Posts Tagged ‘Meditation’

Unleash Your Inner Power Retreat

Ayurveda & Yoga – Portugal Sept 25th to 30th

UNLEASH YOUR INNER POWER RETREAT is a 6-day life renewing experience in which we will take you on a journey that is deeply replenishing in the beautiful CASA PALMELA, in Setubal, Portugal.

Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, breath work, lectures, dynamic activities and excursions, all designed to raise your understanding of self-care and self-healing. This experience will elevate your awareness leading to deep healing, replenishment, and strength. You can’t miss it!


Situated in the heart of the Arrábida Natural Park, Hotel Casa Palmela is located in Quinta do Esteval, a luxury house with a history dating back to the seventeenth century.

Pass through the grand gates of Casa Palmela and prepare to be utterly relaxed. A long road lined with vineyards gives you welcome, approaching the one that will be an unforgettable experience.


Start the day with a transformative yoga, meditation and pranayama classe, enjoy nourishing meals prepared with typical products from the Setúbal region, learn Ayurveda principles and have moments of total relaxation by the pool, Ayurvedic massage, and an meditative sunset boat ride.

And why not explore the best of Portugal with our practices? As part of our schedule, you will get to visit a local winery during the grape harvest (vidima); explore one of the best farmers markets of Portugal with Luciana, your Ayurvedic expert at your side; and also lose yourself in the art of tile making by handcrafting and painting a Portuguese tile in an inward experience.

Leave feeling both refreshed and with a profound sense of awareness of your own unlimited potential, and with the practical tools the experts have gifted you, continue your journey at home


  • Private transfer for Lisbon Airport (Humberto Delgado Airport)
  • 6 days, 5 nights in a Luxury Hotel (part of the small luxury hotels of the world)
  • Vegetarian food prepared by the hotel chef, using self-sustaining and local ingredients
  • Daily Yoga, Meditation, and Pranayama with master teachers Therese and Luciana
  • Private ayurveda and Gurdjieff’s work sessions with our experts to setup your personalized wellness program
  • Various group activities
  • Dynamic Ayurveda nutrition lecture
  • Ayurveda self-care lecture
  • Yoga Philosophy lecture
  • One Ayurvedic massage during your stay
  • Boat Journey and Sunset Meditation
  • Portuguese tile painting and factory tour
  • Mercado do livramento educational tour
  • Adega Jose Maria da Fonseca visit and tasting


  • Tips – not mandatory in Portugal
  • Air fares to portugal (Lisbon)
  • Luggage and travel insurance*
  • Health insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Meals not mentioned in the program
  • Transfers not mentioned in the program
  • Entrance fees to monuments not mentioned in the program
  • In case of payment made by bank transfer, the costs must be paid by the sender.
  • credit card payments will have a 3.5% processing fee
  • optional 3 days in Lisbon after the retreat (organized by Art of Travel)

*travel insurance is mandatory for all participants


Designed by Art of Travel

This portion is NOT included in the retreat, but I wouldn’t miss it !!! It is a great way to reintegrate into the outside world and explore the beautiful city of Lisbon with friends.


Luciana Ferraz, AP, CHC, RYT-200, AYT

As founder of Blueberry Bunch, Professor at Vidyalaya, Speaker, and Author, Luciana unites her passion and professional background across a range of holistic practices to help people immerse in their health and wellbeing. She empowers clients to implement a healthier lifestyle, hence allowing the body’s natural ability to heal itself and work to its greatest potential.

Her individualized approach is based on the core principles of Ayurveda and bio-individuality; a tailored program designed for each client, along with the support of nutrition, yoga, self-awareness, and other holistic practices.

Luciana holds certifications as an Ayurvedic Practitioner from Kerala Ayurveda Academy in California-India, Ayur-Yoga from The Ayurvedic Institute, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from IIN in NYC. a long time student of yoga, she studied prana vinyasa, pre-natal, and yoga trance dance under teacher Shiva Rea and other renowned teachers. Luciana completed her Gurukulu studies with Dr. Vasant Lad in Pune, India.  She is also a certified Yoga Alliance Teacher.

Over twenty years into this journey, she is fully dedicated to helping clients bring self-care, wellbeing, harmony, and mindfulness into their lives. More about Luciana


Therese Skovgaard Poulsen

Originally from Denmark / England, Therese is a Sanskrit Scholar from Columbia University in New York, where she also completed her medical training to become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).

