Monthly Archives:Ottobre 2015

Cinque semplici consigli per l’autunno

20 Ott 15
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I know the word Ayurveda is intimidating at first glance. But, Ayurvedic wisdom is something the entire family can understand, embrace and enjoy. By adding a few daily rituals into your usual mix you can start preventing sickness and disease today and stay healthy throughout the Fall.

Let’s kick this party off by getting doing a little meet and greet with Ayurveda.

The word, Ayurveda, translates to ‘the science of life’. It’s a holistic science over 5,000 years old that contains a profound body of knowledge used to understand ourselves within the laws of nature.

According to Ayurveda, each individual and all of nature is made up of a certain combination of the five fundamental elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements uniquely design each one of us, creating a distinct blueprint known as our Dosha.

Knowing your Dosha will help you determine lifestyle choices and the nutritional needs that will benefit you most on the quest to create optimal wellness and beauty.

There are 3 main Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. You can take a simple quiz or consult an ayurvedic practitioner to unveil your Dosha.

How Ayurveda Can Help You Stay Vibrantly Healthy this Fall

As much as we love Summertime and being out with our friends, going to parties and all the other outward flowing energy activities, Fall has moved in. It brings with it the promise of rain and cooler temperatures. Its rhythms remind us that it’s time to turn inside, ruminate and nourish that inner light.

When we can line up to naturally occurring rhythms, we’re less likely to get sick and develop disease.

Here are 5 simple and effective practices that can help you and your family line up to Fall’s rhythms:

1. Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. The acidic qualities of lemon encourage regularity, which is crucial in keeping your digestive track free of toxic build-up. Ayurveda likes to keep things moving through the channels of the body. Lemons also hold vitamins and minerals that help release toxins in the digestive tract. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into a cup of warm water.

2. Scrape your tongue. If you’ve never taken a peek at your tongue in the morning, check it out! Ayurveda teaches us that we can learn a lot about what’s going on in our bodies by simply noticing the characteristics of our tongue. In fact, it can inform us on how we want to start our day. A body with healthy organs and a clear digestive tract will show up pretty pink. A body with clogged organs or undigested food from the night before will show up with a layer of fuzz, film, the quivers, indentations from teeth, and/ or bumps (other than your taste buds). If your tongue has any of the latter qualities you know that there are toxins lingering in your body. To clear them out you can try drinking detoxifying juice, opt into a full on cleanse, or consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for an individualized plan. But first you want to scrape off these toxins from your tongue so you don’t re-ingest them into your system. Use a tongue scraper or the edge of a stainless steel spoon. You can find the tongue scrapers at most health food stores or online. Stainless steel ones are great because they don’t rust. Scrape the tongue gently, working from back to front. It will usually take between seven and 14 strokes to get it clean and clear (be sure not to scrape it raw though!).

3. Treat yourself to a green smoothie for breakfast.
There a many different recipes for green smoothies out there, but Ayurveda encourages a seasonal diet and ingredients that balance out the qualities already occurring in nature. Since it’s fall, nature brings out the dry, rough, light, cold, subtle & mobile qualities of life. This means for optimal health we want to steer away from foods and activities that have these same qualities (the idea is that too much of a good thing leads to sickness and disease).

Here’s a green smoothie recipe to balance you out in the fall:

1 banana
1 cup romaine lettuce
1/2 apple
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp ginger root
1 tbsp goji berries
3 dates, pitted
2 tbsp almonds, soaked
3 cups water (use more or less, depending on desired thickness)

Put all ingredients into a blender and mix.
Add stevia for more sweetness or spice for more pep.

