Tantra Yoga

Jack Utermoehl

Tantra yoga is an ancient practice that integrates various techniques to unify the body, mind, and spirit. It focuses on expanding consciousness and liberating energy through rituals, asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breath control), mudras (hand gestures), and mantras (sacred sounds).

Unlike many other forms of yoga that emphasize physical postures, Tantra yoga delves deeply into the spiritual and energetic dimensions of yoga, aiming for ultimate enlightenment and self-realization.

What sets Tantra yoga apart is its approach, which integrates the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of practice. It emphasizes the balancing of masculine and feminine energies (Shiva and Shakti) within the practitioner, aiming for a state of harmony and unity.

Tantra yoga also involves intricate rituals and the use of sacred geometry (yantras) to facilitate spiritual awakening.

See The View below.

Origins of Tantra Yoga

Tantra yoga originates from Indian yogic traditions, with its roots tracing back to the early centuries of the Common Era. It flourished around the 5th to 9th centuries and has been influential in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

The word "tantra" means "to weave" or "to expand," reflecting the practice's goal of expanding consciousness and weaving together different aspects of existence.

The philosophical foundation of Tantra yoga is deeply rooted in the concept of non-duality (Advaita), which posits that there is no separation between the individual self (Atman) and the universal consciousness (Brahman).

Tantra sees the material world not as an illusion to be transcended but as a manifestation of the divine that can be embraced and transformed. Central to this philosophy is the worship of the divine feminine energy (Shakti) and the realization of the unity of Shakti and Shiva (consciousness).

Tantra Yoga Practice

The core principles of Tantra yoga include the integration of various practices to balance and harmonize the body's energy centers (chakras), the use of rituals to sanctify daily life, and the cultivation of awareness and presence. Key practices in Tantra Yoga are:

  • Asana: Physical postures that are often dynamic and flowing.
  • Pranayama: Breath control techniques that enhance the flow of prana (life force) and balance the nervous system.
  • Mudras: Yoga hand symbols that direct and seal energy in the body. Examples include Yoni Mudra (symbolizing the source of creation) and Khechari Mudra (a tongue lock used in advanced practices).
  • Mantras: Sacred sounds and phrases, such as "Om" or "So Hum," that vibrate at a frequency to align with higher states of consciousness.
  • Yantras: Sacred geometric patterns used as tools for meditation and ritual to focus the mind and invoke specific energies.
  • Rituals: Ceremonial practices that can include offerings, visualizations, and invocations to create sacred space and connect with the divine.

Common Poses: Lotus Pose (Padmasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana), Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)

Suitability

Experience Level: Mixed Level (Suitable for All), though some practices may require guidance from an experienced teacher.

Physical Demand: Balanced Activity

Mind-Body Engagement: Balanced Mind-Body

Adaptability: Highly Adaptable

Focus Area: Spiritual Growth

Notes

Practicing Tantra yoga can lead to enhanced physical health, greater emotional stability, and profound spiritual growth. It helps in the activation and balancing of chakras and cultivates a deep sense of inner peace and connection to the divine.

Similar Styles

Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga

Equipment Needed

Required: Yoga Mat

Nice to Have: Meditation Cushion

Optional: Yoga Blocks, Blanket

References

"Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy" by Georg Feuerstein

"Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition" by Christopher D Wallis

"Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses" by David Frawley

"Kundalini Tantra" by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Tantra Yoga Definition: The View

All that exists, throughout all time and beyond, is one infinite divine Consciousness, free and blissful, which projects within the field of its awareness a vast multiplicity of apparently differentiated subjects and objects: each object an actualization of a timeless potentiality inherent in the Light of Consciousness, and each subject, you and I, the same plus a contracted locus of self-awareness.

This creation, a divine play, is the result of the natural impulse within Consciousness to express the totality of its self-knowledge in action, an impulse arising from love.

The unbounded Light of Consciousness contracts into finite embodied loci of awareness out of its own free will.

When those finite subjects then identify with the limited and circumscribed cognitions and circumstances that make up this phase of their existence, instead of identifying with the trans-individual overarching pulsation of pure Awareness that is their true nature, they experience what they call 'suffering'.

To rectify this, some feel an inner urge to take up the path of spiritual wisdom and yogic practice, the purpose of which is to undermine their misidentification and directly reveal within the immediacy of awareness the fact that the divine powers of Consciousness, Bliss, Willing, Knowing, and Acting comprise the totality of individual experience as well-thereby triggering a recognition that one's real identity is that of the highest Divinity, the Whole in every part.

This experiential insight is repeated and reinforced through various means until it becomes the non-conceptual ground of every moment of experience, and one's contracted sense of self and separation from the Whole is finally annihilated in the incandescent radiance of the complete expansion into perfect wholeness.

Then one's perception fully encompasses the reality of a universe dancing ecstatically in the animation of its completely perfect divinity.

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