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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Teaching Yoga: Replenishing Your Energy

    In the past two weeks the pile of unopened mail in my kitchen has grown taller and more unruly. Every so often I try to neaten its edges but I have done nothing to reduce its size. It’s not that I don’t want to; it just hasn’t risen high enough on my list to do anything about it. I’ve pulled out all the bills, but the extracurricular literature—magazines I hope to read sooner or later—remains neglected.

    The current mountain is an accumulated backlog resulting from my taking a weekend off to attend a music festival in San Francisco. The...

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  • Yoga Teaching: The Wisdom of Not Knowing

    This morning a student asked me what should have been a simple question: What should I be feeling in this position?

    A minute or so later, I’d given her the best non-answer I could. Why a non-answer? First, I’m not inside her body. I can’t know what she’s feeling. Second, there are many, many variations on what she could be feeling depending upon where the resistance is in her body. Finally, we are all put together differently, and we’ve all cultivated different habits in our bodies over the decades. No one’s asana practice will ever be exactly like another’s...

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  • Practicing Yoga: Moving Into Stillness

    Practicing Yoga, Quieting the Monkey Mind
    “When the mind is steady, we can see a little truth. When the mind is disturbed, we can't see anything.” Swami Kripalu

    Before I started practicing yoga, my mind would run in different directions at once, thoughts pulling one way, then another, making it hard to concentrate, hard to focus, hard to stay in the moment or even recognize the moment that I was missing.

    But then I stepped onto my mat and began my asana practice, and something about the movement of my body on my mat helped me find...

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  • Teaching Yoga: Lifting the Veils

    How Teaching Yoga Uncovers Your True Self
    As a lifelong teacher, whether it be science, health or yoga, I love and appreciate the trust that people give me in my teaching. I take that very seriously. Patanjali tells us in the very first Yoga Sutra-1.1 अथ योगनुससनुं atha yoganusasanum that when we begin the study of yoga, both teacher and student commit to the practice, the teachings and to each other. More than an intention, it is a sacred vow that both are to honor.

    Through this commitment I get to experience the change my students have over time...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Cassoulet

    Try this Hearty Vegetarian Cassoulet for Meatless Monday
    Since I stopped eating meat in 1978, vegetarian cuisine has continuously become more creative and exciting. Turning traditional meat-laden recipes into meat-free meals is part of the fun of vegetarian cooking. As a person who was never a fan of meat, I find vegetarian versions of traditional meaty recipes to feel fresh and complex compared to their heavier counterparts. Without the more assertive flavor of meat, all the other ingredients get a chance to shine.

    Because I was never enamored of meat, I don’t feel a need to use products that...

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  • Inspire Your Yoga Practice with Mindfulness

    If You’re Bored with Yoga Practice, You’re Not Paying Attention
    How many times would you guess you’ve practiced Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)? Or how about Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)? Pick any one of yoga’s staple asanas and you may have placed your body in its requisite shape hundreds or even thousands of times. Does it ever feel like the same old, same old? How is it that some people can nurture a yoga practice for 30, 40, 50 years or more and not be completely bored with it?

    Whatever kind of asana you practice, keeping your yoga...

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  • Meatless Monday: Barley-Squash Soup

    Soothing Soup for Meatless Monday
    Okay. I know it’s Tuesday, but yesterday Hugger Mugger was unveiling a newly organized website, so the site was offline at precisely the time I would have posted my Meatless Monday recipe. Even though it’s Tuesday, this recipe will still taste great no matter when you make it.

    Do check out Hugger Mugger’s new website. It’s slick and clean and even easier to navigate than before.

    Here’s yesterday’s post:

    My mother was not a cook-from-scratch kind of person. She always provided balanced meals for us, but cooking was not her thing...

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  • Bringing Your Yoga Home: Tips for Developing a Home Yoga Practice

    Tips for Developing a Home Yoga Practice
    Yoga class is great, isn’t it? It relaxes you, invigorates you, and grounds you. It helps you recoup after a busy day or sets the tone for the day ahead. But what about those days where you can’t make it to a yoga class? What then?

    One if the most common things I hear from my yoga students is that they don’t know how to practice yoga on their own. They feel insecure or at a loss of what to do once they get to their mat.

    If you can relate...

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  • Yoga Practice: 7 Ways to Counter the Effects of Sitting


    Some say that sitting is the new smoking. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to make this claim, but as a person with a part-time job that requires sitting at a desk and typing out blogs, I certainly support the idea that prolonged sitting seems to be less than ideal.

    Effects include foggy brain due to poor circulation, weakened abdominal and gluteal muscles, neck problems from too much flexion (aka text neck), hypertension, heart disease and even possibly colon cancer. The Washington Post published a chart that goes into more detail.

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  • Meatless Monday: Black Bean Quinoa Soup

    Meatless Monday: Black Bean Quinoa Soup
    I love soup in the wintertime. Slow cooking a pot of soup on the stove seems to warm my drafty, old house. The fragrance lingers for hours afterward. A pot of soup makes more than one meal, relieving the cook of the responsibility of planning and cooking at least one meal later in the week. And the best part: leftovers are even better than when the soup is freshly made, after the flavors have had time to integrate.

    I love all vegan and vegetarian soups from scratch. But I especially like to find...

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