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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Gomukhasana: Cow Face Pose

    It’s common knowledge that cows hold sacred status in India. To ancient nomadic and farmers, cows represented wealth, nourishment and nurturance. While they are valued for their milk that yields staples of the Indian diet—ghee, yogurt and cheese—cows are not slaughtered for their flesh. Only when a cow dies of old age can her hide be made into shoes. In Hindu mythology, Nandi the bull is a constant companion to Shiva, the Lord of Yoga. Nandi not only provides Shiva with ground transportation, but he also shuttles Shiva and his wife Parvati around the Universe. The cow has not always...

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  • Meatless Monday: Boston Black Bean Soup

    A few weeks ago, a friend of mine got braces for her second time. Having had braces twice myself, I’m well aware of the pain of the first few weeks. When I had my second set of braces at age 40, it took three weeks for me to be able to chew mashed potatoes and refried beans. So I called me friend to see if she’d like a few servings of a protein-rich puréed soup. She was delighted, and mentioned that she hadn’t made black beans in a while and would love some black bean soup. I’ve made black bean...

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  • Talasana: Palm Tree Pose

    Talasana (Palm Tree Pose) is a variant of Tadasana (Mountain Pose), the basic standing pose upon which all other poses are built, at least according to the Iyengar tradition. When I studied with Iyengar in 1989, I felt that if, after three weeks of intensive classes, I had an inkling of an understanding of Tadasana, I’d be more than happy. I feel it’s the key to understanding all the rest of the asanas. If you think of Tadasana as the trunk of the palm tree, like a swaying palm tree, Talasana can sway because of the tree’s deep roots and...

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  • 5 Yoga Poses to Ease Shoulder Pain

    Shoulder pain seems unavoidable these days. We spend so much time hunched over keyboards and our other various devices that it’s quite common for our shoulders to take a hit. We’ve all heard the expression about “carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.” Our shoulders are a place where many of us hold tension, even if we don’t spend our days hunched over devices. Next time you’re in a stressful situation, check in with your shoulders. Are they hunched up around your neck? Are they hunched forward in a protective position? For most of us, these positions are...

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  • Meatless Monday: Avocado-Tahini Crostini

    A few days ago, I attended a house concert featuring my friend and colleague, Kate MacLeod. House concerts are always fun—intimate and informal. Sometimes they're structured like most other concerts. At other times, they include a social hour with potluck snacks. Last weekend’s concert was the latter. Problem is, I didn't realize this until a couple hours before the downbeat. Usually I like to spend a fair amount of time researching and planning my contribution. But there simply wasn’t time. A month or so ago, I’d made Avocado-Tahini Crostini for a holiday gathering. I knew it came together super fast...

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  • Girls Inc.: Empowering Girls for More than 150 Years

    In January 2019, a record number of women—of diverse races and religions—entered the halls of U.S. Congress. We congratulate these empowered women who will likely bring women’s issues to the foreground and into better focus. Women’s empowerment may seem like a new phenomenon, but in reality, at least in America, the seeds of this movement were planted as far back as 1864. Girls Inc., originally known as Girls Clubs of America, formed to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War. Girls Clubs of America aimed to create a safe gathering place...

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  • Meatless Monday: Kale White Bean Soup, Fast or Slow

    I got a multicooker for Christmas this year. While I’m quite adept at cooking from scratch (because that’s how I always cook) I’m intrigued with the idea of making scratch cooking even easier. Even though I long ago figured out how to keep mostly even pressure in my stovetop cooker, I have to admit it was nice not having to babysit my beans. There was no switching burners, tweaking the flame, etc. The multicooker keeps even pressure and shuts off when the time is up. I haven’t yet invested in a vegan multicooker cookbook. So I decided to adapt a...

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  • How Mindfulness Can Boost Your New Year’s Resolve

    Do you make New Year’s resolutions? How do they usually pan out for you? The new year seems like a good time to start with a clean slate. Resolving to change habits we don’t like and develop newer, healthier habits is a worthy practice. But most of us have found out through experience that it’s not always as easy as we think it should be. Habits are powerful. Our repetitive actions and thoughts lay down grooves in our bodies and minds. The more we practice them, the more unconscious they become. Jeremy Dean, psychologist and author of the blog PsyBlog...

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  • Meatless Monday: Black-Eyed Peas, Squash & Shiitakes

    Tomorrow is New Year’s Day. Southern tradition says that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck. As with any superstition, there are many opinions on why black-eyed peas bring good luck and how to make the most of the luck you accrue by starting your year with them. The legend started in the South. There are several stories as to where the tradition came from, some dating back to the Civil War and the Emancipation. Several such stories are shared in this article, Why Southerners Eat Black-Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day. In addition to discussing the...

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  • Viparita Karani: Legs Up the Wall

    In our Western addiction to busyness we often feel we have to justify taking time out, even if it’s to practice a restorative yoga pose. If we’re not jumping around from one pose to the next, burning calories and raising our heart rates, we’re not accomplishing anything, right? While it might not look it from the outside, Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall Pose) is a powerful pose. Viparita Karani is a curious mix: It’s an inversion, a backbend and a restorative pose. Inverted poses nourish the endocrine glands, promote circulation, balance metabolic function and increase blood flow to the brain...

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