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The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

  • Slip-Sliding Away On Your Yoga Mat? 3 Tips to Save Your Practice

    Back in the old days, up until the late 1980s, there was no such thing as a nonskid yoga mat. We practiced on an unpredictable variety of floors—wood, linoleum and carpet. We used outdated carpet samples instead of yoga blankets and neckties from a secondhand store for straps. Pretty primitive. The lack of a nonskid surface made for a sometimes-frustrating practice. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) and standing poses such as Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) were especially dicey. The effort to keep hands and feet from sliding out from under us and causing a crash landing kept us from fully extending...

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  • Meatless Monday: Roasted Veggie, Hummus, Mustard Bowl

    I seem to be on a roll with the bowl thing. I’ve always loved one-dish meals, but I have a big crush on the concept of arranging different ingredients in a bowl, each with its own special section. It’s aesthetically pleasing and makes for a well-balanced meal. I found this recipe on The Taste Space. I customized it a bit, using broccoli in addition to the cauliflower (including the broccoli stems). Also, on the second day—because this recipe makes enough for two people for two days—I substituted kale for the spinach. Because I could see that this was going to...

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  • Yoga of Patience: Learning to Spread My Toes

    It’s taken years for me to learn how to spread my toes. What looks like a simple act for most people in my yoga class isn’t simple for me. It has required patience and faith and a kind of stubborn determination that I hadn’t known I possessed to finally push apart the bones, flesh, and nails on the ends of my feet so that my toes could spread. When I first began practicing yoga, my teacher would ask us to stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and spread our toes as a way of setting a firm foundation. On either side...

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  • Parvrtta Utkatasana: Revolved Fierce Pose

    Utkatasana is popularly known as “Chair Pose.” But I can’t imagine that ancient yogis—who had never seen, let alone sat in a chair—would have invented a word for “chair” just in case. Truth is, they didn’t. Instead, the root word—utkata—means “fierce.” Utkatasana, a pose that strengthens the legs, feet and abdominals, is a staple in my healthy hips regimen. It strengthens muscles that can help stabilize hypermobile hips. In addition, it strengthens the core. The revolved version, Parvrtta Utkatasana, adds a thoracic spine rotation that can help soften shoulder tension. One of the keys to releasing upper body tension is...

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  • Meatless Monday: Pesto-Quinoa Bowl

    I’ve enjoyed making one-dish meals for years. Soups, stews, meal salads, grains and beans, and the like have been staples in my diet. In the past few years, bowls have become a thing. Bowls are basically one-dish meals that combine grains, protein and veggies. You can find tons of recipes for vegetarian and vegan bowls online these days. I found the bowl I’m sharing in this post on a site called namely marly. I made a few modifications, for example, using fresh peas instead of frozen. It’s much more labor intensive to pull the peas out of their pods than...

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  • Meatless Monday: Chameleon Tortillas

    I love spending an hour or two in the kitchen making food from scratch. But weeknights don’t usually afford me—or most people—that kind of time. So I like having a menu or two in my back pocket that I can whip up in 20-30 minutes. I got the idea for what I call “Chameleon Tortillas” while on a 30-day silent retreat at The Last Resort in Duck Creek, Utah. The retreat chef, Abhilasha Keays, invented this one-dish meal. They are chameleonic because you can add lots of different ingredient combinations to the basic tortillas to make different meals. One thing...

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  • Dekasana: Airplane Pose

    Right off, I’ll say that the chances that Dekasana (Airplane Pose) is one of yoga’s ancient staple poses are slim. Unless an ancient yogi sage predicted the invention of airplanes thousands of years ago, this pose, or at least its name, has to have arrived recently. That’s no problem, however, as many of yoga’s most popular asanas actually derive from British gymnastics. When the British occupied India, they introduced many of the more acrobatic asanas to yoga’s existing collection of poses. While not traditional in the strictest sense, these poses—such as backbends and standing poses—confer benefits that can help us...

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  • Meatless Monday: Sorghum and Arugula Bowl

    Thirty years ago, when I first stopped eating meat, brown rice was the go-to grain. A few others, such as millet, bulghur, couscous and buckwheat appeared in occasional recipes, but brown rice—short-, medium- and long-grain—was ubiquitous. In recent years, while different types of rice are still an important source of complex carbs, the whole grain field has blown open. Recently, I came across some recipes that used sorghum, a gluten-free ancient grain that originated in India. Curious to try it, I started with this recipe for a sorghum bowl that I found online at The Healthy Apple. The recipe’s author...

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  • Yoga for Hiking: 4 Asanas to Help You Wind Down

    A while back I wrote about specific yoga asanas that can support your hiking practice. Hiking requires good balance, and the ability to negotiate uneven terrain. Asana practice is replete with poses that build stability and balance. But what comes after your hike? Often, sore, tired muscles and achy joints follow. Hiking—especially when there’s lots of uphill and downhill trekking—can tighten muscles and jar our joints. Winding down with a few choice asanas after a hike can help restore your legs. Yoga for Hiking: Winding Down There are lots of yoga asanas that can help you wind down from a...

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  • Meatless Monday: Black Bean Polenta Cakes

    Most of the time, life necessitates that I make quick meals. But once in a while, I have a few hours to try something that takes some time. I saw this recipe in Forks Over Knives magazine, an offshoot of the documentary of the same name. When I saw the photo of these little polenta cakes, I knew I had to try them, although I was a bit apprehensive when I read the subhead, “Ready in 2 hours and 15 minutes.” But as I read the recipe I realized that much of that time is inactive, for example, waiting an...

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