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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Meatless Monday: Udon Noodles with Asparagus

    Now that asparagus is in season, it’s easy to find both commercial and organic varieties. Be sure to take advantage of this while it’s easy to get. Today’s Meatless Monday recipe is based on a longtime favorite of mine that I got from the April 1994 issue of Vegetarian Times. Over the years I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe. For example, in the 1990s, Vegetarian Times went through a period of using little to no fat—healthy or otherwise—in their recipes. The two teaspoons of oil they recommend for this recipe is not nearly enough so I increased...

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  • Anjali Mudra: Simple Greeting or Divine Salute?

    Few positions are more ubiquitous in yoga practice than Anjali Mudra (Prayer Position). We often practice Anjali Mudra to begin and end a class. We begin and end Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) in Anjali Mudra. On silent meditation retreats, since verbal communication is verboten, it can mean lots of things:  “I acknowledge you,” “thank you,” “may I pass by?,” or “hello.” Anjali Mudra’s roots span Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Sikh traditions. As such, its meaning, and the meaning of its often accompanying verbalization, “namaste,” is subject to lots of interpretations. In many Western yoga asana classes, Anjali Mudra, accompanied by...

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  • Meatless Monday: Lima Beans with Olives and Peppers

    Lima beans had an infamous reputation when I was growing up. One of my siblings hated them more than pretty much anything. (My personal nemesis was Spam, a delicacy I still can’t stand the smell of.) Even now, although her tastes have widened considerably, she still doesn’t think much of limas. I happen to like them though. And I recently discovered an heirloom variety, Christmas Limas, that are big, buttery and beautiful. They are marbled red-brown and white, and unlike some other legumes that are marbled only when dry, they retain some of their mottled appearance even after cooking. This...

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  • New to Yoga? 4 Essential Props to Bring to Class

    Are you thinking about trying a yoga class? Or have you just started a class? In either case, the tools you use to assist your practice can make or break it for you. It’s true that many studios and health clubs provide props. But sometimes they don’t, or the community props may not be in fantastic shape. In this case, bringing your own can really make or break your practice. In addition, having your own props can inspire you to practice at home—the heart of asana practice. If you’re new to yoga practice, choosing a class that fits you can...

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  • Meatless Monday: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and Cashews

    Brussels sprouts are among my fave veggies. They are often considered fall and winter vegetables. But there’s no reason we can’t have one last hurrah with them in the springtime as they fade from the produce shelves. As part of the brassica family, which also includes kale, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory. They’re also loaded with fiber. Even veggies, such as root vegetables, that are associated with winter can be lightened in the cooking. Sautéing and stir-frying are great, quick ways to make winter veggies feel and taste like spring. Today’s Meatless Monday...

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  • Parvrtta Ardha Padmasana: Lotus with a Twist

    Lotus Pose (Padmasana) may be yoga asana’s most recognizable pose. This is a bit odd, since many Westerners do not have hip joints that will perform the pose safely. Lotus Pose requires a whole lot of external rotation, more than many Western hip joints can muster. Perhaps Lotus Pose became an asana icon because of the practice’s East Indian origins. My own completely anecdotal observation from time spent in India revealed that Indian hip joints appear to externally rotate much more easily and universally than those of my students in the U.S. Poses such as Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose...

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  • Savasana for the Prenatal Practice: Part Two

    In Part One, we saw how a Pranayama Bolster can support an expecting mama in a comfortable side-lying position for Savasana. For Part Two, let’s see how a Standard Bolster can be used to create a modified version of the traditional Savasana pose during pregnancy. © Kaesie Cole Photography & Utah Prenatal Yoga Most pregnant women find it uncomfortable to lie on their backs for a long, traditional Savasana pose. This is because back-lying can put pressure on the inferior vena cava, which is the large vein that returns blood back to the mother’s heart and brain. However, creating a gentle...

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  • Meatless Monday: Caramelized Onion Pizza

    When I was in college at Indiana University I paid my tuition and rent working a couple nights a week at a legendary pizza place, Mother Bear’s Pizza Barn. (This was back in the days when tuition and rent were much more reasonable than they are today.) Mother Bear’s was a great place to work. The pizza was good, the tips were decent (for a college town) and best of all, my fellow employees were a blast to work with. Back then, the trendiest pizzas were thick-crusted and loaded with lots of ingredients. Deep dish, “Sicilian-style” pizzas were a specialty...

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  • TreeUtah: Planting Trees, Building Community

    When the Mormon pioneers first glimpsed the Salt Lake valley, it’s said that in addition to the huge, salty lake, there was a single tree in the entire valley. In response, the pioneers got busy planting acres of trees of all kinds. These newly planted trees provided not only fruit, but oxygen, shade and of course, beauty. Trees are, in fact, our partners on the planet. Through photosynthesis, they absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. A single tree can absorb up to 330 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, while providing enough oxygen for a whole family. As an integral thread...

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  • Meatless Monday: Greens and Cauliflower Indian Style

    As spring arrives—in fits and starts—my cravings turn to lighter fare. Just a few weeks ago, homey, baked dishes attracted me. Now, I’m craving sautés and salads. This week’s recipe, which features cruciferous cauliflower and peppery watercress, comes from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. The ingredient list may look long, but the recipe is easy to assemble. When I make a stir-fry or sauté, I like to get all my veggie chopping done in advance, so that when it comes time to cook, everything is ready to go. When a recipe contains a spices that will...

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