Her love for yoga and her search for Sanskrit scholars took her to India 27 years ago where she trained to become a Senior Ashtangha Yoga Instructor, and a lay scholar of classical yoga texts and the epic poem, the Bhagavad Gita. She has completed numerous advanced studies with Krishnamacharya , and his two senior student B.K.S. Iyengar, and Sri K. Patthabi Jois. She also did an acupuncture degree with advanced study and clinical internships in China.

Therese’s range of meditation experiences include Vipassana (silent meditations for up to three weeks), Gurdjieff’s work, the Enneagram through Helen Palmer, and A.H. Almaas the diamond heart work.

From these multiple areas of specialization and her first-hand experience with integrative practice and therapy, Therese was beginning to synthesize her unique blend of insights in health and healing into the concepts of harmony and balance in body, mind and spirit.


Art of Travel

Julia and Mariana are the founders of Art of Travel, a boutique agency, member of Serandipians by Traveler Made, specialized in client itineraries.

Their purpose is to transform travel dreams into unique trips. They unite consultancy, expertise and networking to surprise and deliver the best experiences to the customers with Small details, care and total dedication to your trip


Single Premium Room Package €3,850 Euros (€861.00 Euros deposit required to hold your spot)

Double Premium Room Package €3625 Euros (€908.50 Euros deposit required to hold your spot)

  • cancellation by 07/25/2022 – no cancellation costs will be charged*.
  • cancellation after 07/26/22 or in case of no-show – 100% of the reservation will be charged.
  • €400 Euros deposit are non-refundable*

Payment in full, or deposit + 2 installments (June and August). See the program PDF or contact us for details.

REGISTRATION: send a message to

All material and information presented by Blueberry Bunch is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made about products, supplements, or treatments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner before making changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle.

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Take control of your life with dinacharya: a powerfully balancing Ayurveda routine

Do you ever start the day thinking, “I’m going to work against myself today?” Of course you don’t. Not knowingly. The thing is: The way you go about your day does affect how you feel and how your body functions. So if you’re like most people I talk to, who could benefit from greater life balance, let’s talk about something that really works. There is a way: how to intentionally start your day so your mind and body can work in harmony as you’re challenged with day-to-day tasks, distractions and everything else that comes your way. It’s an Ayurvedic practice called dinacharya.

What dinacharya is and how can it help you

Dinacharya is a powerful daily routine used in Ayurveda. In Sanskrit, the word dinacharya means to follow the knowledge of the day, and that’s what we are doing: following a schedule of practices that are aligned with the natural rhythm or flow of life. This puts you in control of your day—and it can bring radical change to your mind and body. For example, it stabilizes your circadian rhythms, eating patterns, and bodily functions, which in turn improves your digestion and your overall feeling of happiness.

What it means to follow the rhythm of the day

Even if you’re not well-versed in Ayurveda, you probably already know how certain things like sleep are best to keep at the same time each day. To understand it from an Ayurvedic perspective, let’s look at our day in terms of doshas. During the day, we flow through different phases: vata, pitta and kapha. Just as these three doshas, or energetic forces of nature, make up your personal constitution, they are also represented in the day. When our practices follow the flow of the day, we set ourselves up for optimal digestion, focus, productivity, health and wellbeing.

  • 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. is kapha time. This can be a sluggish and heavy time, making it ideal for lighter eating and Ayurvedic practices (introduced in the next section) to start your day well.
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is pitta time. This can be characterized by increased heat in the air and in our bodies, which can be harnessed for productivity and high agni (a Sanskrit word meaning “digestive fire”).
  • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. is vata time. This is generally a time of transition, good for promoting creativity, problem solving or peaceful comfort, depending on your nature.
  • 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. is kapha time. The return of sluggish and heavy feelings influence a smaller meal and winding down in a soothing way.
  • 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. is pitta time. Active qualities return in the form of internal cleansing.
  • 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. is vata time. As another transitional time, it can promote deep rest and peaceful rising.

11 Dinacharya day-starters that promote overall balance and health

Here are my 11 favorite Ayurvedic practices for starting the day. They’re things I like to do before breakfast and looking at my phone. I realize that may sound like a lot, but don’t let it overwhelm you. When adopting Ayurvedic practices, start gradually and realize even small, consistent changes make an impact. For me, these morning rituals take 1 to 1.5 hours and make all the difference, helping me feel more grounded and peaceful as I go about my day.

