Learn about Ayurveda views on menopausal change in this interview of Terra Rafael CAP by Karen Spies of the Evolving Woman podcast.
How important is relationship with your teacher? You might be learning spiritual, health, or other kinds of lessons. A good fit with a teacher’s way of presenting information as well as the information itself serves your learning.
This interview with Terra Rafael is offered as a way to get to know her flavor, to understand her history, and to see if she is a teacher you would like to learn from.
Interact in person with Terra: WiseWomanhood Classes – Live on Zoom
Dive Deeper- Seminar on Ayurveda for Women’s Health, 10 Saturday sessions,beg Feb 18 , More Info
Dive Deep into the Spirit – The Wisdom Goddesses and Women’s Powers – 10 sessions, Feb-Apr, Fridays – Teachings, discussion & shamanic journey, More Info
NEW: Monthly Free Q & A with Terra – 2nd Friday, 10 am Mountain Time – Register here
For more info on any of these, email Terra at wisewomanhood@gmail
At the recent NAMA conference I loved the workshop, Role of Ojas in Building A Healthy Family from Birth to Old Age. It reminded me of the importance of ojas. And one speaker suggested a good way to increase ojas is through Loving Kindness Meditation.
This form of the Loving Kindness Meditation is what I use: I sit for meditation, focusing on the love I feel towards a person or deity. When this feeling is firmly established, I let go of the object and allow the love to be inward, filling my whole body and aura as I inhale and radiating outward from my heart like moonlight, as I exhale. This inborn love never is depleted.
Try it! You may find it renewing and also ojas increasing.
Weakened and recovering from hip replacement surgery, I have become (temporary) host for some kind of virus.
Tell-tale symptoms slowly unfolded, so slowly that I missed them as I focused on getting my repaired leg reintegrated and detoxed from the necessary drugs involved. Scratchy throat. Feeling feverish. Low appetite. Dry cough. At first, I thought it was a resurgence of acid reflux, which could have similar symptoms, without the feverishness. I took some herbs to loosen the cough – grindelia with usnea and red root, a tincture of Colorado herbs that I’d made up myself. It worked, stimulating mucus production in this vata body living in a vata climate. For awhile the cough was worse. I got some Serious Cough tincture by WishGarden Herbs, which has helped, along with sitopaladi. Eucalyptus essential oil,nasal rinses and heat to my sinuses to loosened them up. Herb teas and zinc lozenges helped with the tender throat.
Uncertainty of What It Is
Well, I took a covid test which was negative, but later realized that I’d rinsed my nose that morning so may have reduced the viral load. It feels like a bad cold, except in the early days of it, food tasted off for me. Not noticing it any longer, but also not eating a wide variety. Eating rice and beans mainly, with some cooked vegetables.
Recovering Body and Mind
Day by day I’m becoming more myself, less a virus factory. Frustrated to have spent time with surgery recovery and then be isolated and low energy again. Sticking to my meditation practice and practicing bathing my body & mind with loving kindness helps.
I noticed how difficult it is to be a practitioner for myself when I’m sick. It’s a rare occurrence, without well practiced protocols for myself. Time to re-establish a relationship with another practitioner to depend on when needed.
How about you? Who helps you remember how to take care of yourself when you are deep in sickness brain?
Pratyahara is one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga from the Yoga Sutras. It is the linchpin between working with the outer physical world and going to the more inner, subtle senses. This is relevant to both Ayurveda and Shamanism.
For Ayurveda, it works at awakening to the Atman, the Highest Self. This is the source of Truth, Light, and Love. It supports a sattvic mind, leading to better lifestyle choices.
For Shamanism, developing our inner senses allows us to sense the subtle Upper, Middle, and Lower Worlds. This allows us to bring more information back to this world.
The first steps to Pratyahara involve learning how to properly deal with relationships. These are the first limb – the Yamas and Niyamas.
Yamas focus on our behavior and thoughts towards others.
- Ahimsa is non-harming, non-violence. It is being loving and compassionate.
- Satya is truthfulness and honesty.
- Astya is non-stealing. We develop healthy interchange with others. This means not just avoiding thievery, but also avoiding being a taker or user without giving back somehow.
- Bramacharya is moderation of the outer senses. This means controlling your sensual cravings and addictions.
- Aparigraha is non-hoarding. We avoid unnecessary materialism and selfishness around sharing our time and energy with the world.
Niyamas help us learn to maintain a positive environment and develop self-discipline and inner strength.
- Saucha is purity and cleanliness. This involves physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.
- Santosa is contentment. Learning to accept and enjoy what is now.
- Tapas is heat or fire of practice. Using our best efforts even when we don’t want to develops the discipline needed for deep inner work.
- Svadhyaya is self study. We contemplate ourselves– mind and body – to find our own truths.
- Ishvara Pranidhana is surrender to Higher Self. We may surrender to Nature, a personal god or the higher self as spiritual practice.
Asana is another limb of yoga. As a spiritual practice it is more than poses. It liberally means “to sit calmly.” Through asana we become aware of our bodies, emotions, and minds. We become healthy, balanced, calm and disciplined enough for further inner work. Prana – the life energy- can where we put our attention. Asana helps us become aware of our whole body. It also releases stuck areas that inhibit the flow of prana.
Pranayama is meant to allow prana to circulate freely through our body-emotion-mind- spirit system. It is opening up to allow the flow to happen. Being able to sit (or live) calmly and allow our prana to nourish every cell, give us the energy and safety to move on to pratyahara.
Pratyahara can happen when the prana flows. We need to be in a safe place in the external world. Then we can practice opening up and strengthening our internal sense organs. Next blog, we’ll delve more into the practice.
I highly recommend the Pratyahara class by Dr Claudia Welch and Dr Robert Svoboda
Part 2 will delve into more about developing Pratyahara
For my twenty years of Ayurveda practice I’ve avoided using the “Dosha Tests” with my clients. I could determine their doshas simply through history, symptoms and pulse readings.
I want to spread the word on the usefulness of Ayurveda and so many know so little about it. So, with the help of my tech mentor, Karen at Spiezz Digital, we’ve created a less jargon-y quiz to ease people in.
This fun test is perfect for those just getting interested in Ayurveda and wanting to know more about themselves. Please share it with any such humans (not yet calibrated for wild things, pets, or aliens).
Of course, the test is just a first step into the never-ending story of Ayurveda…after all, the science of Life is as long and varied as Life itself…