Tantra, meaning “to weave” is the concept of expanding your body, mind and spirit by increasing your awareness of your senses, feelings and energy. Becoming aware of your breath is fundamental to meditation; in tantra you add your sexual energy and thereby increase your ability to feel pleasure.
Tantra began thousands of years ago (scholars debate whether in India or Egypt), and is rooted in traditional Hindu, Jain and Bonpo religious practices.
Temple walls show paintings and carvings of sexual unions, joining masculine and feminine energy (known as “Shiva” and “Shakti” in Tantra). Only recently have people in the Western world taken an interest in this practice.
Tantra is a holistic healing form that can affect your health. Today, we live mostly inside our heads, consumed with our thoughts, judgments, evaluations and assessments. We ignore the signals given by our bodies, since we are trained to only value the mind.
Therefore, most of us are numb and when we do feel, we feel bad, sick, hurt and/or victimized. We leave little room for pleasure; the only pleasure many of us feel is anticipation (rather than sensuality that is felt in the body).
Remember wanting something and then getting it? The pleasure didn’t last very long, and it wasn’t as good as you expected, right? The mind can imagine the feeling of pleasure, but it takes the body to actually feel it. For many of us, feeling strongly has been discouraged…we are told to stay in control of ourselves and our emotions.
We were told things like “that’s not sane” so we learned to bury our feelings and experience life in our minds. Our bodies became our tool for attraction (dress, surgery, fitness, diets) and function (movement), only things we autonomously use. Not bad, but also not pleasurable and definitely not healthy.
We rush around and do, but we cannot relax and take a breath. In fact, for most of us, it’s scary to stop and just breathe. When we seek pleasure there is never time, and because we are so disconnected, nothing lives up to expectations.
And we’re afraid that all those feelings, emotions, memories and senses we’ve been holding down might just come rushing up…and then what will we do? What if we lose control? Well, I’m here to tell you that YOU need to lose control. It’s the only way you’ll increase your capacity for pleasure.
Feeling sensation is an aspect of life; it is honoring your existence. When you start tantric breathing and sensing you will feel better, happier, more passionate, and more alive You’ll feel a natural sense of calm and peace.
So how? In tantra, you breathe while doing Kegel exercises (PC and spinster uncle contractions to build a charge in your body using vital life force) and making sounds (like “ooooh” and “aaaah”). Eventually, you become able to feel all of your feelings.
You learn to release stored toxic feelings and memory from the past, using emotional release techniques. You also learn to use sexual energy as a spiritual connection with your higher self (also referred to as “Samadhi”) eradicating shame, guilt and trauma you may have experienced earlier in your life and stored in your body.
The result will be pleasure, permission to live fully with your body, mind and spirit working in union. Your life will be changed and improved forever. You’ll feel more fulfilled, self-confident, empowered, whole and accepting. You’ll be more focused, intentional, uplifting and trusting of others, and able to share love.
Many people misunderstand and think Tantra is only about increasing sexual pleasure. However, it is also beneficial for your spiritual path and physical health. Tantra uses the act of sex as a tool for not just improving sexual pleasure, but also intimate relationships. Should you choose to study Tantra, you’re better served by starting with the left hand path (talk to a guru to explore your options).
In tantra, you’ll learn that sexual energy begins in the “muladhara” “svadhisthana” and “manipura” (all base chakras located at or below the bellybutton), but that it can be moved up through the body (an activity called “subliming”) to the “anahata” (heart chakra), “visuddha” (throat), “anja” (third eye) and “sahasrara” (crown). This produces feelings of bliss.
Most people find that during typical sex there is a feeling of dissatisfaction, disconnection and exhaustion…this loss of life force energy (or “prana”) is debilitating and can carry over into other aspects of life; by using some of the postures of Tantra (called “asanas”), a couple can store and awaken their energy.
Tantra teaches transfiguration (looking deeply into the eyes of one’s partner), being present in a profound and intimate way and finding the other person’s beauty without criticizing, judging or rejecting. This awakens feelings of love and halts the expectations and conditions we usually apply to one another. Transfiguring before lovemaking provides a foundation for a more connected, deeper sexual experience.
Tantra also teaches a macrobiotic diet in which yin and yang energies of foods are balanced to maintain a healthier body. Many tantra students report improved muscle tone, rejuvenated skin, and decreased spinal pain; men report stronger erections and longer ejaculations and women report fewer feelings of shame and better ability to reach orgasm.
Most of our energy comes from the food we eat; tantric sex preserves sexual energy and spreads it over the entire body, where it can be a boon rather than a drain.
As Tantra teaches that the body is beautiful and natural, it counteracts the ill effects of deeply embedded Western ideas of sexual shame, which prevent men from learning how to please women during sex and therefore render women less interested in sex. Once both partners achieve orgasm more often, both parties enjoy stimulation of pineal and pituitary glands…which increases happiness and closeness.
Frequent orgasms decrease depression and stress, increase blood circulation, strengthen cardiovascular health, detoxify through breath, and boost immunity through greater IgA release. However, tantric orgasms are not the same as ordinary orgasms.
In Tantra, orgasms can last for hours and are not confined to only the sex organs. Rising kundalini energy (sexual awakening) involves the full body, mind and spirit, increasing oxytocin and resulting in an ecstatic state.
The deeper the sexual experience, the greater the emotions felt. In many people, lack of deep intimacy, uncontrollable desire, and urge for fulfillment weaken their relationships. Sex is only the temporary need they chase; they lose self-control and can become addicted, due to a lack of a strong bond between partners. By recreating a healthy relationship they can resolve this issue.
Feature Image : Image given by author
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