List of My Top 11 Dinacharya Practices

1. Wake up early for optimal refreshment.

It is best to wake up before sunrise, or on average before 6 a.m. It can be far more refreshing to rise and start your day when vata is dominant rather than kapha’s heavy, sluggish period. Before going to bed, set an intention to wake up early and dedicate it as a time of self-care. It’ll be your opportunity to create inner awareness through silent practices. Putting it first allows you to harness this energy throughout your day and ensures other demands won’t get in the way of this important practice.

2. Set an intention before getting out of bed.

Say a positive affirmation, prayer or mantra with personal meaning to set your intentions for the day.

3. Makeover your mouth with oil pulling.

Oil pulling cleanses your mouth and strengthens your teeth, gums and mucus membrane. It also aids with bad breath and inflammation when present. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil or sesame oil to your mouth, swish it around 5 minutes, spit it into the trash and then rinse. I love Banyan Botanicals’ Daily Swish. Another option is swishing herbal tea.

4. Enhance skin and circulation with dry brushing.

Dry brushing promotes cell renewal by exfoliating dead skin while also increasing circulation and helping flush out toxins. Use a dry brush with natural bristles to brush your entire body, starting with your extremities and working in toward the lymph nodes. This practice can be done daily or three times per week.

5. Massage your body with warm oil.

Abhyanga massage is widely practiced in Ayurvedic medicine and is a good daily health practice. In addition to nourishing and softening the skin, it enhances circulation, lubricates joints, removes metabolic waste and helps balance your doshas. After dry brushing, incorporate a few minutes of self-massage with coconut (pitta), almond or sesame (kapha), or sesame oil (vata), and follow with a shower.

6. Clean your teeth naturally.

Use a natural toothpaste, such as a neem clove toothpaste to brush your teeth. Herbs like neem and clove have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and pain relieving properties that not only cleanse and freshen breath, but also enhance taste buds and help with sensitivity. This toothpaste can be found online and in some stores where vitamins or natural products are sold.

7. Detoxify with tongue scraping.

Use a metal tongue scraper to remove residue that has built up over night, including bacteria, dead cells and toxins you don’t want to reabsorb. Tongue scraping should be performed lightly 1 to 3 times with a stainless-steel tongue scraper, or copper if it’s available and you are kapha-dominant. They can be found at most drug stores and online—just refrain from choosing plastic.

8. Hydrate with warm lemon water.

Drinking warm water with lemon in the morning is a great way to energize, rehydrate, increase your metabolic rate, stimulate your digestion, maintain your body’s pH balance, help fight infections and help your liver flush out toxins that have accumulated overnight.

9. Tune into your breathing with pranayama.

Using breathing (pranayama) techniques helps balance your body’s energetic channels (nadis) and bring heightened awareness and clarity to your mind. These are some techniques you can try while seated:

  • Alternating nostril breaths (nadi shodhana)With your right hand, you will use your thumb to control passage of air through your right nostril and your ring finger for your left nostril. To begin, gently close your right nostril and breathe in slowly through the left nostril. Next, close the left nostril while opening the other so you can exhale slowly through your right nostril. Inhale slowly through your right nostril, and repeat for around 12 total rounds, or longer if you’d like. This can be practiced no matter your constitution.
  • Cooling breaths (shitali): Stick out your tongue and roll the outside edges inward so your tongue forms a straw-like tube. Inhale and exhale through your rolled tongue around 16 times. Since it has a cooling effect, it can be especially balancing for pitta.
  • Short, fast breaths (bhastrika): Inhale and exhale through your nose forcefully so your abdomen expands and contracts with equal duration—about one or two seconds each. Complete around 10 breaths, rest with a couple of normal breaths and repeat (slowly building up to 5 or 10 rounds). Since it can have a warming effect, pitta should practice gently, in moderation. Do not practice this if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure or any illness.

10. Activate good vibes and focus with meditation.

Meditation offers a feeling of relaxation followed by a release of energy boosting endorphins. It’ll help spring you to life—without coffee—and get your mind into a flow state to handle the day’s challenges with greater ease. If it’s new to you, start with a 5- or 10-minute practice, and work up to 15 minutes or more a day. There are many techniques, such as mantra meditation or Empty Bowl Meditation, as well as many resources like local classes and mobile apps.

Contact me if you’d like direction, and don’t think of meditation as taking up time. The focus and energy you get can make you happier and more productive.