4. Add more sweet, sour and salty foods into your diet. Fall (vata season) carries with it dry, rough, light, cold, subtle & mobile qualities. This means that to maintain a balance in our system we want to steer away from foods that also hold these same qualities.One way we can achieve balance in the Fall is by eating foods that ground, moisten, nurture and warm the body. Sweet, sour and salty tastes are the ideal candidates for the job. Here are some examples of foods to include in your meals:

  • fresh sweet fruits like mango, coconut, berries and peaches
  • fresh sour fruits like cherries, plums, green grapes, lemon and limes
  • sweet veggies like corn and peas

5. Give yourself an oil massage. It nourishes the skin, relaxes the nervous system, removes impurities from the plasma blood & feeds the inner tissues of the body.

In the same way that a machine needs greasing, the body loves to be oiled for sheer pleasure as well as to protect it against the ravages of the environment & time. Here’s a list of oil that are best for each Dosha:

  • Vata: sesame oil, almond oil
  • Pitta: coconut oil, olive oil
  • Kapha: sunflower oil, grapeseed oil

note: always use organic and cold-pressed oils when rubbing them directly onto your skin

You’ll want to set yourself up in the bathroom. I usually get in the tub and fill it up with just a few inches of water (enough to keep me warm while I’m doing the massage). This prevents a mess from being made elsewhere in the house. Some people stand on a towel. Whatever works for you.

You’ll also want to gently heat the oil before starting. Here’s how:

  • Put 1/8 – 1/4 cup of oil in a clear plastic squeeze bottle.
  • Put bottle in a cup of very hot water.
  • Let it sit for about 5 minutes or until warm.

Meanwhile, make sure you have a clean towel for drying off after your shower or bath, one that you don’t mind getting oily.

Ayurvedic massage is performed with the balls palms of the hands, as well as with the fingers. I’ll break it down for you:

  • Use circular strokes over the joints and abdomen
  • Use up-and-down strokes over the limbs

When finished, leave the oil on for 15-30 minutes and follow with a hot shower or bath. The hot water opens up the pours of the skin and brings the oil into the deeper tissues of the body (this is why oil trumps the use of lotion — lotion doesn’t nourish the deeper tissues, only the outer skin).

10 Esercizi per il mal di testa

19 Ott 15
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A headache can be really debilitating! Popping pills to get rid of the pain may seem like an easy way out but for those of us who suffer from chronic, reoccurring headaches; pills are seldom the right answer. But living with a bad headache is a battle and painkiller pills may seem like a necessary evil. But there are other ways to find relief from headaches without those pills! Stress is a major cause of headaches and one of the best ways to manage stress is to breathe right.
Top 10 Breathing Exercises For Headache Relief:

One of the major causes behind headaches is stress. We all know that stress is bad for our health, but feel helpless against the wear and tear of everyday life. But here’s the thing—if you want to get rid of headaches, you need to manage your stress level.

Breathing exercises are a wonderful way to relax the body, mind, and soul. They are considered a safe way to get relief from headaches. Here are the top 10 breathing exercises you can try to be free of that all encompassing pain:
1. Kapalbhati:

A part of yoga, Kapalbhati is an excellent breathing exercise that can be practiced to cure any type of chronic pain, including headaches.

How To Do:

Sit on the yoga mat in Padamasana, Sukhasana, or Vajrasana.
Close the eyes and let your hands rest in Gyan mudra.
With the focus narrowed on to the lower abs, quickly inhale and then indulge in powerfully swift exhalations [at least 8 per a breathing cycle for a second or two]. If you are new to this breathing technique, then you could place your palm on the tummy to keep focus.
Increase the counts per cycles slowly.
Complete the Kapalbhati breathing with a deep inhalation followed by a powerful exhalation.
2. Anulom Vilom:

This is one of the most effective breathing techniques for headaches that also cleanses up your nervous system and improves the circulation. It is an ideal de-stress mechanism.

How To Do:

Sit on the mat in Sukhasana, Padmasana, or Vajrasana. Relax your hands by resting them on the thighs.
Lift the right hand and shape your palm into Pranayama Mudra.
With the right thumb, close your right nostril.
Using the left nostril, take a deep and powerful inhalation.
Now close the left nostril and exhale via the right nostril.
Now, keeping the left nostril closed, inhale powerfully and deeply, via your right nostril.
Close the right nostril and exhale via your left nostril.

