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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

Celebrate The Journey

  • Virabhadrasana II: The Quiet Warrior

    Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras state that asana (the physical postures of yoga) should be “steady and comfortable,” “firm and soft” or “steady and easy,” depending on the translation. All these descriptions add up to a quiet balance between the energetic and the calm. Practiced with alignment awareness, Virabhadrasana II embodies the seemingly opposing qualities of energy and calm. While for many people, Virabhadrasana II seems to be all energy and no calm, when your structure is aligned in a self-supporting way, calm comes naturally. Years ago, Yoga Journal ran an article that queried well-known yoga teachers about their least favorite poses...

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  • Yoga Mat Carrier: How to Get Your Mat from Home to Studio

    We spend a lot of intimate time with our yoga mats. Whether we’re face down, nose to mat; rocking a series of sweaty Sun Salutations; or chilling in a nice long Savasana, we spend a lot of quality time on our yoga mats. Our mats can become “friends” of a sort. Most people prefer to practice at the studio on their familiar yoga mats. A yoga mat carrier (a yoga mat bag or harness) can make this process a whole lot easier. But as with everything, there are many choices. How do you figure out which yoga mat carrier meets...

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  • Meatless Monday: Kale and Yam Bowl

    A confession: despite the popularity of all-things kale (and the fact that I’ve been growing it and eating it for 35 years), I’d never tried making kale chips until very recently. I’ve certainly eaten them. They’re available at most stores these days and they even sell them at my favorite movie theater. And they are very pricey. I’d heard they’re supposed to be easy to make, but I just hadn’t tried. Then I found this kale and yam bowl recipe at Minimalist Baker. When I initially saw the recipe, I was attracted to the combination of yams and kale, a...

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  • Urdva Mukha Svanasana: Upward Facing Dog Pose

    Years ago, Judith Hanson Lasater posed this question in a workshop I was attending: “Who should practice backbends?” After students offered a few answers I don’t recall now she added, “Anyone who’s aging.” This, of course, means everyone. The most popular backbends come in two varieties: those you practice from a prone position and those you practice from a supine position. Prone backbends include Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose with all its variations), Salabhasana (Locust Pose with all its variations), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Urdva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose). Supine backbends include Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) and Urdva Dhanurasana...

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  • Yoga for Daylight Savings Time Blues

    If you’re feeling unusually tired this week, there may be a good reason for it. On Sunday, we turned our clocks ahead. This means you may be struggling to get to sleep in the evening, and struggling to wake up in the morning. Any time change affects our bodies’ circadian rhythms. It happens in the fall too, but common wisdom is that the spring time change is more difficult. Some people’s bodies adjust in a day or two, while others can take a month or more. Generally, people whose sleep patterns are already iffy experience more problems adjusting. The problems...

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  • Meatless Monday: Sunchoke Soup

    I’ve only used sunchokes, a.k.a. Jerusalem artichokes, a few times, but I’ve always liked their sweet, nutty flavor. So when I came across today’s recipe, I decided to try it. It’s a timely plus, on the cusp of St. Patrick’s Day, that the recipe is derived from a soup at a Dublin restaurant. This sunchoke soup comes from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. I’m pretty sure it’s not in the original version of this venerable cookbook, or I would have found it in my well-worn copy long ago and tried it out. Jerusalem artichokes suffer a...

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  • Balasana: Child’s Pose

    Balasana (Child’s Pose) quiets the mind and restores spent energy. It focuses the breath into the back body, the “rest and digest” (parasympathetic) side, and supports the natural outward expansion of the lungs on each inhalation. Like all forward bends, Child’s Pose turns our focus inward. Balasana has been pigeonholed as a beginner’s pose. As such, is sometimes discounted by more experienced practitioners. It’s true that Balasana is accessible to most beginners, and is excellent for introducing beginners to the expansive world of their own back bodies. But I would argue that Balasana is not necessarily easy. Because the mind...

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  • Women in Yoga: A Short History

    Walk into almost any yoga asana class and the first thing you’ll notice is that the overwhelming majority of students are women. For at least some of yoga’s history, practice was the purview of men, and women were expected to focus on home life. But contrary to a longstanding myth, historical evidence shows that in some circles, women have been yoginis all along. Popular yoga lore claims that women weren’t allowed to practice yoga until 50 years ago. There is, in fact, historical evidence that in the Vedic tradition, women were discouraged from practice, and were not allowed to become...

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  • Meatless Monday: Gingery Miso Soup

    There are few things in this world that are more comforting to a nervous, sour or sensitive stomach than miso soup. When your digestive system is out of balance, sometimes it’s the only food that satisfies. If you live anywhere near an Asian restaurant that sells miso soup, it’s easy to get it whenever you need a fix. But if you’re vegetarian, that doesn’t always fly. Many restaurants use a fish-based broth. If that’s a concern for you, make sure you ask before you order. The good news is that miso soup is easy to make. I made the miso...

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  • Metta Meditation: Kindness for Your Mentors

    In the past few months, I’ve been exploring metta (kindness) meditation in this blog. The first installment covered practicing kindness for an easy being—someone, human or animal, with whom you have an easy, uncomplicated relationship. The second installment covered kindness toward ourselves, an important foundational practice for extending kindness to others. If you’re just now discovering this blog and haven’t read the previous posts on kindness, you might want to read them to have a better idea the scope of metta practice. This post will focus on extending kindness for your mentors. If you reflect on your life, you can...

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