Yoga is a term well adopted by our culture. Originating thousands years ago in India, Yoga (Hatha-Yoga in particular - a practice of physical stretching) has gained great popularity in a contemporary western world. The benefits of yoga asanas (physical postures to remove energy blocks in the body so the mind can return to stillness) are multitude and support our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. There are different styles, different schools of yoga, all aiming (explicitly or not) towards spiritual realization. But do you know that the philosophy underlying this practice may be actually taken into two different directions? Do you know that there's profound difference between the right handed (classical, Sutric) and left handed (Tantric) approach?
YOGA: The meaning of this Sanskrit word is 'union'. Union of the mind (Shiva - the masculine principle), with body (Shakti - the feminine principle),
so the magnificence of spirit can be fully experienced.
There are many ways to practice this union, the Tantric way (sexual union) being the most direct. However, Tantra, being often called 'The Path of the Hero' (for it's dedication and bravery to dive deep down into our dark places and fill them with light, for the strength to embrace our demons with love and willingness to find blissful comfort in discomfort) may not be a path everybody's redy to embrace. Hence other yoga options emerged. Many yoga practices would resonate with the philosophy of Raja Yoga ('The Royal path'), as in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Sutric, classical).
There's many techniques that are common to both Tantric and classical yoga. It is the context in which are used, that distinguishes them.
Let's look at some differences between the Sutric and Tantric approach.
Classical yoga (CY) views the physical world as Maya (and illusion), something that needs to be transcended in order to reach union with God. The individual self (jiva) is to reunite with the absolute (Brahma).
Tantra views the world as an expression of creative cosmic energy (Shakti), the feminine aspects of divinity, energy that spins consciousness into a visible form. Shakti needs to be totally embodied in order to experience union with cosmic consciousness (Shiva).
Classical yoga views the body as an obstacle, Tantra views the body as an asset.
Hours of precise physical exercises (asanas) are aimed in CY to release energetic blocks (discomfort) from the body, so consciousness is free to leave the body during seated meditation.
Tantra views the body as a vehicle of enlightenment. The yoga asanas are used to magnify flow of energy (prana) as a preparation for expanding consciousness.
While classical yoga strives to escape the confines of the body, Tantra enters the physical dimension totally (being fully present in the body).
Classical yoga uses sensual withdraval to leave the body, Tantra uses sensual overload to expand beyond the body.
Classical yoga uses willpower, discipline and control (over mind, body) and suppression (sexual energy, emotions), Tantra uses surrender, full expression and transformation
Classical yoga views sexual energy as a distraction to a spiritual progress that needs to be sublimated into a spiritual energy
Tantra views sexual energy as spiritual energy, that upon cultivation leads to illumination
Classical yoga is mind-focused, Tantra is heart-centered
Yogic enlightenment (samadhi) happens in an abstract space: The consciousness has to leave the body to reach union with Shiva.
Tantric enlightenment (Tantric marriage) happens here in the physical dimension. We use Shakti (sexual energy) to bring Shiva down from the abstract plane into the body.
You might notice that classical yoga is Shiva oriented, Tantra celebrates Shakti. The blissful peace you'll get from classical yoga is expanded in Tantra into dynamic bliss.
Tools of Tantra The Eight Limbs of Classical Yoga
Asanas: physical postures to remove energy blocks/magnify flow of prana Yama: moral and ethical restraints -
Pranayama: breathing techniques to expand consciousnes, Niyama: individual discipline
Dhyana: meditation to quiet the mind and attune oneself to Divine Current, Asana: physical posture (often meaning 'seat': posture for meditation)
Mantras: transcedent sounds that resonate within the body Pranayama: control of life-force through breath
Yantras: sacred symbols, visual representations of Mantras Pratyahara: withrawal from the senses
Mudras: gestures to activate body currents, Dharana: concentration
Bandhas: energy locks to move or conserve pranic/sexual energy Dhyana: meditation
Maithuna: sexual union, embodying divinity Samadhi: union with the Divine
Tantric Hatha Yoga
Tantric Hatha yoga is an earth centered, shakti (creative force) honoring practice, bringing attention to energetic flow up the spine, body sensations, feelings and perceptions beyond. It is a dynamic, yet 'soft' form of yoga, using mother Earth's gravity and pleasure
in expansion as allies. Riding the wave of breath to generate a slow, sensual movement and engaging your pelvic area,
you will bring your mind to heavenly stillness and open your body to great freedom, flexibility and blissful aliveness.
Gentle enough for beginners, challenging for those who wish. Tantric Hatha Yoga is enjoyed practiced outdoors,
honoring the connection with nature, the harmonious embodiment of divine feminine.
Tantric Hatha Yoga class schedule
Tantric Partner Yoga
Tantric Partner Yoga is an unique modality of Tantric Hatha Yoga, nurturing both the needs of the physical body and energetic body (allowing the body to stretch and open up in a way not quite possible in a single practice), and the intimate connection of partners, embodied as Shiva and Shakti. Just like in many tantric practices, the external sexual polarity of partners accelerates their inner polarities coming into balance, leading to expanded states of consciousness.
"Practicing yoga together is a special way of creating intimate connection - whether as a playful preparation for lovemaking or for the joy of it's own. You ride the wave of breath and gentle stretching movement... Receptive to your partner's loving touch... Energy blocks are melting away and the mind is softly settling into stillness... You are bubbling with joy and laughter in child like playfulness... You delight in the exquisite quality of sexual energy arising from this quiet, sweet, mysterious place...falling in a deeper kind of love As you move from the physical asanas to more subtle realms, your sensory and psychic perception is greatly magnified; energy becomes 'palpable', the distance between you and your partner disappears into oneness: You are dancing in the realm of the Divine... "
Whether fun and playful, or dreamy and meditative, always highly enjoyable.
Taught either in classes (go to events for more info) or privately in the
context of Dakini's Guidance session.
Tantric Partner Yoga can be brought on request to your community.
Prenatal Yoga, Postnatal Yoga
Those are specialized versions of Tantric Hatha Yoga, promoting lush, vibrant pregnancy, sensuous, ecstatic birth and joyful time after giving birth (with your baby participating). Please see in Offerings: