yoga Poetry - Everything That Rises Rise up without fear to the coffee and daylight skimming the dark.   Rise through the remnants of the dream where you are lost, all pay phones broken.   Rise toward the piano you haven’t played for months, and place your hands on the keys of your memory.   Play badly but loud, and let the ringing rise through your arms.   Rise into the first slant of light breaking across the living room floor to coat the sleeping dog.   Open the door into the cold and run to the passenger door to...

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  • Instant Maui - Your 20-Minute Vacation

    Take a Midwinter Break in Instant Maui It’s the season of short days, long nights and monumental to-do lists. Potlucks, concerts, rehearsals (for those of us who play holiday concerts) and gifting take us out of our usual routines. At a time when our schedules are stuffed to capacity, often the first things to get knocked off our to-do list are those niceties we do to take care of ourselves. I’m writing this month to suggest—strongly—that you leave at least one of your self-nurturing habits on your list. Please note that I’m making this suggestion for myself as much as...

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  • Shoulderstand - Save Your Neck with Yoga Blankets

    Shoulderstand on Yoga BlanketsHow Using Yoga Blankets in Shoulderstand Can Save Your Neck Looking to see the world from a new perspective? Going upside-down is one way to shift your point of view—literally. Inverted yoga poses are perfect for cultivating fertile creative ground in the body/mind. In addition to their many physical benefits, inversions are said to allow us to see with new eyes. When we turn upside down, the world looks different. The world hasn’t fundamentally changed of course; it is our relationship with it that has changed. This shift opens us to new perspectives, the foundation of...

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  • Yoga Gifts For Every Body and Every Budget

    Yoga gifts for every body and every budget  Our Guide to Choosing Perfect Yoga Gifts Looking for a gift for your favorite yogi? We’ve created gift guides with suggestions for beginners, teachers, men who practice yoga, meditators, yogis who travel, and those who love hot yoga. There’s even a guide with gifts that every yogi would love to receive. Here’s a handy guide to gifts by price. Gifts under $15 Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. A strap to bridge the gap when you can’t quite reach your toes. Grippy Toe Sox to keep you steady in poses...

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  • How to Choose the Best Yoga Mat for Your Practice

    So Many Choices Before the late 1980s, there was no such thing as a yoga mat. The small but dedicated population who practiced yoga cobbled together an array of towels, blankets and foam pads for practice, but mostly we used whatever surface was available. Back then there were very few dedicated yoga studios. We practiced in church basements, YWCAs, gyms and school classrooms—where we had to move desks to clear a space. We practiced on linoleum, vinyl, concrete, wood, carpet—you name it. It was rustic, to say the least. So when Angela Farmer discovered that the nonskid texture of...

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  • Advanced Yoga — with Yoga Props

    How Using Yoga Props Deepens Practice Not too long ago, yoga made it into The Wall Street Journal. The article, titled “In Yoga, Blocks and Straps Get More Respect,” plugs yoga props as a way for anyone, including experienced practitioners, to deepen their practice while maintaining integrity. While acknowledging the mainstream misconception that many yogis see props as “crutches” to use until you can do the poses without them, the author debunks the notion by giving examples of ways experienced yogis use them move more deeply into practice. To this, I say, “Amen.” Some of my students have been attending...

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  • Yoga Poetry - Almost Gone

    Yoga Poetry Almost Gone The sun calls one last word in its rusting voice, then leans to the west, sweetening its tune by forgetting the melody. The taste of light lingers in the sudden cooling of breath, the slim branch of a twisted tree over the horizon where one crow waits for the shadows the moon will throw over the brome field two turns of the wheel back in time.   The stand of cedars wakes with a start. The dry ground loosens its new cracks and tilts rocks for the snakes to emerge. The wind moves on, nothing to...

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  • How Aligning the Chakras and Yoga Can Change Your Practice and Your Life

    Anodea Judith on the Relationship Between Chakras and Yoga Practice Since first learning about the chakras in the 1970s, Anodea Judith has made teaching them her life’s work. Her first book Wheels of Life (1987, revised 1999: Llewellyn Worldwide) has sold more than 250,000 copies and been translated into 15 languages, with a number of best-selling books to follow. She calls them portals between the inner and outer worlds that provide a template for transformation and a map to manifest the lives we want to live. Jodi Mardesich recently spoke with her via Skype. How did you come in to this line of work? I...

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