In the West, the word Tantric conjures up sexual positions and weird, kinky experiences. Unfortunately, the original guide to Tantra yoga that spread only solidified these views. While Tantra yoga will certainly boost your sex life, it is about so much more than just the sexual level. Tantra yoga is all about physical and emotional intimacy. It is about learning to connect to someone and being able to become aware of their soul. Before you can create a union with another person, you must first develop a heightened self-awareness.
A Guide to Tantra Yoga Today
In the modern world, Tantra yoga is typically used to improve your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. It allows you to explore the subtle energies that pulse through your being and connect your to the universe. According to practitioners, Tantra yoga allows you to understand the meaning of life. Through practice, you can discover what is blocking your ability to thrive and how you can work to reach a better spiritual and material prosperity.
The word Tantra means to expand or to weave. Meanwhile, the term yoga comes from the word “yuj,” which means union. While people often think of just Hatha yoga (the postures or asanas of physically doing yoga), yoga actually includes far more types and practices. Many of these are inherently spiritual in their nature, which is rarely the type of experience you have in your fitness yoga classes.
There are eight forms of yoga, and Tantra yoga is a blend of different elements of these. It mixes together aspects of Bhakti, Karma, Raja, Kundalini and Hatha yoga practices. Interestingly, Tantra yoga also weaves together other practices like crystals, Ayurveda and astrology. All of these different practices are blended together to help you reach beyond normal limitations of yogic philosophy and develop yourself further.
What Is Tantra Yoga?
Until you actual practice Tantra yoga, a guide to Tantra yoga is fairly incomplete. This is something that you just have to experience. Tantra yoga incorporates a variety of different approaches like pranayama, meditation and breathing practices. You can practice it alone, or you can practice it with another for an enhanced relationship or union.
When you are working with a partner or alone, you can do vinyasa or asanas. Your goal is to basically create a greater awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. You may notice where you easily rest in union with another and where you resist it. Through Tantra yoga, you can reach a state of eternal bliss by learning how to consciously respond instead of responding instinctively. In this way, Tantra yoga is similar to the practice of meditation.
A Guide to Tantra Yoga: 5 Practices
These practices can help you get started with Tantra yoga. While you can certainly do Tantra yoga with a partner, you can just as easily do it on your own. Tantra yoga helps you expand your capacity for union and intimacy. You are able to look at the behaviors that hold you back from intimacy so that you can thrive and break down these barriers.
1. Modified Side Plank
For this pose, begin in Table Pose. Have your wrists underneath your shoulders with your hands spread wide apart. Your hips should be squarely above your knees. If you are using a partner, you can touch your heads to each other while in Table Pose. Afterward, extend the right shin behind you with your toes curled under. At the same time, make sure your right hand is rooted in the mat as you open up your chest.
If you are doing this alone, bring your left hand over your heart and your left shoulder over your right so that you make your heart open. Your hips are stacked in a way to open them up as well. If you have a partner, connect your left palms. Breathe deeply five times before switching to Table Pose and switching then to the other side.
2. Peace Pose
Start in the cross-legged seated position known as Peace Pose. Focus your gaze downward. If your knees are higher than the crease of your hips, use a yoga block to raise up your spine. In solo practice, place your hands with the ti of your index finger touching the top of your thumb. Your other three fingers should be extended with your palms facing upward on your thighs.
When practicing with a partner, you do the same pose, but sit back-to-back. You align your spines together and then put your hands in the same pose as before. This pose helps catalyze your heart meridian. Take five breathes and smooth out each inhale.
3. Partner Peace Pose
This is also known as Entwined Sukhasana. Sit in a loose, cross-legged pose. The larger partner is on bottom. If you are the larger partner, then your partner sits on your thighs with their ankles crossed behind your back. Connect your third eyes as you lengthen your spines. Then, take five deep breathes with your palms resting on the back of your partner’s heart. If you listen quietly, you can hear your partner’s heartbeat.
4. Sun Salutations
Begin in Mountain Pose at the top of your yoga mat. If you are working with a partner, you can stand side-by-side or facing each other. Bring your palms up to meet in prayer. You can also place one hand on your heart and one hand on your partner’s heart. Take five deep breaths. Now, you extend your arms over your head and bow forward. Keep your gaze forward and open your heart. Release your head into Uttanasana. Then, bring your hands to your thighs and life your spine for Ardha Uttansana (halfway life). Do this three times.
5. Child’s Pose
For Child’s Pose, bring your knees to the edge of the mat. Fold yourself forward so that your forehead is on the may. Your arms are extended ahead of you, but still rest on the mat. You can also bring your palms together in prayer. If you are doing this with a partner, you do the same pose in a way that faces each other. Then, you can place your left palm down and your right palm up so that you connect with your partner’s palms. As you breath in, imagine the inhale bringing in the essence of your partner on your left palm. In each exhale, you share your essence on your right palm with your partner.
You can also modify this pose by having one partner remain in Child’s Pose. The other partner can sit in the opposite direction on the partner with their weight focused on their feet. Gradually, you an use your hands to support yourself on the mat next to your partner’s hips. Then, you can align your spine with your partner’s. This modification is only recommended if you and your partner have healthy knees and spines. While the guide to Tantra yoga can be used as a starting point, you should make sure that you and your partner are healthy enough to do all of these poses without injuring yourselves.