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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

Celebrate The Journey

  • Viparita Virabhadrasana: Reverse Warrior Pose

    Since the yoga boom began in the early 2000s, asana practice has experienced transformation. New styles of yoga and new poses have entered the practice. Some of these innovations have come and gone; others have proven that they have staying power. Many of these poses, such as some of the crazier arm balances, aren’t accessible to much of the population of practitioners. There are a few, though, that have proven to have staying power. Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior Pose) is one of these. Popular in many Vinyasa classes, the pose has also become part of the Hatha Yoga standing pose...

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  • Does Worry Interfere with Your Sleep? Try Mindfulness

    It’s 3:00 am. You’re wide awake, mind racing. You might be worried about paying your mortgage. You might be puzzling over something someone said to you and rehearsing your response. Maybe an upcoming project has you feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps you are excited, on the cusp of an event you’ve long anticipated. Or maybe the state of the world has got your mind reeling. Each minute that ticks by brings you closer to rising time. This knowledge gives you something else to worry about. This has been my pattern for most of my life. Whether I have a hard time getting...

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  • Meatless Monday: Jamaican-Spiced Quinoa Chili

    Chili was one of the first things I learned to cook, way back when I first left home. It always felt like a huge accomplishment, even though by my current standards, it was really rather easy to make. Back then, I used ground beef, some onions, a can of beans, canned tomatoes, canned tomato sauce and some chili powder. Once I stopped eating meat—40 years ago now—I substituted LOTS of beans for the ground beef. Twenty-five years ago, I came upon a fantastic vegan chili recipe and I haven’t strayed from it. Until now. I was looking through Food52’s Vegan...

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  • Bakasana: Crow Pose

    When we think of balancing poses,  Vrksasana (Tree Pose) or Hasta Padangusthasana (Standing Big-Toe Pose) often come to mind. But standing on one foot is not the only way to develop the skill of balancing. We can balance on our rear ends, as in Ubhaya Padangusthasana. We can balance on our arms and hands, as in Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) or Bakasana (Crow Pose). We can even balance on hands and knees, as in Parsva Balasana (Bird Dog Pose). Balancing poses not only teach the extremely valuable skill of balancing, but they can also help us collect a fragmented mind. They...

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  • Savasana: Lifting the Veil

    According to Celtic tradition, Samhain (the predecessor to Halloween) was a liminal time. As days in the Northern Hemisphere began to darken it was a time of ambiguity and of disorientation. Celts believed that during Samhain, the veil between life and death became more permeable. Communicating with those who have passed on became easier. So what does this have to do with yoga? It may seem like a stretch (pun intended), but I also interpret Savasana (Corpse Pose or Final Relaxation Pose) as a pose that gives us a glimpse into the vastness of awareness. In Savasana, concerns for the...

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  • Meatless Monday: Spiralized Yam Bowl with Avocado Pesto

    I’m not gluten free, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy substituting spiralized veggies for pasta. In recent months, i’ve spiralized zucchini, apples, yellow potatoes and yams. Spiralizers are inexpensive and fun to use, and not just for veggie pasta. Most come with several blades to create different cuts. Today’s recipe, a spiralized yam bowl, uses parts of a recipe in one of my cookbooks, and some variations I chose in order to take advantage of garden veggies. I originally intended today’s recipe to follow one in Nourishing Superfood Bowls by Lindsay Cotter. But I ended up substituting some different...

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  • Vrksasana: Tree Pose

    Trees are our partners in keeping this living, breathing planet alive. We inhale the oxygen that trees exhale, and they inhale the carbon dioxide we exhale. We are inextricably tied together. Trees can also teach us about the importance of cultivating roots. While only the trunk, branches and leaves are usually visible to us, the roots of most trees are just as massive as what’s above ground. Knowing that this complex invisible root system is what keeps a tree upright can teach us about grounding our own bodies. Vrksasana (Tree Pose) emulates the steady, rooted stance of a tree. When...

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  • Pranayama: The Power of Your Own Breath

    Human beings breathe an average of 23,000 times a day. That’s about 8.5 million breaths a year. These millions of breaths are literally keeping us alive. The breath is so important to our lives that it is the only autonomic function that we can easily control. Legend has it that ancient yoga masters could control the speed of their heartbeat. But how did they do it? By controlling their breathing. In a process called “sinus arrhythmia,” each time we inhale, our heartbeat speeds up a little. Each exhalation, it slows down. So lengthening either the inhalation or exhalation, practicing three-part...

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  • Meatless Monday: Broccoli with Peppers, Olives and Feta

    Cruciferous vegetables are the bomb. Also called “brassicas,” broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage, romanesco, Brussels sprouts, etc., are packed with immune-boosting phytochemicals. High in sulforaphane, studies show that cruciferous vegetables possess anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-depressive qualities. Brassicas tend to blend well with bright, sharp flavors such as citrus. In the recipe below, lemon juice, oregano or marjoram, parsley, feta and kalamata olives all fill the role of lightening the flavors. This dish can be served warm or cold and is a great side dish for a mellow soup such as potato-leek soup or a winter squash bisque. This recipe...

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  • Why the Body is the Key to Mindfulness

    “It is through the body that everything comes to the mind. It is through and with your body that you have to reach realization of being a spark of divinity. How can we neglect the temple of the spirit?” — B.K.S. Iyengar (Sparks of Divinity, Shambhala Publications) When I first read Iyengar’s quote many years ago I interpreted this way: It is through our practice of asana, at those times when we lose the struggle and become the asana, that we see into our true nature, the undefined spaciousness that connects us all. This still rings true for me. Asana...

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