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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Utah Food Bank: Feeding Utah’s Families

    Utah Food Bank Back in the Day

    Utah Food Bank:  Feeding Utah’s Families
    While driving to the Utah Food Bank to visit their main Salt Lake City facility, I was picturing a rather large, but cozy, food pantry where anyone in need could come and collect supplies at any time. Boy was I wrong.

    The Utah Food Bank, founded 108 years ago—how’s that for a yogically auspicious history?—is instead housed in an 86,000-square-foot warehouse that’s stacked to its atmospheric ceilings with shelves of well-organized boxes of every kind of food imaginable. The food bank’s Salt Lake City distribution center...

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  • The Advanced Yogi: Not What You Think

    Yoganidrasana by a True “Advanced Yogi” (BKS Iyengar)

    What is an Advanced Yogi?
    Recently I led some yoga students through a rather lengthy series of leg-stretching asanas based on Supta Padanghustasana (Supine Big Toe Pose). I traditionally end the series with a one-legged version of Yoganidrasana (ankles behind the head). Of course, most people in my classes feel pretty flexible if their foot ends up within a few inches of their faces—and honestly, that’s really quite flexible compared to the average person on the street.

    The orientation and depth of many people’s hip sockets will never allow the full...

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  • Asanas for Snow: Yoga for Skiing

    Yoga for Skiing


    As the days get shorter most skiers start daydreaming about the sparkling white wonderland and the bounding, weightless dance with gravity that awaits. Skiing or riding down the side of a mountain thrills the senses and nourishes the soul but can take a heavy toll on the body. Engaging gravity and speed standing on your feet requires quick reflexes, balance, and power and often leave muscles tight and sore.

    Yoga’s asanas, or poses, are often sought out by ski fanatics as a way to remedy the aches and...

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  • Happy Thanksgivukkah: The Yoga of Cleaning, Sorting and Cooking

    Happy Thanksgivukkah: The Yoga of Cleaning, Sorting and Cooking
    I spent a good part of the last few days scrubbing cabinets, amazed at how much sticky muck lines the tops and sides when you don’t think to clean them more than every decade. Then I started in on reorganizing the fallen piles of pots and pans, the giant bowl of never-used cookie cutters, and the menagerie of parts for food processors long gone.

    “You’re doing your fall cleaning,” my husband observed, and yes, I was, and with a vengeance. Thanksgiving and Hanukkah intersect this year, and suddenly, I’m enchanted with the notion...

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  • Supta Baddhakonasana: Rest and Digest


    Supta Baddhakonasana:  Rest and Digest
    As daylight hours wane, all living things naturally turn inward. Autumn is the time of inward and downward flow. In autumn, we hunker down, settle into our roots, and let go of what is no longer needed.

    As trees release of their leaves and plants turn brown and brittle, we also let go of the high-energy vibrancy of the sun’s radiance, in favor of the muted light of its more oblique rays. Consciously or subconsciously, we often mourn the seeming loss of summer’s vitality. But it’s the time of...

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  • Rubber Yoga Mats

    Tapping a Rubber Tree

    We’ve sold out of our Urban and Native Rubber Mats. Check out our great, new Para Rubber Yoga Mats!
    Natural Rubber Yoga Mats
    The rubber plantations of Malaysia and Indonesia provide the material for our Urban (Recycled Rubber) and Native (Natural Rubber) mats. Native to South America, rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) are tapped for their latex, the source material for all natural rubber products. While more than half the rubber used in manufacturing today is synthetic—from petroleum sources—we use only natural tree-sourced rubber in our mats.

    Rubber's name comes from one of its early uses—as an...

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  • Silent Time: Encouraging Individual Exploration


    The Gift of Silent Time in Yoga
    Occasionally I’m invited to team teach a class that will benefit a local charity. I always accept these invitations, as I feel that this is a great way to use my skills to benefit my community. I also enjoy the opportunity to observe different teaching styles of the other teachers who donate their time.

    I admit to being an old-school teacher. I grew up in the Iyengar system, focusing on alignment; using plenty of props; staying a long time in poses; and observing, often in silence, the...

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  • The River of Your Life: A Yoga Meditation


    The River of Your Life: A Yoga Meditation
    Writer Anne Lamott says there are two great metaphors for our lives: rivers and gardens. Thinking along the river lines when it comes to yoga, I recently decided to use this guiding metaphor as a way to explore the running and slow meandering of our lives during a Savasana meditation. Feel free to use my words or adapt your own to unfurling the river we live.
    River Meditation
    Note: Leave time, usually 3-4 long breaths of time, between paragraphs.

    Once you’re comfortable with Savasana, elongate your...

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  • What Love Looks Like


    What Love Looks Like
    This morning as I sat in meditation a stray thought popped into my head seemingly out of nowhere, as most thoughts do. I momentarily wondered what I would do if I went outside to feed my four beautiful feral cats and found that one of them was sick, injured or worse. Would I go to work anyway? How would I deal with it? I dutifully dismissed the thought and returned to my breath.

    After I got up from my sitting practice I went to feed the ferals. I first noticed that the bed...

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  • Upavista Konasana: From Side Splits to Stillness

    Upavista Konasana: From Side Splits to Stillness
    My dad was a competitive gymnast in his teens and 20s. When he stopped competing, he still enjoyed practicing in our yard on his pommel horse. My sisters and I inherited his athleticism in various ways, but I ended up with the lion’s share of his flexibility.

    While my sisters and I had fun crawling around the yard, spider-like, in backbends—what yoga practitioners call Upward Bow—I was the only one who could flop down into side splits and bend forward with a perfectly straight back and rest my chin on the ground. It was a...

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