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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • V-Shaped Meditation Cushion for Comfort

    Round meditation cushions—zafus—are standard fare in most yoga and meditation spaces. For many people, these cushions do the job. They elevate the pelvis to make it easier to sit with a relaxed, straight spine. But for some, especially for those with hip joints that easily externally rotate, the contact point where your thighs hang off the edge of the cushion can get uncomfortable, especially in long sittings. That’s why Hugger Mugger designed the V-Shaped Meditation Cushion. How do you know if you have hip joints that externally rotate easily? Sit on a folded blanket (3-5 inches thick). Are your knees...

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  • Urdhva Dhanurasana: Wheel of Energy

    Backbends are one of yoga practice’s great gifts. Because our daily lives don’t require a lot of backbending, doing some sort of backbend every day is a way to balance our forward-folded lives. Plus they’re energizing and just plain fun. Backbends take many forms, from smaller backbends such as Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) to full-body backbends such as Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow), the subject of this post. All of them can be beneficial to our bodies. They mobilize our spines, lengthen our front bodies and strengthen our back bodies. In Yoga International, teacher Rod Stryker writes: “Urdhva Dhanurasana increases the vital...

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  • How Yoga Sandbags Can Help You Deepen Practice

    Sometimes just the right adjustment from a trusted teacher brings about a breakthrough in your practice. A gentle tug on your shoulders in a back bend can open up new breathing space. Or a gentle weight on your upper thighs in Supine Hero’s Pose can relieve back strain. But our teachers don’t join us in our home practice. How can we enjoy the same kind of opening and release when we practice alone? Yoga Sandbags can help. Yoga Sandbags are a longtime staple in Iyengar Yoga practice. Like other familiar yoga props such as blocks, straps and bolsters, Yoga Sandbags...

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  • Meatless Monday: Roasted Carrots

    I love carrots no matter how they’re served. I especially like fresh, raw garden carrots. They have been a staple in my cooking for years, in soups, salads and stews. But I’ve rarely given them star status. They’ve always been an integral part of a recipe, but never the main event. I recently acquired a new cookbook, The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson. It’s a fun read, with simple recipes, photos—always a plus—and appealing artwork throughout. One simple recipe that looked intriguing on first perusal was a recipe titled Red Roasted Carrots. I tried it this week and it was...

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  • Junior Bolsters: 3 Luxurious Restoratives

    If you have an idea about what yoga bolsters should look like, think again. While the flat-topped Standard Bolster stands in for most uses, sometimes a different size and shape can make all the difference. That’s why Hugger Mugger developed Junior Bolsters. These bolsters were originally designed to create an alternative for adults with smaller bodies. But in the decade since they first came on the market, we’ve found lots of other uses for them, no matter what your body type. Junior Bolsters are the same length and firmness as Standard and Round bolsters, but they are narrower in width...

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  • Cork Wedge: Help for Wrists and Ankles

    Whether you practice Hatha, Vinyasa or Kundalini yoga, at times your hands and wrists will be called upon to bear your weight. Some poses require more bendiness in the wrists and ankles than is healthy for most people. A Cork Wedge can give you the support you need to keep your wrists and ankles safe and healthy. Truth is, our hands and wrists are not really designed to support our body weight, at least not repeatedly or for long periods of time. Our hands and wrists are actually very complicated, comprised of small, delicate bones, ligaments and tendons. They are...

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  • Three Ways to Sit on a Zen Meditation Cushion

    Finding your ideal meditation position can be harder than you’d think. We’ve all seen images of loincloth-clad yogis sitting in Lotus Pose—often touted as the “perfect” meditation position. Truth is, not everyone’s hips are capable of the external rotation required to do Lotus. And even if you have hips that can do Lotus easily, it can be hard on your knees. The good news is that there are alternatives to Lotus. These days, we recognize the need to vary our posture depending on each person’s needs. It’s important to explore your options. Sitting meditation isn’t easy, and it’s even harder...

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  • Meatless Monday: Simple Cauliflower Rice

    In the past few months, I've occasionally written about cauliflower's new status as a healthy staple. Its mild flavor makes it a chameleon, pairing nicely with a variety of other ingredients for healthy, satisfying fare. Cauliflower comes from the cruciferous family. Members of the cabbage family--Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, arugula--are widely known to be crucifers. What you may not know is that turnips, rutabagas, horseradish and mustard seeds are also part of the family. These veggies and spices are nutrient superstars. There's no other veggie family that's as high in vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. In...

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  • Savasana for the Prenatal Practice: Part One

    It seems like Savasana is one of the favorite asanas, and if anyone could use a mini-nap, it’s an expecting mama who just finished up a prenatal yoga practice! However, 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 to the mother’s heart and brain. So how can a mama find a comfortable position in Savasana? Props! Specifically, yoga bolsters. Soft but supportive, they come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so there are...

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