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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Mindful Eating, a Habit to Savor

    On every silent Insight Meditation retreat I’ve attended—at The Last Resort in Southern Utah, or at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California—meals have always been always been the most reliable source of daily pleasure. This is partially due to the expertise and caring of the people who plan and prepare the meals, which are always wholesome, flavorful and prepared with love.

    Another reason retreat food brings such pleasure is that it’s not up to me to plan the menu, buy and assemble the ingredients, and prepare the food. I love to cook, but I also love to be surprised. It’s...

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  • Fire Log Pose: Ignite Your Inner Fire

    Agnistambhasana: Fire Log Pose
    Fire transforms—wood into ashes, ice into water and then into steam, raw ingredients into a warming meal. In the Vedas of ancient India, fire was personified by the two-headed fire god Agni. Stemming from the same root as the Latin ignire (to ignite), Agni was the force behind heat, light and will power. According to the Vedas, Agni fueled the sun, the stars and lightning.

    In Ayurveda, Agni is the word for digestive fire, the energy that ignites the organs of digestion to process the food we consume. This month’s pose, Agnistambhasana (agni=fire, stambh=log) helps ignite the digestive...

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  • Utah Food Bank Feeds Utah’s Families

    Utah Food Bank Fills in the Gaps
    In 2014, USA Today reported that 46 million Americans—one in seven—relied on food banks or meal services to provide for or supplement their nutritional needs. In Utah, 423,000 people—one in seven overall, and one in five children—live with the daily threat of hunger. Last year the Utah Food Bank, founded in 1904, distributed 37.5 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 31 million meals to individuals and families throughout the state.

    Housed in an 86,000-square-foot warehouse stacked floor to ceiling, the food bank’s Salt Lake City distribution center actually has no pantry. Rather, it distributes...

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  • Meatless Monday: Red Velvet Soup

    Red Velvet Soup for Meatless Monday
    The sense of smell is said to be the sense most closely linked to memory. The fragrance of certain foods, along with the taste, can sometimes catapult me to another time and place. Such is the case with today’s recipe.

    I first tasted Red Velvet Soup a few weeks into a 30-day silent Insight Meditation retreat at The Last Resort in Duck Creek, Utah, in the 1990s. Over days and weeks, the relative lack of sensory input on silent retreats can significantly heighten your senses. Sounds seem louder, more resonant and more distinct. The beauty of...

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  • Yogic Help for Headaches

    Yogic Help for Headaches
    Some of us suffer from minor headaches occasionally and we don’t always have or want to take something. This article is for you.

    Sometimes we know what’s caused our headache—fumes from the engine my son started in the garage, bright sunlight, someone close by wearing too much perfume—yet many times we do not.

    If you get consistent headaches, you might look at your diet, hormonal cycle, stress level, the amount you sleep and/or environmental factors. If you are someone who has severe, debilitating headaches, please consult a medical professional.

    Sometimes we can apply yogic and alternative principles to alleviate symptoms...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Raspberry-Almond “Torte” Cookies

    Meatless Monday: Vegan Sweets!
    I’ve been sharing meatless recipes on this blog for a little over a year now. I just realized that in all that time, I’ve shared only one dessert. That definitely needs to be rectified.

    Last weekend I made some cookies for a gathering of friends. The recipe is an old favorite of mine that I’ve been making for decades. It comes from a cookbook I’ve used so much that my copy is in pieces. The Natural Foods Cookbook by Mary Estella is a vegetarian, dairy-free cookbook with simple but always tasty recipes. Many of the recipes in the...

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  • Yoga for the Bendy — It’s Not What You Think

    Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

    Yoga for the Bendy — Learning to Back Off
    My earliest recollection of being an über-bendy person is from when I took ballet lessons. I was about eight years old. The first time we went into side splits and bent forward, I was surprised to see that no one else in the class could rest her chin on the floor. My body could do it easily, with no resistance.

    That led to many years of exploiting my hypermobility in exchange for positive attention. My flexibility even sparked my initial interest in asana practice. I’d see photos...

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  • Meatless Monday: Tuscan Kale and White Bean Stew with Breadcrumb Topping

    Meatless Monday: Savory Kale, Mushroom and White Bean Stew

    Soups and stews are my wintertime go-tos. I love being able to make a meal and enjoy it again later after the flavors have integrated. Soups and stews fit that bill perfectly.
    Today’s recipe, Tuscan White Bean Stew with Breadcrumb Topping, is warm and savory, but I especially enjoyed the crunch of the breadcrumb topping. I used Great Harvest Multigrain Sourdough bread, but of course you could use any type of bread that suits you, including gluten-free bread. If you are vegan, you can omit the butter and Parmesan cheese.
    Because I don’t have...

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  • Let Your Bare Feet Shine in Yoga

    Ahhh … The Joys of Bare Feet in Yoga
    Let’s face it. I’m not a big fan of bare feet. (Not mine, anyway.)

    Until I stepped onto the mat, I didn’t pay much attention to them.

    If you want to know the truth, I found my feet embarrassing.

    They were too small.

    Too pale.

    Too smelly.

    The nails on both big toes were discolored.

    And the little toes on each foot hung off to the side like little rolls of unused dough that I could barely move.

    To cover my embarrassment, I wore socks, even in Florida, where most people delight in showing off their feet in attractive sandals...

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  • Meatless Monday: Chickpea Lentil Quinoa Spinach Stew

    Make a Protein-Rich One-Pot Meal for Meatless Monday
    After a somewhat chaotic, unpredictable holiday schedule, I’m enjoying settling back into “normal” life. One of my favorite relaxation activities—besides practicing asana—is to read cookbooks. I inherited this from my maternal grandmother, who always had a stack of Gourmet magazines on a stool in her kitchen. That same stool now occupies a spot in my own kitchen.

    It turns out that my niece has caught the vegan cooking bug. This year she and her husband sent me a wonderful cookbook that I’d never heard about—Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. Vegan Richa is actually Richa Hingle...

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