Friday, December 18, 2009


Once again Lotus Pocus was proud to host Gianluca recently who did a wonderful work shop on the first chakra "Muladhara". He has kindly offered to do a summary here for those who were present and also for those who were not.

The third work-shop (on Svadhishthana chakra including a brief introduction, explanation followed by practice) will be held on 17th January - get yourselves booked in as places are limited! See below for details.

Il 29 Novembre si è tenuto presso Lotus Pocus il secondo incontro del workshop 'Fisiologia, simboli e forme nell'hatha-yoga - Un percorso di consapevolezza attraverso i chakra'.

Questa sessione è stata dedicata al primo dei sette chakra descritti nella tradizione hatha-yoga, Muladhara, e all'elemento ad esso corrispondente, la Terra.

Nel presente incontro è stato richiamato il tema dell'identità tra macrocosmo e microcosmo, analizzando in particolare la funzione dei chakra come strutture in grado di realizzare una connessione sincronica tra l'essere umano e l'universo.

Sono state presentate le caratteristiche fisiche e simboliche del chakra Muladhara, portando l'attenzione sulla sua importanza nell'equilibrio e nell'evoluzione dell'individuo. Abbiamo inoltre discusso delle caratteristiche e dei simboli che descrivono l'elemento Terra e della possibilità di affidarci ad essa ogni volta che ne avvertiamo il bisogno.

Abbiamo fatto alcune considerazioni sull'umiltà e sull'essere recettivi nella pratica dello yoga, sulla necessità di non cedere alla tentazione di considerarsi già esperti nella tecnica. Infine ci siamo confrontati sul principio yogico della contentezza (santosha, un altro dei pilastri dello Yoga classico) e sulla capacità di comprendere e di accettare tutto quello che accade, anche se sembra avere un valore negativo.

Nella pratica di hatha-yoga abbiamo lavorato e portato l'attenzione su: esercizi di stimolazione energetica nelle aree del corpo governate dal primo chakra; tecniche che favoriscono il radicamento e la stabilità, la percezione dell'elemento Terra, l'attivazione di Muladhara; consapevolezza e visualizzazione simbolica nelle varie forme proposte.

Nel terzo incontro verrà trattato il secondo chakra, Svadhishthana e il suo elemento, l'Acqua. Anche per questo centro di energia verranno presentate le principali caratteristiche (anche attraverso le sue rappresentazioni simboliche) e verranno individuate le relazioni con il corpo fisico e con l'ambito psichico. L'approccio seguito è sempre quello dell'esperienza pratica, della partecipazione attiva e della condivisione, nel rispetto degli specifici punti di partenza, bisogni e risorse di ciascuno.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Yoga Holiday Challenge - the 5 tibetan rites

"O" breathing - to be done between each rite/yogic movement

Coming up to the holidays one tends to dread the effects this will have on our health and on our waistline. Excess food and drink and a sharp decline in physical activity and lack of presence on the yoga mat, make for a slow yet what seems inevitable regression into slothfulness and a size 48 (depending).

Our apprehension is of course not related to christmas and the New Year at all, but to our beliefs about them. We resign ourselves to the fact that we will over eat, we will drink too much, we will put on a couple of pounds and we will from the 1st of January spend the following 6 months at the gym, on the yoga mat and away from the fridge.

Why the 1st of January? Because we have put up (then accepted) this mental Post-It ("New Year, New Life")as The Undeniable Truth. This Post-It pops up every year at the same time and we become a slave to it, and use it as an excuse to do all matter of sins to our body a few weeks previous. But the 1st of January is ONLY a date. Just like any other. Just like the 24th of November or the 1st of February,.. What makes it different is our BELIEFS (the 1st of January is THE date for everyone to turn a new leaf), ie. the importance and significance we decide to give it.

I say why not turn this on it's head? (excuse the yogic pun). Let's bring this belief and date forward a little. How would you feel if over the holidays instead of putting on a pound or two and feeling as active and healthy as a puff of candy-floss, you lost a pound or two and began to feet vibrant, strong or at least healthy? Well...why not?

My challange to you is to set yourselves a (or various) "feel good goals" and make these holidays work towards you and for your body rather than against it.

How? My first suggestion is obviously yogic.

Here I will give you a set of yoga asana known as "The Five Tibetan Rites"


Also know as the "Five rites of rejuvination" they are yogic continuous sequence of movements reported to be more than 2000 years old. Performing the rites are said to improve just about everything from bettering eyesight to hair growth (the indian based British Army officer who brought the Rites to the west went to live with a group of lamas said to have discovered a "Foutain of Youth". He arrived stooped, bent and bald and after continual daily practice left them seemingly 20 years younger; excellent posture and no less, it is claimed, a full head of hair) The rites sharpen the mind, boost memory and a sense of balance, increase libido and virility (hope Berlusca isn't reading THIS post), relieve nervous tension, improve digestion as well as leaving one feeling energetic and revitalized. But don't just take my word for it.

The Yoga Challange is to perform the rites EVERY day for at least 21 days consecutively. NO cheating. No forgetting. If you do forget, no problem - start again the day after and count that day as day ONE.

Here's how;

- Each asana is to be done in quick succession twenty-one times. No need to go beyond this number.

- You may not be able to get up to 21 times when you start out so if necessary, start with 12 and work your way up each day.

- Between each one stand-up, bring hands to your hips and to regain your natural breathing pattern, breathe in with your nose as out through your mouth which will be pursed in an "O" shape (see photo above) repeat at least two times (more only if necessary).

- practice these on an empty stomach.

- practice any time of day, but preferably in the morning.


Stand with your arms out by your side in line with your shoulders palms facing downward. Start spinning towards your right (so you spin in a clockwise direction). Be carefully and don't over do it as you will feel incredibly dizzy at first and may risk falling. This is a wonderful way to train and manage your vestibular (balance) system even in extremely unstable circumstances. You will find that with time that the dizziness decreases.


Lie on your yoga mat. Arms by your side palms placed downward. As you breathe in lift your head up tucking in your chin whist you lift your legs (past the ninty-degree angle). Breathing out lower your head and legs down. Try to create fluidity of movement. UNLIKE the photo your feet should be pointed up towards the cieling. If it's too uncomfortable for your neck keep your head up or, only if necessary cradle your head with your hands, chin tucked in elbows close towards each other.


kneel down on your knees. Tuck your toes under you. Keep your head down and chin towards your throat. Back straight. Knees slightly apart (in line with your hip bones) Clasp the backs of your thighs, and as you breathe in lift and arch back from your waist. Allow your head to fall back if comfortable. Then come back to starting position.


Sit down on your yoga mat with your legs out straight infront of you. Feet flexed. Hands down by your sides in line with your hips (not too far back). Chin tucked in. Breathing in lift your hips from the floor, bring the soles of your feet down, and if it's not uncomfortable, allow your head to drop back. Your body forms a kind of table shape . Breathing out lower yourself back down gently into the starting position.


Start by supporting yourself (tummy down) only on your hands and on your feet with your lumbar spine down close towards the ground (but not touching). Your body forms a kind of suspension bridge between hands and feet. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and your chest pushed forward. Breathing in pull yourself up into downward dog. Keep the movement from one asana to the other smooth and fluid.

And that's it!!!!

If any of my students would like to take part in the holiday challenge but don't have a yoga mat (yet)

a) I am very happy to lend you one over the holiday period and b) ask father christmas to get one for you!


Thursday, November 19, 2009


This week during the yoga classes I have mentioned "dominant thoughts" which I think is a subject so important I feel it's worth writing (more) about. I apologize to my students who have already heard me rant and rave about it this week. However if in the future you need reminding, then at least you know it's always here to find on my blog if and when necessary.....

When we do the plank pose (Ahdo Mukha Svasnasana) why is it that some of the more "muscly" males, big, bulky and brawny often have a harder time staying in the position that some of the more fragile looking females? Ok - it's true that the willowy-like among "us" (I use the term loosely!) have less weight to hold up, but we also have far less muscle to do it with. In theory the the guys who hang out at the gym weight lifting have more strength that the waif-like lettuce nibblers. Yet, for some reason in the plank it's often (but not always!!) the "weaker" sex who hold the position longer (it was my teacher Beatrice Calacagno who first pointed this out to me).

What this proves is it is not simply about muscle but about brain. Or mind. Muscle helps but it's mental power that gets you through.

One of the ways to make sure that you stay in the plank longer than you thought possible is because you convince yourself it IS possible. If you tell yourself after a couple of minutes that "that's it, I can't do it, I'm giving up" then you will almost instantly collapse onto your mat. Your body is very obedient to its thoughts.

Yesterday a friend of mine told me about, lets call her "Jane". A wonderful inspiring woman very well known in the publishing world who was, to her horror, one fine morning mercilessly fired. Her high salary and impressive CV midst the credit crunch did nothing for her unemployment situation, and she remained jobless for an entire year. Job offers came and went but she refused to "undersell" herself. Then suddenly recently she was offered an amazing job with a salary that she was worth. My immediate thought was "Wow! She had a very insistent long-term positive dominant thought pattern going on there" Had her dominant thought over the last 12 months been "I'm a failure" or "no-one is ever going to employ me again" she would probably still there in the dole queue.

Know your worth (your positive aspects) and remind yourself of that. It's not about being big headed it's about being KIND.

SO just as on the yoga mat we convince ourselves we are going to stay in the plank postion forever, we can do the same off of the yoga mat a reap the rewards.

We tend to go towards our dominant thought. We also tend to have a habitual dominant thought that is unfortunately more often than not, negative which goes something like;

I'm a bad mother, I'm unsociable, I'm a terrible boss, I'm a loner, I'm fat, I'll always be single...etc. etc.

I invite you this week to

1. NOTICE what your dominant thoughts are

2. Label them positive or negative (do they help you go towards your goal or do they direct you off your chosen path?)

3. If negative, think about how to turn the thought around to that is becomes a support rather than a form of punishment.

Repeat as often as necessary until positive dominant thoughts become a habit rather than an exception to the rule.

Use your dominant thought ("I CAN do this" "I will stay where I am") to start your asana and then a slow and even breathing pattern to help you discover and experience the asana fully.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I was lucky enough to attend a conference held by Antonio Nuzzo who made some very interesting points about our "mental structure" ( including, as we would say in English, our "emotional baggage") which, as we grow from a baby to a child and them to an adult, becomes more solid and intricate as does our ego.

What is it about being a child which is so appealing (apart from having someone to do the cooking for you)? When you hear the wise and enlightened talking about returning to the "child-like state" what is it exactly that they are getting at, what do they mean? Exactly what Avicenna implied (although this was not his thesis) when he spoke about "the floating man".

I suspect they mean using the right hemisphere of the brain, allowing space for your right hemisphere to have it's "say". In children under the age of three the right side of the brain is dominant - it "thinks" through the senses (seeing as verbally not much is happening yet) . Everything is learnt through sensations, tone, sound, touch etc. rather than through verbalization, interpretation and cognitive analysis. It is for this reason for example, that all mothers from a ll cultures tend to use that kind of "baby voice" and "goo and gar" when talking to their little ones. Because it is through tone and sound that the mother communicates with her child at that very tender age "it's right-brained friendly". Then as we age the left analytical critical part takes over, bullying the right. Seeing as we as a society reward those who are academically ahead we are encouraging a left-brained way of being. (you baby can talk ALREADY? She can do SUMS?) I once met a baby girl on the beach in Sicily who was TWO years old at the time (the same as Nina my daughter who running around the beach yet could not say her own name) , this tiny tot could reel off a list of brand-names; Dolce e Gabbana, Cavalli etc. which was "impressive" to say the least. Although she couldn't walk yet, she could say her prayers. I'm not criticizing this, what I found interesting was the joy and celebration and applause her mother and aunt showered on her for this ability. We are a society that rewards analytical thinking, that prizes linguistic prowess and...forgets about the right side of the brain. We are destined to become left-brained dominant. There is nothing wrong with that apart from the fact that it is not conducive to calm, to peace, to tranquillity. It is not conducive to living in the present moment of time, it all about living for the future or dwelling in the past. What a SHAME. It's a verbal despot with an objective in mind; to keep us busy, to keep us thinking, to keep us projected towards tomorrow.

But we are living NOW.

In order to let go of the ego, in order to find a moment of calm of on your yoga mat as in with life, one needs to plug into the child like state that is - in my humble opinion - the right side of your brain. One of the ways you can do this is by practicing yoga, which goes without saying.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Hello everyone,

Gianluca has just started a series of workshops exploring the numerous aspects of Hatha yoga. I feel very honored to have him at my center doing both lessons and seminars and I believe he will bring a great deal to Lotus Pocus in terms of expertise, knowledge, energy and wonderful teaching.

He has kindly agreed to send me a little summary of each workshop to post here on my blog.



Recentemente si è tenuto presso Lotus Pocus il primo incontro del workshop 'Fisiologia, simboli e forme nell'hatha-yoga - Un percorso di consapevolezza attraverso i chakra'.

In questa prima sessione è stato presentato il quadro metafisico di riferimento dell'hatha-yoga, analizzando in particolare il processo di manifestazione dell'universo secondo il tantrismo ed evidenziando la corrispondenza tra macrocosmo e microcosmo. È stato introdotto il concetto di prana e la sua relazione con il respiro, nonché gli elementi di base della fisiologia sottile dell'essere umano (le nadi, i chakra, la kundalini) e la loro funzione nel processo di realizzazione dell'individuo.

Abbiamo dato alcune definizioni di yoga e discusso della relazione tra mente e corpo, della

saggezza degli antichi maestri (rishi) e della prudenza che dobbiamo adottare nella nostra pratica.

Abbiamo fatto alcune considerazioni sul sentimento della paura e sulla modalità in cui la pratica dello yoga ci aiuta a superarla. Infine ci siamo confrontati sul principio dell'essere veritieri (satya, uno dei pilastri dello Yoga classico) e sul senso di libertà che da esso deriva.

Nella pratica di hatha-yoga abbiamo lavorato e portato l'attenzione su: esercizi di estensione della colonna vertebrale; tecniche per rivitalizzare il corpo e risvegliare il respiro; controllo del movimento attraverso la respirazione; consapevolezza e visualizzazione simbolica nelle varie forme proposte.

Nei prossimi incontri passeremo ad analizzare nello specifico i singoli chakra. Per ognuno di essi verranno analizzati: la relazione con il corpo fisico e con l'ambito psichico; l'elemento del macrocosmo a cui sono correlati e il suo significato; i suoni, i colori e i simboli che li rappresentano.

L'approccio seguito è sempre quello dell'esperienza pratica, della partecipazione attiva e della condivisione, nel rispetto degli specifici punti di partenza, bisogni e risorse di ciascuno; l'obiettivo è quello di avviare un percorso di consapevolezza attraverso la pratica dell'ascolto, applicando le tecniche classiche dell'hatha-yoga.

Nel secondo incontro verrà trattato il primo chakra, Muladhara (il chakra della base) e il suo elemento, la Terra.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


This post is in english - the next will be in italian.

Avicenna (arguebly the most important philosopher in the history of Islam, born in the 11th Century BC) was a very clever man, and he knew it. Famous for his groundbreaking works in the field of philosophy and medicine, he is less famous for his modesty which was nonexistent. But he had a good reason to be boastful and he certainly hasn't become one of Iran's national heros for nothing.

His most famous thought experiment was that of the “floating man” (or “flying man” depending on what your read), which he claimed proved the existence of a soul (or a god). His thought experiment goes like this;

Imagine a man is born in adult form in complete darkness and floating in nothingness. He is without gravity, without sound nor any visual input. He cannot see anything nor feel anything, not even his own body as his fingers are splayed open, his legs apart and his arms away from his sides so there is non tactile (or visual or audial) information coming in. If a man should be born in without any sensory input would he be aware of anything? According to Avicenna despite this “sterile” ambient, he would still be aware of his own existence. And this he claims is the proof of the existence of the soul (or god).

