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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Retiring Pigeon Pose

    I didn’t want to do it. I’ve always enjoyed Pigeon Pose, or at least the hip-opening variation that’s a preparation for Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon). Many of my students like it too. For many years Pigeon Prep was a staple in my classes. When we’d practice vinyasa-style, it felt wonderful to swing forward from Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) into Pigeon—it was a smooth move that I miss. But the more I’ve begun to delve into hip health in the past few years, the more I realize that Pigeon Pose is likely problematic for many practitioners...

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  • Meatless Monday: Spicy, Roasted Cauliflower

    I’ve been attempting to increase the number of cruciferous veggies in my diet. In the process, I’ve fallen in love all over again. Ever since I was old enough to appreciate food that wasn’t chips or sweets, broccoli, cauliflower and the like have been favorites. Cruciferous veggies are nutritional powerhouses. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals. Studies show that eating as few as three servings a week can reduce the risk of cancer. A doctor I’ve seen recently, Dr. Ana Maria Lopez, suggests that veggies occupy half your plate at every...

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  • Parvrtta Parsvakonasana: Rotated Side-Angle Pose

    If I had to pick yoga’s most complicated yoga asana—among the more commonly practiced poses—Parvrtta Parsvakonasana (Rotated Side-Angle Pose) would get my vote. Parvrtta Parsvakonasana is a Warrior Pose, a twist and a balance pose. Its benefits are many. According to Yoga Journal, practicing Rotated Side-Angle Pose: Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles Stretches the groins, spine, chest and lungs, and shoulders Stimulates abdominal organs Increases stamina Improves digestion and aids elimination Improves balance Parvrtta Parsvakonasana is commonly practiced in many popular classes, including fast-paced vinyasa classes. Even if you prefer moving quickly through sequences, it can be...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Primavera

    Right off, I’ll confess the obvious: it’s not Monday today. Due to a temporary technical glitch yesterday, Meatless Monday will occur on Tuesday this week. In honor of the Spring Equinox—yea spring!—today’s recipe will celebrate the flavors of the season. When I think of spring I think of lightness, warmth and color. That’s what today’s recipe offers. I based this recipe on one I’ve made many times in Ron Pickarski’s vegan classic, Friendly Foods. But I decided to venture away from the recipe by substituting fresh asparagus in place of mushrooms and peppers. Fresh asparagus is one of the many...

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  • How Green is Your Yoga Practice?

    It’s St. Patrick’s Day. As I contemplated how to tie yoga practice to the holiday, I came up a bit short. There’s no Shamrock Pose or Leprechaun Pose. It’s true that we’re “lucky” to enjoy a yoga practice, but that’s a bit general. I settled on today’s color: green. There’s the “wearin’ o’ the green.” Wearing something green is easy, but certainly not specific to yoga practice. How about using a green yoga mat? That’s stretching things a bit, so to speak. I’m instead going to discuss a different meaning of “green.” Green is another word for “sustainable.” In  yoga...

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  • Meatless Monday: Lentil Minestrone

    Soup is a standby in my house. I love that it all comes together in one pot. I also love that the aroma of a slow-simmering soup permeates my whole house. And maybe most of all, I love that it usually tastes better the next day, when the flavors have had a chance to integrate. Today’s soup is a whole meal in a soup pot. It’s got everything—lots of veggies and lentils for protein. The recipe came from my fave cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. I’ve made this soup many, many times. It is always tasty and...

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  • Save Your Wrists in Sun Salutations

    Vinyasa, based in Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), is arguably the most popular form of yoga these days. From traditional Ashtanga—where the idea for Vinyasa came from—to newer forms such as Power, flowing from one pose to the next is the standard in many classes. Inherent in most of these flowing practices is a core sequence: Plank Pose to Chaturanga Dandasana to Urdva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog) to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). In many classes practitioners move through this sequence 20-plus times. In all these poses, the upper body bears a big slice of the responsibility for supporting...

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  • Yoga Practice Rugs — Not Just for Ashtangis

    Ashtanga Yoga, developed by the late Patabhi Jois, is the foundation for many current popular yoga styles. Vinyasa styles such as Power Yoga and Flow Yoga were inspired by Ashtanga’s continuously flowing sun salutation variations. While most practitioners use nonskid yoga mats for stability, in Ashtanga practice, Yoga Practice Rugs are the standard. Here’s Why Ashtangis Love Yoga Practice Rugs In Ashtanga, it is traditional to jump from one pose to the next in some parts of the sequences. Practicing jump-throughs on a nonskid mat can be hazardous if your foot—or feet—stick to your mat mid-jump. Ashtanga Yoga is a...

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  • Meatless Monday: Lentils and Caramelized Celeriac

    Have you ever seen celery root (aka celeriac) in a produce section and wondered what the heck it is? Or why would anyone want to eat such a funky-looking veggie? I have. But that was then and this is now. I’ve used celery root in a number of recipes. Even though I’m not a huge fan of celery, celeriac’s milder, earthier taste has grown on me the more I’ve worked with it. A while back I posted a recipe for a gourmet soup featuring celery root. Today, I’ll share a recipe for a protein-packed salad featuring a caramelized version of...

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  • Pranayama Bolster: Not Just for Pranayama

    Do you practice pranayama? The fourth limb of yoga—coming just after asana—pranayama is an essential part of Hatha Yoga practice. Practicing with attention to the breath is one of the things that separates yoga from other physical disciplines. Pranayama is a slow build. Unlike asana, where people often feel immediate results, breathing practice integrates more gradually. For this reason, many practitioners lose interest. Plus, it can be very frustrating. It can be harder than you’d think to take a deep, satisfying breath. Breathing deeply is especially challenging when we’re sitting. That’s why BKS Iyengar devised a way to practice lying...

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