Many associate the word “Tantra” with sex and sexuality. The word Tantra comes from the Sanskrit word “to weave.” In its historical context, it defines a spiritual practice found in Sanskrit scriptures. The Tantric texts that originated around 500 C.E. form the basis of the Tantra practice that influenced Indian and Asian spiritual traditions, including yoga, making it hard to distinguish them.
1. Exploring Tantric Yoga
Tantra became a widespread spiritual practice back then because, for the first time, it allowed women and people from lower castes to participate in the traditions. The other traditions seeking the transcendence of the physical body and the material world allowed male priests from upper castes and ascetics to practice only.
Tantra was radical because it allowed its practitioners to embrace all aspects of their lives, including the spiritual, inherent, and transcendent. Therefore, the practical system of spirituality known as Tantra allowed practitioners to utilize their whole being (body, breath, imagination, etc.) to achieve self-knowledge and internal connection.
Tantric practice allows people to weave asana, pranayama, mantra, mudra, bandha, and chakra into their daily lives, creating a powerful combination that provides strength, clarity, and contentment.
What is Tantric yoga? Therefore, Tantric yoga is a workout that does more than tone the body. It’s about creating the self-awareness to create a deeper bond with yourself.
2. Understanding Tantra Yoga
Tantric yoga combines several Eastern traditions to help improve self-esteem, lower stress levels, help you sleep better, and reduce physical pain.
Although similar to other forms of yoga, Tantric yoga emphasizes meditation over sequences or specific positions. Therefore, you can expect a more spiritual approach with differing sequence movements led by your yoga teacher.
A common misconception is that Tantra yoga is about sex. It isn’t! The early pioneers created the misunderstanding because many listened to hearsay or mistook the meaning of the ancient texts.
3. Unveiling Tantric Yoga Positions
As we discover more about “what is tantric yoga,” you will want to know more about how your yoga instructor will approach your sessions.
Don’t expect to do the same 26 postures in every class as you would with Bikram yoga. Nor will you always follow the same sequence as you would for Ashtanga. Following your instructor’s lead, you will practice your movement in tantric yoga, often including meditations, breath work, chakras, and chanting.
Therefore, you might have to repeat an inward mantra while visualizing something with your breath and holding a position. Another instructor may add concentrating on a chakra point to the mix. In the next session, the positions and combinations might change.
4. Benefits of Tantric Yoga
Yoga is a beautiful way to ease your mind and stretch sore muscles, but Tantra yoga blends many techniques, making it more complex. Some of the benefits of Tantric yoga include:
Improved Well-Being and Health
Yoga helps reduce pain and boosts your overall well-being, according to studies. Firstly, because it enables you to burn calories, even though Tantric yoga is a more advanced form, it’s not too physically demanding, meaning that people can practice it at any age, helping to improve muscle tone. Being bodily active helps lower blood pressure and encourages the release of growth hormones to help improve memory. Finally, active meditations are also great for the skin.
Achieve Better Mental Clarity
Inner thoughts often become the biggest obstacles to your happiness. Tantric yoga focuses on conditioning your subconscious to achieve clarity and reprogram thoughts that block you from reaching awareness and happiness.
Stir Your Spirituality
Balancing the chakras is essential to practicing Tantric yoga because it helps you achieve inner peace and empowerment. You will start to feel the energy and divine in all beings and our interconnectedness with the universe. During your sessions, you will feel disconnected from the rest of the world as you unplug from distractions, listen to your breathing and body, and focus on your inner awareness. With time, you can learn to practice this in every aspect of your life.
Fight Off Stress
Yoga poses encourage the release of happy hormones that help fight off depression and anxiety. With tantric yoga, the added breathwork lets you relax, releasing tension and strengthening you mentally and physically.
Increased Your Flexibility
The more tense the body, the less flexible it becomes. Tantric yoga poses help you lengthen the spine and improve your posture, increasing the oxygen supply through a better blood flow. The benefits include increased flexibility, better posture, less joint strain, and feeling better overall.
5. Getting Started with Tantra Yoga
You don’t necessarily need to join a yoga studio to get started with Tantra yoga since you can find many online classes. However, you must ensure you can create the deep inward focus required. The best way to learn is to find out “what is tantric yoga” and then find a guru.
- Are classes solo or partnered? It’s always solo for classical tantric yoga.
- Do they practice red or white Tantra? Red Tantra is the practice of bringing everything you learned in white Tantra into your sex life, so you want the answer here to be white.
- What is the class goal? Self-growth and self-awareness is the answer you want.
- What does the class include? Besides sequences, it should include chanting, chakra work, and meditations.
- What training does the teacher have? The ideal training includes Hatha, Integral, Kundalini, or Tantra yoga.
You can also join a Hatha class because it incorporates Tantric yoga principles. Another form of yoga deeply rooted in Tantr is Kundalini.
Finally, some people feel the need to study the history and philosophies of Tantra by delving deeper. It’s not necessary, but there are several tantric yoga literature to help enlighten you if you prefer.