I think the floating man would be aware of his existence not through thought (as he hasn't had any possibility to develop language) but through “proprioception” which is a sense dedicated to the awareness of our body in space. I can pick up a glass of water and bring it to my lips without having to consciously follow the pathway through visual signals, although they help. In the middle of the night I do not need to see my arm to know that it is placed folded under me. Proprioception is best understood when we have lost it. For example when you drink too much: alcohol influences and diminishes this sense, which is why (at least in Britain – I don't know about here in Italy) if a policeman thinks you have been drinking to much he will ask you to shut your eyes and bring your finger to the tip of your nose. If you can do this with relative ease you probably haven't had one to many down the pub. If you lose this sense in order to walk you would need to see your leg coming up and then down in order to know where to place it. It's totally non-verbal and I suspect involves the right (sensory) side of the brain rather than the left (linguistic – but this is I confess a very crude differentiation). By the way.....If there are any neurologists out there who could clarify this for me I would be most grateful!

I believe Avicenna's floating man would have been thinking proprioceptively through the awareness of his internal organs within his own body and through his awareness of his body in space. I think he would have had a very dominant right side of the brain. Rather than concluding that this is the proof of the existence of the soul (or god) I believe that it is the key to getting one of the former, or getting into contact with the latter in so far as, the quietening down of the our internal brain chatter and the development of the right “sensory sensitive” side of the brain brings us closer to god, peace, collective consciousness, tranquility, "being at one with the world", calm, it what you will.

Sometimes when I am in the tree position I think of Avicenna's floating man – I close my eyes, distance my body from itself so the only sensory input I have is tactile through the soles of my feet and through sound. I imagine I am floating. I fine tune my proprioceptive ability. It's very calming. Try it.

Yoga is a great way to stimulate and develop the sense of proprioception.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Ok - sometimes my posts will be in Italian sometimes in English. Hope that's ok for everyone.

We'd both just come out of our japanese class and Valerio turned to me and stated

"you know, I always go into the class really stressed ...."

(he has to dash home from work at wonderfully yet ridiculously early time)

"......... yet when I come out I feel totally relaxed."

Usually, personally I come out of the lesson feeling like my brain has been fried due to the effort made by my overly dormant linguistic neurons which are taking their time at re-awakening. However, apart from the pure cognitive up-hill struggle, I have to say I too feel the same.

Valerio carried on:

"I think it's because it has to do with the fact that for a period of time I am totally concentrated on only one thing. Japanese."

And I think he has hit the nail on the head. We do not need to sleep to feel refreshed we simply need to concentrate on one thing at a time. And to breathe :-) People tend to block their natural breathing pattern, sucking in their abdomen and creating as little movement as possible causing (along with all the difficulties big and small that the day presents one with) the body to become rigid and the mind to be in stress mode. But anyway...going back to Japenese....

Doing more two or more things at once is not clever, it's bloody tiring. And cognitively speaking we are doing ourselves no favors. Just because you are physically able to perform two tasks at once doesn't mean you should. What you are in fact doing (as I have mentioned before in my post on multitasking) is DIVIDING your attention. You cannot put 100% attention on two tasks - you have to divide it. It has been proven that if you try to learn something whilst performing another task (listening to the ipod for example), your ability to recall what you have learnt later on will be far diminished. As Norman Doidge states in his book "How the brain changes itself" "When we want to remember something we have heard we must hear it clearly, because a memory can only be as clear as the original signal". Which explains why I can never remember to buy those little honey throat sweets that every morning Valerio pleads me to get, or to remember to iron the shirts (sigh - yes yoga instructors are human beings too) not because I am The Anti-Wife in persona, but because I have has to receive his message through a blanket of noise whilst task performing ; kids screaming, cats meowing, whilst plating melitta's hair and eating my cornflakes.

SO why do you feel good after your yoga session? Apart from it being finished :-) perhaps you feel good because you have been concentrating on one thing, and one thing alone. Yoga in this case. This in itself brings about a state of inner calm. We are also (as in the case of learing Japanese for Valerio) in what Csikszentmihalyi calls a "state of flow" - a state in which you are so concentrated on what you are doing than time no longer has meaning (time flies without you noticing) you feel completely at one with what you are doing, there is a loss of ego, a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, you feel positively productive and perfectly at your ease ( least I hope you do at least some of the time on your yoga mat!) . The good news is that yes yoga does or can help induce a state of flow but even better, simply concentrating FULLY on one thing at a time should also get you in the right direction.

Going slowly and paying undivided attention IS relaxing - no matter how much you have to do. Try it.

Ma-ta-ne! ("see you later" in Japanese - but actually I have no idea how to spell it!)

