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Celebrate The Journey

  • Meatless Monday: Pear Almond Tart

        Looking for a dessert that looks and tastes amazing, but takes relatively little time to make? Try a Pear Almond Tart. It’s beautiful, delicious and very simple. I made this tart for a Thanksgiving potluck, along with Shepherd’s Pie and Roasted Cauliflower with Sage. It was the perfect dessert for the occasion. It’s substantial, but not super filling, which is a great way to end an abundant meal. The only trick for me was the almond meal. I couldn’t find almond meal in any local stores, so I ended up making my own. This was by far the...

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  • Janu Sirsasana: Head-of-the-Knee Pose

    Forward bends have a reputation for drawing us inward and encouraging introspection. While I doubt there’s scientific proof of this, they do seem to have a calming, nurturing effect on my nervous system, as well as the nervous systems of my students. Practicing forward bends, such as Janu Sirsasana (Head-of-the-Knee Pose), Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose) or Upavista Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) toward the end of an asana practice may even help us internalize and integrate the poses that came before. Forward bends can help our bodies wind down and slide effortlessly into Savasana (Final Relaxation Pose). Forward bends are...

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  • Yoga Injuries: When East Meets West

    Thirty-some years ago, when I was beginning to teach yoga, injuries related to yoga practice were relatively rare. They did happen, of course, but they were an anomaly. In recent years, yoga injuries have become a hot topic of conversation in Western yoga culture. A recent study, published in 2017, found that injuries are on the rise. From a Yoga Journal article about the study: “The study, titled Yoga-Related Injuries in the United States From 2001 to 2014, found that there were 29,590 yoga-related injuries seen in hospital emergency departments from 2001 to 2014. Overall, yoga injuries became almost twice as common in 2014...

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  • Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Sage

        I committed to make three dishes for Thanksgiving this year. When you plan a meatless meal for a meat-heavy holiday, things can get complicated fast. Guests expect lots of rich, stick-to-your-ribs fare. That’s not how I usually cook. After spending a few days perusing cookbooks and magazines, I settled on three recipes from several of Vegetarian Times’s Thanksgiving issues. My main dish was a very simple meatless Shepherd’s Pie. For my side dish, I made today’s recipe, Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Sage. (I’ll write about the delicious pear tart I made for dessert sometime soon.) Two friends fleshed...

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  • Marjarasana-Bitilasana: Cat-Cow Pose

    Marjarasana (Cat Pose) Every morning as I begin to stir, the three felines that share my sleeping hours begin to mobilize along with me. The promise of breakfast, of course, is the great motivator, but before breakfast—before they do anything else—they do a little cat yoga. They begin with Downward Facing Cat. As their front paws stretch forward, I watch as the stretch ripples its way up to the pinnacle of their bodies:  their hips. Then they return to all fours, and I watch their furry skin elongate and vibrate as they stretch each foreleg forward and each hind...

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  • Healthy Yoga Practice: Does Your Practice Feed You?

    More than 25 years ago I decided that I would ingest only foods that would contribute to my health and well-being, and avoid “non-foods” that have no nutritional value. Things like chemical-ridden processed foods and zero-nutrition soft drinks were officially off my food list. I haven’t eaten meat since 1978, and spent about 12 years on a vegan diet before returning to eating occasional eggs and goat or sheep cheese. I eat local, organic and homegrown foods whenever possible and always cook from scratch. Fortunately, I love to cook. There are times when I enjoy eating sweet treats at friends’...

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  • Meatless Monday: Yam Brussels Sprouts Pizza

    Turkey and stuffing may get most of the Thanksgiving accolades, but for those of us who are meatless, it’s the side dishes that end up being the stars. Think cranberries, yams, green beans and Brussels sprouts. While your holiday dinner is now just a memory, you can still enjoy some of its flavor by making a Yam Brussels Sprouts Pizza. The idea for this recipe comes from the Fall 2018 edition of Forks Over Knives magazine. When I made this pizza, I mostly followed the recipe for the topping, but chose not to make my own crust. I do enjoy...

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  • Thanksgiving Yoga: 8 Poses to Help You Rest & Digest

    Almost every Thanksgiving for the past 25 years, I’ve taught my 7:30 am yoga class. It would certainly be easier to sleep in on what is usually a busy day in the kitchen. Instead, my students and I enjoy regenerating with Thanksgiving yoga to prepare for the day ahead. Years ago, we practiced mostly abdominal and digestive poses. In recent years, I’ve added restorative yoga to the mix. For some, holiday gatherings can be exhausting. Whether it’s the work involved or the heightened social interaction, holidays can take a toll. Restorative yoga helps smooth out our nervous systems and renew...

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  • Meatless Monday: A Vegan Thanksgiving

    ’Tis the season of elevated eating. This Thursday is, of course, Thanksgiving. It’s always been one of my favorite holidays. My grandfather’s birthday was around Thanksgiving, so every year, my whole extended family would get together to celebrate. It was the only time we all celebrated together during the year. Back then, of course, we had traditional fare. In the past 40 years, since I stopped eating meat, I’ve had to be a bit more creative. It’s generally easy to sustain myself on non-turkey side dishes at even the most traditional gatherings. But I’ve also enjoyed coming up with vegan...

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  • Teaching Yoga: Trust Your Students’ Experience

    About 25 years ago I attended a workshop with a well-known yoga teacher. We were working up to Urdva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow), stretching our quads and preparing our shoulders for at least 30 minutes before we started practicing the most rudimentary backbends. By the time we finished Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) I was feeling warmed up and ready. The teacher then showed us how to practice Urdva Dhanurasana with our feet on a chair and our hands on the floor. This is an especially helpful way for people with less bendy lumbars and tighter shoulders to feel the exhilaration...

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