6. Deepening Your Practice with Tantric Yoga
Tantric yoga encompasses various techniques for a holistic approach. Deepening your practice with Tantric yoga requires you to delve further than practicing asanas. You learn to connect to yourself and the divine by incorporating breathwork, meditation, chanting, and visualization. Read more from MBGMovement. You can do it by:
Understanding the Philosophy – Read more about Tantra’s foundations and philosophy to understand the universe’s interconnectedness and how to harmonize this energy within yourself.
Performing Breathwork (Pranayama) – Learn to practice advanced pranayama techniques like Nadi Shodhana (nostril breathing) and the rapid breathing technique (Kapalabhati). These help you control and channel energy flow and enhance energetic awareness.
Learning Tantric Meditation Techniques – Learn to focus your meditation on the chakras and energy centers within you through visualization. Examples of tantric meditation techniques include Trataka (gazing meditation), Kundalini meditation, and Ajapa Japa (spontaneous repetition of mantra).
Integrating Mantra Chanting – Chanting mantras creates a vibrational energy that helps focus the mind and deepen your connection.
Incorporate Yantras and Rituals – The geometric symbols known as yantras represent the divine. Use them when meditating to help your concentration and spiritual emergence. Tantra rituals can also help make your practice space more sacred as you honor divinity.
Recognize Maithuna – This is the sacred aspect of sexuality that allows you to explore your spiritual transformation through sexual energy. Its practices include Karenzza and Tantric sex in a meaningful way.
Deepening Asana Practice – Asanas or poses are a part of tantric yoga, but you must learn to deepen the experience by creating awareness of your movement and energy flow.
Personalized guidance is the best way to learn more about tantric yoga and how to incorporate its practices into your life for spiritual growth.
7. Exploring Different Tantric Yoga Techniques
Tantra yoga weaves together various yogic techniques, helping to build a deeper connection with yourself and your yoga journey.
Along with asana, meditation, and breath work, you’ll work with the following techniques in tantra yoga:
- Visualization encourages you to imagine the energy as it moves up your spine and clears blockages and inactivity in the chakras.
- Bandhas (three primary energy locks) help you control and direct the energy flow during your asanas.
- Mantras are the sacred words and phrases of nada (sound) yoga. They create potent vibrations within the human body, helping you connect with the divine as you seek spiritual enlightenment.
- Mudras (sacred hand gestures) evoke a certain energy, direct energy flow to a specific body part, or serve as an invocation to a deity.
- Yantras or geometric diagrams are used in tantric rituals to worship or call upon deities. They come from the tantric philosophy around Shiva and Shakti, two opposing forces that represent the dynamic and static principles of the universe. According to tantric tradition, these two energies unite when we practice tantra yoga, promoting spiritual growth and self-realization.
These techniques also correspond to the seven stages of Tantra:
- Shuddhi (purification)
- Pranayama (breathing techniques)
- Dharana (concentration of the mind)
- Puja (worship ritual)
- Indriya Nigraha (control of the senses)
- Maithuna (union of opposing forces )
- Samadhi (bliss or enlightenment)
8. Enhancing Intimacy through Tantra Yoga
What is Tantric yoga able to do to enhance intimacy? When approached with a deep understanding and respect for its principles, Tantra yoga can enhance intimacy by fostering a profound connection between partners. It goes beyond the physical aspects of intimacy and aims to unite individuals’ physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions.
It does this in several ways:
Mindful Presence – Tantra emphasizes being fully present in the moment. The mindfulness can extend to intimate encounters, allowing individuals to connect more deeply with each other’s sensations.
Breath Awareness – Tantric practices involve conscious breathing, enhancing awareness and sensitivity. Incorporating mindful breathing during intimate moments can deepen the connection and rhythm between partners.
Energy Awareness – Tantra views the body as an energetic system. As you learn heightened awareness by channeling energy (prana) throughout the body, you can have profound experiences of intimacy and connection.
Sacred Sexuality – Tantra views sexuality as a holy and transformative force that is more than a physical act. Tantra encourages a more spiritual and conscious approach between partners.
Communication – Tantra emphasizes open and honest communication, like expressing desires, boundaries, and emotions in a supportive and non-judgmental environment to help build trust and deepen intimacy.
Tantric Rituals – Couples can incorporate Tantric rituals into their intimate experiences, like creating a sacred space, setting intentions, eye gazing, and synchronized breathing to deepen the connection.
Heart-Centered Connection – Tantra encourages connecting from the heart rather than solely from a physical or mental perspective, helping to cultivate fulfilling and meaningful intimate relationships.
Interconnectedness – Tantra encourages a holistic approach to pleasure, recognizing the physical, emotional, and spiritual interrelation. Exploring various forms of pleasure and understanding each other’s preferences can lead to a more satisfying intimate connection.
Kundalini Activation – Tantric practices aim to awaken the dormant spiritual energy (Kundalini) within individuals. When experienced together, it can create a shared, heightened sense of energy and connection between partners.
Mutual Growth – Tantra views relationships as opportunities for mutual growth and spiritual evolution. Engaging in Tantric practices can lead to a shared journey of self-discovery and personal development.