Monday, September 28, 2009


Questo è il mio primo post in Italiano. Ho deciso di cambiare lingua sopra tutto perchè 99% dei miei allievi sono italiani. Loro fanno lo sforzo di venire da me e fare delle cose persino incredibili (e meravigliosi) al tappettino, allora mi sembra giusto che faccio lo sforzo di scrivere in una lingua che non è il mio. Verramente è stato un suggerimento da mio marito; ha detto che almeno così farò anche ridere. No comment. Perciò vi chiedo scusa in anticipo per tutti i miei sbagli e vi chiedo di avere pazienza!

La nostra sistema di equilibrio ci da il senso di orientamento nello spazio che ci circonda. Questo grazie a tre canali semicirolare che si trovano al interno degli orecchio che ci permettono di capire quando siamo in piedi, come la forza di gravità influenza la nostra postura rilevando il movimento in un spazio tre- dimenzionale.

Ogni canale (uno che gestisce il movimento in un piano orizonale, uno vertical e l'altro quando stiamo muovendo indietro o davvanti) contieni dei piccoli pelli che restono dentro un fluido, quando la testa va inavanti anche questo fluido si scivola in avanti “disturbando” i pelli che poi mandono un segnale al cervello che abbiamo aumentato la velocità in una direzione. C'è un “nodo” di neuroni nel cervello che raccoglie questo l'informazione mandato, e trasmette un “command” ai muscoli del corpo di re-agiustarsi seconda la necessità. E' un piccolo gioello di “enginneering biologico”. Funziona molto bene. Di solito. Ma di solito le cose che praticaiamo tanto, diventono più facili (yoga) ,le cose che trascuraimo (la lingua inglese in tanti casi di miei allievi) diventono più difficile - e l'equilibrio non è un eccezione. Neurologicamente il detto “use it or loose it” è spaventosamente vero.

Nel libro “How the brain changes itself” si parla di un caso di una donna che ha perso 98% del suo senso di equilibrio. Quando camina si deve aggrapparsi ai muri, quando vede un oggetto in movimento sembra guardare un film fatto correndo con un videocamera, e tutto si salta su è giu davvanti gli occhi, la sensazione che sente in continuazione è quello di cadere perenneamente; persino quando sì è sdraiata per terra.

Lei ha perso il suo senso di equilibrio grazie ad un antibiotic (gentamicin) dato post-operazione la quale può avere come “side effect” “l'avvelanamento” dell'interno del orrecchio. Il dottore la guardato è senza tanti pelli sulla lingua ha annunciato che la sua situazione era “permenente”.

Il cervello è incredibilmente plastico - cioè riesce a cambiare la sua struttura e funzioni tramite il pensiero e l'attività. Questo fatto ancora oggi viene accolto dal pubblico con dubbio – non è sorprendente visto che persino quelli dal campo neurologico hanno rifiutato l'idea della “neuro-plasticità” fino la fine degli anni '60 (alcunni reviste di neurologia rifiutavono di pubblicare articoli con “neuro-plasticità” nel titolo – era considerato quasi una bestemia). Però ormai scientificamente non può essere più rifiutato; possiamo influenzare fisicologicamente il nostro cervello.

Cheryl, la donna che stava cadendo pereneamente, nonstante il prognosi dal dottore ha, dopo anni, ristabilito il suo equilibrio in modo permenente con l'ultizzo di un dispositivo geniale che ha dato l'avvio a lo svillupo di un "neural pathway" nel cervello che sembrava ormai persa, e così adesso riesce restare in equilibrio da sola senza la necessità del dispositivo che l'ha “rimesso” in piede. Pian piano quel pathway è stato ricostruito, tramite training(provando la plasticità del cervello). Adesso è tornata una donna normale. Se lei che ha perso al 98% del suo equilibrio può ritrovarlo – da molto speranza a quelli di noi che ci sentiamo un pochino instabile nella posizione del albero o quando si scende dal letto nel buoio.

Come possiamo, noi di un instabilità “normale” migliorare la situazione – cioè non perdere il nostro “skill” per stare bilanciati?