3. Bumble Bee Breath:

This exercise is also used to calm the mind and can be done by covering the ears with your fingers and making humming sound like a bee.

How To Do:

Sit in Padmasana on the yoga mat with spine kept erect.
Stretch out both hands and allow them to rest on your thighs.
Place the index fingers on the cartilages of the respective ears.
Take a deep inhalation and as you exhale, apply mild pressure on the cartilages while humming, preferably high pitched, like a bee.
Inhale and repeat the same 7 to 10 times.

4. Sitakari-Hissing Breath:

This is a popular breathing exercise for headache that can be practiced.

How To Do:

Sit quietly, allowing your upper and lower jaw to meet gently with the teeth touching each other.
Next, open the mouth without moving the jaws. Now, breathe in through your teeth, allowing the cool air to reach your lungs.
While breathing out, close your mouth, and exhale through the nose.

5. Ujjayi -Victory Breath:

This is a great breathing technique, a part of pranayama that can be used to beat a bad headache and also treat insomnia.

How To Do:

Find a comfortable spot and sit down on the floor.
Inhale slowly, filling your stomach and then ribcage with air.
Do not allow your stomach to expand outwards. Rather, try and lift your upper body.
Now, exhale all the air out of your lungs and stomach, flushing out all the tension with it.

5. Abdominal Breathing:

In this breathing therapy for headache, one needs to carry out deep breathing. This helps to relieve pain in the whole body. This can be done for 5-10 minutes to achieve relaxation.

How To Do:

Sit in Padmasana on the yoga mat with spine kept erect.
Stretch out both hands and allow them to rest them on your thighs.
Imagine a spot near the naval and breathe into it, filling your abdomen with air.
Next, exhale out all the air from your body.

7. Rhythmic Breathing:

When you have a headache, what you need is to relax somehow. Rhythmic breathing is a great way to relax your body and mind.

How To Do:

Sit down on the yoga mat, or the floor.
Inhale through the nose, while counting till 8 slowly.
Hold your breath for a count of 4.
Exhale through the nose, while counting 8 slowly.
Pause for a few seconds.
Continue as long as you need to find relief.

8. Bhashtrika-Stimulating Breath:

This yogic breathing technique increases alertness. One needs to exhale and inhale rapidly through their nose. It is little noisy, but this breathing technique is a great energy booster for the body. It kicks that headache right out!
How To Do:

Sit in Padmasana on the yoga mat with spine kept erect.
Stretch out both the hands and allow them to rest on your thighs.
Lift your right hand and palms shaped into Pranayama Mudra.
Close the right nostril with the thumb.
Taking a deep inhalation, exhale quickly and with the maximum possible force via the left nostril for 10 times.
Keep your left hand on your abdomen, if you are a beginner to ensure that your tummy walks are moving like bellows.
With the 10th breath, inhale and then exhale deeply via the left nostril.
Repeat the same with the right nostril.

9. Breathing And Visualization:

This is a great exercise for those who are spiritually inclined.

How To Do:

Sit down on the floor.
Close your eyes.
Imagine pure and healing energy of the universe, entering your body as you breathe in.
And as you breathe out, visualize all the negative thoughts, stress, painful emotions leaving your body.

10. Massage And Breathing:

This is a great way to find some relief from that killer headache. For this you’ll need to massage your acupressure points while breathing deeply. Some of the acupressure points you can massage are:

The space between the big toe and second toe.
The webbing between the thumb and forefinger.
Middle of the forehead.
Temples Base of the skull.

Headaches are common. All of us experience it once in a while. These are the best breathing exercises for headache relief without causing any harm to your body. Apart from these exercises, you can also try meditation and regular massages to deal with headaches. But, if you suffer from reoccurring headaches, it is better to see your doctor to rule out any underlying health condition.
So, stop spending money on all those painkiller pills. Try breathing instead!