What is Tantra Yoga?
Contrary to what you might assume, tantra yoga has nothing to do with tantric sex, at least in the contemporary, Western sense of it. Traditional tantra yoga isn’t sexual, but it is deeply tied to the concept of pleasure and learning to become truly in tune with your body.
Tantra yoga is a form of yoga practice that’s aligned with Tantra, an ancient spiritual practice originating in India, Tibet, and other parts of Asia. Tantra is often associated with tantric sex, which is the sensual, spiritual form of sex. But these sexual practices are actually just one part of tantra and are actually more accurately described as neotantra. Tantra means “to weave or expand” in Sanskrit, and classical tantra is all about reaching spiritual enlightenment through connecting with your energy. This traditional understanding of tantra is the heart of tantric yoga.
The aim of the physical asana practice is not for us to attune our bodies to reach a certain asana, but to become in tune with the needs of the body and to be able to find the correct asana that the body needs at that moment. We empower our students to respect and honour the needs of their bodies and from this point allow them the freedom to explore their individual needs. Tantra Yoga is the ultimate practice in Self-Love.
As Tantra Yoga Teachers we aim to support and gently guide our students. I help them rediscover their personal power and freedom and receive all the pleasure that yoga has to offer. The role of a tantra yoga teacher is to encourage our students to discover what feels good to them in each moment of their practice and trust that.
As Tantra Yoga Teachers we create a supportive space in which our students can truly connect with themselves, mind, body, and spirit.
In tantra classes, the teacher urges you to relax and simply listen. As the teacher, I will lead you into a yogic state, moving body and breath. From that point, there is no right or wrong. Students are guided into proper alignment for themselves, not a yoga textbook universal representation of the asana…..our bodies are not ‘one size fits all!’
Tantric yoga will lead to the dissolution of any mental and physical barriers to growth, gently helping us melt the restrictions and push our rigid ‘comfort zone. Tantra yoga is about quieting this mental chatter to allow students to flow into the more challenging asanas with ease. Personal empowerment is one of tantra yoga’s greatest gifts. If we can help our students trust their own intuition, they will become their own greatest teachers.
Our bodies can do everything they have ever learned. We just need to get out of their way. We have evolved to keep our bodies in the flight-or-fight mode because we throw stressor after stressor at them. We’ve gotten to the point where we feel like we have to justify or apologize for relaxing. We force ourselves to keep moving, creating, spending, and using our energy until we simply cannot anymore.
Forcing ourselves to keep running on empty means our bodies start to use up our reserves. That’s what makes us tense, stiff, depressed, and anxious. Traditional tantra yoga classes are designed to facilitate total relaxation. Once we find a way to release the tension in our bodies and minds, we will reach new heights and depths in our practice and in our lives.
Learn to Lean into pleasure.
Tantra yoga will prime your mind and body to receive and experience pleasure. But note, we’re not talking about sexual pleasure here. Pleasure is often associated with sex, because pleasure is a feeling of enjoyable sensation in the body.
Tantra principles state that all things in life should give you pleasure. Everything you do should give you pleasure.
Therefore if you are in a class where the teacher is insisting that you stay or come out of an asana before your body has received all the pleasure it can, then you are not in control of your reality. And if you are not in control of your reality, who is? Tantra Yoga Teachers empower their students to find pleasure in their practice, both on and off the yoga mat.
Tantric yoga will help you unlearn the conditioning you’ve faced all your life. In the West, we are taught at a very young age to conform, to speak only when called on, to move only when permission has been granted. Something that I have struggled and fought against all my life.
We are taught not to deviate from the rest of the group, to behave in a way that does not encourage creativity and individuality. It is therefore not surprising that many Western yoga classes follow this same format – following the teacher and comparing our performance to that teacher or other students. However, there is another way. Traditional tantra yoga is the path to individuality and self-love. It helps us access the strength within us to follow our own paths with courage.
Tantra Yoga teaches us to go deeper. By tapping into the subconscious we can rediscover our true selves. We have always had the ability to love ourselves, to show ourselves respect and kindness, we just need to let go of the external conditioning that has kept us trapped in being small and unheard. When we remember our true selves, we can live our best lives. We must breathe and release the conditioning that keeps us from our true pleasure.
Tantra Yoga empowers us to stand on our own and take back our lives.
Is this your yogic journey? Is it your purpose to offer others these sacred spiritual teachings, to guide people into a life infused with self-love and pleasure?