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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Writing Yoga: Empty Mat, Empty Page

    Before I begin, the emptiness seems so vast, and my thoughts and actions seem so small, so insignificant, that they hardly seem worth pursuing.

    Where should I begin? With cat and dog tilts? Mountain pose? Forward bends?

    And what should I write? Can I describe the discomfort? The emptiness? The insignificance of these actions?

    Amazingly, though, once I step on the mat or open my journal, these fears evaporate, and the emptiness disappears, too, no longer a vast vacuum waiting to swallow me up.

    Instead, I find myself excited by the prospect of discovering something new...

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  • Celebrate Pumpkin Seeds!

    Which came first: the pumpkin or the pumpkin seed?

    It’s one of those great mysteries we may never be able to answer. What we do know is that in terms of receiving national honors, National Pumpkin Seed Day (today) precedes National Pumpkin Day, which we’ll celebrate every year on October 26th.

    We also know that pumpkins and their seeds have been around a long time. Native to the Americas, the oldest evidence of pumpkin-related seeds were found in Mexico, and date back to somewhere between 7000 and 5500 BCE.
    Eat Your Pumpkin Seeds!
    In addition, we know that...

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  • Meatless Monday: Preserved Lemon

    One of the delights of attending retreats is the opportunity to taste new, healthy food at every meal. While I love to cook, I also enjoy being surprised. Last summer my favorite new ingredient that appeared in all sorts of main and side dishes was a traditional North African condiment: preserved lemon.

    Preserved lemons are simple to make. The main challenge is to remain patient. Like most pickled condiments, they take a while to mature. You can buy lemons already preserved at Middle Eastern grocery stores or online, but they’re usually not organic. While I was initially anxious to...

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  • Zafu and Zabuton: The Meditation Combination

    How you support your body in sitting meditation can make all the difference between feeling agitated and edgy or feeling calm and relaxed. The traditional combination of Zafu and Zabuton is the most popular, time-tested support for sitting practice.

    Sitting on a Zafu gives your hips extra height, allowing your pelvis to tilt forward and your spine to maintain its natural curves. When your spine is in its natural curves, it supports itself. There’s then no need to use muscular energy to sit up straight. When you have to exert a lot of effort just to maintain your posture...

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  • Tapas Travel Mat: Take Your Practice Anywhere

    Last summer, we published a blog on yoga practice for road trips. When you drive, you can easily pack your essentials without having to focus too much on bulk and weight. Air travel is a whole different animal.

    With ever-increasing baggage restrictions we need to be judicious about what we decide to take with us and what we have to leave behind. Bulky items take up precious space in our roller bags. All too often, our yoga mat has to stay at home.

    Back in the ’90s, some traveling yogis requested that we design a packable yoga mat...

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  • Why Use Yoga Practice Rugs?

    In most yoga classes, nonskid yoga mats are the standard. They can be thick, thin, patterned, solid, long, short, colorful, neutral, eco-friendly or not so much. What they have in common is that all these mats are patterned after our Tapas™ Original Mat, invented back in 1990. These mats have been a fantastic innovation for so many yoga practitioners, keeping all of us safe from sliding hands and feet.

    However, teachers in some traditions recommend practicing on a completely different surface. In Ashtanga Yoga, the style developed by the late Patabhi Jois, Yoga Practice Rugs are the standard. There...

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  • Junior Bolsters: Not Kids’ Stuff

    Hugger Mugger began making Standard Bolsters in the late 1980s. Since then we have developed and refined them to be the firmest, most stable and longest-lasting bolsters available. Our handmade bolsters are staples in studios and homes around the world.

    The design and dimensions of our Standard Bolsters are based on measurements we obtained 30 years ago from the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India, the place where yoga bolsters were born. Our Standard Bolsters still meet the same exacting criteria. This is because for most purposes in yoga practice, the Standard Bolsters fit pretty much every...

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  • V-Shaped Cushion for Sitting Support

    Most people learn pretty quickly that comfort is crucial when you practice sitting meditation. Maintaining your natural spinal curves in meditation is the key to ease in sitting. The key, even if your hips are very flexible, is making sure your pelvis is higher than your ankles.

    You can accomplish your perfect sitting position in many ways—by sitting on a Zafu, a Zen Pillow, Meditation Bench or a V-Shaped Meditation Cushion. Depending on the structure of your hip joints—which is unique to all of us—the V-Shaped Cushion may be a great, supportive choice for your sitting practice.

    In...

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  • 30 Years of Yoga at Hugger Mugger

     

    The Original Hugger Mugger Shorts

    In early 1986 Iyengar teacher Mary Dunn taught a weekend workshop in Salt Lake City. Mary was the daughter of Mary Palmer, one of Iyengar’s very early American students. Iyengar was Dunn’s only yoga teacher throughout her life.

    As an Iyengar teacher, Mary needed to have props on site at the workshop. The workshop sponsors Cita Mason Riley and David Riley cobbled together what passed for props in those days—straps (neckties from a secondhand store) and “blankets” (samples of outdated carpet from a local carpet store). There...

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  • Shriners Hospital for Children

     When most of us hear the word “hospital,” the first adjective that comes to mind is probably not “cheery.” And yet, Salt Lake City’s Shriners Hospital for Children fits that description. The color-studded building sits atop a hill surrounded by an expansive green lawn. As you walk in the front door, you’re greeted by life-sized renditions of Alvin and the Chipmunks.Shriners Hospitals have a long, storied history. Conceived at a 1920 meeting of Shriners International Fraternity, their mission is to provide orthopaedic care to children 18 and under regardless of their ability to pay. From the first Shriners Hospital, founded...

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