11. Get moving with exercise.

In Ayurveda, regular physical activity early in the morning increases stamina and stimulates the immune system while promoting circulation and burning accumulated fat. Yoga is by far my favorite physical and mental activity as it also encourages the flow of oxygen, moves toxins, nourishes joints and stimulates the digestive fire in the body. Ayurveda generally recommends breathing through your nose and exercising at 50 percent capacity, until you break a mild sweat. Or from a doshas perspective: mild exercise for vata, moderate for pitta, vigorous for kapha.

Important healthy practices for other times

I could fill a whole new post with practices for other times of the day, but there a few I feel just have to be shared now.

Take a digital detox and get your Z’s.

A good night of sleep is extremely important for good health. During the night, cells repair more rapidly. Your digestive system gets a break, giving the elimination process an opportunity to catch up. Your mind also needs plenty of rest. Plan to get at least 8 hours of sleep each day. To help you sleep well, lower your consumption of TV, cell phones, iPad, computers, etc., at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Remove electronics from your room, and if an alarm clock is essential on your cell phone, place it in airplane mode.

Flush toxins with a steam treatment.

Swedana is a treatment performed at an Ayurvedic clinic that consists of an oil massage followed by a steam bath. The heat enlarges your pores and increases circulation, aiding digestion, the release of impurities, elimination of excess water weight and reduction of inflammation. It also promotes healthy, glowing skin and deep relaxation. It can be a great treatment to have when you’re dealing with a cold, sinusitis, aches, some digestive issues or as a pre-operative procedure.

Pamper yourself with another favorite.

Have you heard the saying, “Take care of yourself before you take care of others?” Self-care is absolutely essential for a happy life—and when you tend to your own needs, you are more open and present to support others. Choose one of your favorite pampering rituals and make that part of your weekly routine. Whether you take time for a massage, acupuncture, a visit to the nail salon, a walk on the beach, or something else, taking regular “me” time is a very important part of healing and balancing your dosha.

Now that you have several ideas you can incorporate into your dinacharya, don’t think of this as another to-do list. By aligning the activity of your mind and body with the natural rhythms of day and night, you will set yourself up for optimal health, happiness and productivity. Commit for a few weeks and start gradually. Add more only as you feel inspired and don’t be hard on yourself if you veer off course. Simply return to what serves you best, and enjoy.

Until next time, live well!


All material and information presented by Blueberry Bunch is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made about products, supplements, or treatments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner before making changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle.

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6 Ways to Relieve Stress During the Holiday Season

6 Ways to Relieve Stress During the Holiday Season by

6 Ways to Relieve Stress During the Holiday Season by

It’s that time of year once again, the holiday season is upon us. Lights are going-up, tree-stands are appearing on street corners, and party invites are going out. The frenzy is starting to build. But this year, STAY FIT 305 wants to help you keep a serene outlook in the face of stressful family gatherings and chaotic holiday shopping.

We enlisted Health Coach Luciana Ferraz of Blueberry Bunch to share some top tips on how to stay relaxed as the end of the year, and all it brings, approaches.

Here are six top tips for staying calm, cool, and collected during the holiday season.

  1. Meditation. Allow time to sit quietly for 10 – 20 minutes when you wake up. This practice will set the tone for your day and will slow down any anxiety or stress that you may be feeling.
  2. Breath. We can all attest that the more we run around, the more we can get bogged down by feelings of anxiety. A simple breathing technique can re-center your body-mind connection, providing you a sense of peace. Try full belly breaths by inhaling and exhaling slower for 5 minutes or so. This is a great practice at a busy shopping mall, or on your way to a family dinner.
  3. Make time for movement. Maintaining an exercise routine during this time of the year is key. Exercise naturally boosts serotonin levels which contribute to lower stress levels. Exercising will also burn those extra calories that you may consume from so many social activities. Check-out STAY FIT 305’s 10 Tips For Staying Fit During the Holidays.
  4. Get your ZZZZs. Getting plenty of sleep is not only good for your skin and immune system and energy levels, but also for your mood. Rest as much as possible, cat naps count too!
  5. Make your home a calm environment. Diffuse essential oils and light candles around the house. Making your environment feel cozy gives you the opportunity to relax and unwind when at home.
  6. Schedule some ME time: Caring for yourself is the first step in caring for others. Schedule some time for a massage or any other pampering activity that appeals to you. You will be more open and present to others.

Luciana Ferraz is an integrative nutrition health coach, who founded Blueberry Bunch to help busy people discover their ideal work-life balance and better manage the stress of everyday life.

As seen on Luciana collaborated with Randi Imas.

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