E' ovvio che non possiamo intervenire direttamente ai canali semi-circolare dentro i nostri orrechi, ma possiamo invece perfezionare e aumentare il tempi di reazione tra il messaggio mandato dal cervello ai muscoli e vica versa. Possiamo aumentare o risensibilizzare il corpo in modo che possiamo aggiustarsi/re-equilibraci più velocemente. La sensibilità del piede e un nano-secondo di reazione in meno, può salvarci da un piccolo “stumble” ad una caduta grave. Che c'è di male di una caduta ogni tanto? Bhè....pensa agli anziani.

Seconda dei studi svolti ricentamente in America, gli anziani temono più la possibilità di cadere che essere scippati. E hanno ragione. Il cadere, spesso ai sopra 65 anni, causa gravi problemi; dai ossa rotti e perfino la morte. In un articolo recente di New York Times hanno parlato di questo fatto dando poi consigli per evitare trovarsi con il naso al tappetto. I consigli erano tipo: dormite su un letto basso, evitare avere tappetti in giro, non applicare la cera al parque (ma io non l'ho mai fatto adesso alla tenerà età di trenta-qualcosa anni, figarati ad 80!). MA hanno dimenticato un punto fondamentale; il svillupare (o non perdere) il senso del equilibrio.

Purtroppo nella nostra società e mondo di cemento, abbiamo dovuto per forza di cose indossare le scarpe. La scarpa è un grande ammortizzatore di sensibilità. E' uno strato di qualcosa di estremamente solido e spesso inflessibile tra il piede alla terra, che blocca l'entrata di informazione kinestetico al piede. In più quelli con il tacco non solo sono inflessibili, ma spesso anche strumenti di tortura (ma dovè c'è scritta che il piede deve essere a punta?! - Ammetto che i miei piedi somigliono più ad una bistecca fiorentina che una barca snella bonsia; forse sono solo gelosa perchè non riesco proprio camminare in un paio di “stilettoes” super-sexy – sigh. ) faccendo danni fisici oltre il resto. Anyway.....così il nostro piede diventa sempre meno sensibile, e ancora grazie alla scarpa anche meno mobile. Un piedi insensibilizzato e poco mobile (sopra tutto con l'età) non ha molto chance di reagire come si deve – sopra tutto in caso di possibile cadute.

Dobbiamo re-educare i nostri piedi! Toglietevi le scarpe! Quando siete nella campagna in un giardino in un parco, AL MARE - togliete le scarpe! Peremette il piede di godere la sensazione di erba che sfiora, dei sassolini che pungono, la sabbia che accarezza....Il mare è la palestra perfetta per i piedi; caminando dentro l'acqua potete re-sensibilizzare il piede ad un superficio non piatto – grazie al dislivello del fondo. Poi camminando (con l'acqua più o meno alla vità) ci sono le onde che fanno un equilibrio-training perfetto mentre ti spingono e tirano da quà e da là (anche se cadete al peggio riempite i narici di acqua salata ma ferite solo il vostro orgoglio). Avete la morbidezza o la durezza della sabbia asciutta e bagnata, avete i sassi che fanno un massaggio meraviglosa ai piedi, la sensazione del acqua – dai un break ai tuoi piedi e portali al mare se potete. I miei hanno goduto in pieno il mare in sardegna quest'anno.

E ovvimante c'è lo yoga – forse l'unico momento dove dediciamo una finestra di tempo esclusivamente al equilibrio. Pensa di quando avete iniziato yoga e quanto tempo riuscivate a rimanere (o non) sul un solo piede, dopo solo un mesetto o due vedete già dei cambiamenti incredbili. Questo perchè stiamo sensibilizzando tutto, persino i neural pathways dedicate alla comunicazione tra cervello-corpo diventono più profondi e più facile da utlizzare e allora a svillupare. A qualsiasi età possiamo migliorare l'equilibrio ma meglio se commincitate subito. In yoga diciamo che l'equilibrio fisico rispecchia quello mentale (per questo che quando sto pensando e aggitandomi del fatto che devo affrontare la commercialista il mio “albero” balla pericolosamente). Però essatamente come ogni movimento ogni postura corretta e benefica del corpo ha un influenza positiva alla mente; se riesco a rimanere nel albero nonostante il pensiero del commercialista, potrei poi anche affrontarlo con serenità. Provate!