Tantra Yoga is a holistic cosmovision which contains not asanas and pranayama, but also includes the arts, medicine and astrology to form the tantric way of life.
In “Durga’s Tiger School of Tantra Yoga Shamanism” we teach different approaches to work on the physical, and also offer a vision of what it means to lead a tantric lifestyle.
Our Tantra Yoga is traditional. We work with asanas, bandhas, pranayama, mudras and mantras based on the teachings of Bhagavan Shanmuka Anantha Natha. The traditional form is unique because it changes not only the physical, but impacts the psychological and spiritual realms as well.
Reasons for practicing Kaula Tantra Yoga
Tantra Yoga Ãsanas are derived from the Vedas, the most ancient metaphysical knowledge available to man. These asanas are designed for adepts to balance their intrinsic energy system (Prana) and to root themselves in Infinite Consciousness. Sincere practice leads adepts students to release deep-seated tension and fears, and to express their true Selfhood from a place of Love and Freedom. Ultimately, adepts experience a shift in identity and learn to view themselves and the other as a divine being. While this yoga naturally increases strength, flexibility, precision and health, this is not the primary focus.
Tantra Yoga Approach
Kaula Tantra Yoga is rooted in Uttara Shaivism, or Kashmiri Shaivism, one of six Śiva traditions. Students approach the asanas from a place of relaxation, care, and love for themselves.
This yoga series is practiced in a slow and flowing manner to build patience and awareness. Each asana is held gently for a period of time to allow students to relax into the posture. This way, each individual finds their own unique way of expressing the asanas without the pressure of competing or ‘performing perfectly’.
Tantra Yoga facilitators approach students as whole human beings and discourage ‘isolating’ or forcing muscles. Their priority is to hold a space of acceptance and love, with only minimal guidance where necessary.
Over time, students learn to meditate in the postures to connect with the Divine. This yoga specifically cultures the diaphragms and thus balances every area of life, including sexuality.
Please note that classes do not involve nudity or sexual contact. In the advanced stages, deeper Pranayama practice, Bandhas, and Mantra practices are incorporated to culture Kundalini Energy. The advanced levels are taught at Shri Kali Ashram in Southern India.
Tantric Knowledge in Everyday Modern Life
Extract from a speech given by Iris Disse in the Simon Bolivar Andean University 2014
From the beginning of time there has existed only one creative force, and this force is feminine.
She began to move, to vibrate, Kali was born, the goddess of time.
She gave birth to the complete universe because creating was her pleasure.
She danced, and through her dance she formed the world, the stars, the sun, the seas, the earth, the planets and the animals, and she was filled with happiness.
Then Kali divided herself so that she wouldn’t be alone.
She became the feminine being and from her other half she created the masculine form, Shiva.
Together, they shared and explored their pleasures.
Together they created the first human beings, man and woman; and they gave them tantric rituals so that they could participate in the bliss and strength of the cosmic illumination and become one on the other side of time and space.
This is how it’s written in the Tantras
What does Genesis tell us?
- The sacred goddess is a unit and it gives her pleasure to create.
- While dancing, the world was created from an abundance that the goddess wants to share. Since everything in the world is from the goddess, everything that exists is sacred.
- The masculine and feminine are two poles that exist to learn and celebrate the positive tensions that allow us to define ourselves and find the differences between us. We are here to explore what gives us pleasure.
- The tantric path gives power to the person that follow it and arrives to the state of illumination.
- It is the spiritual path that includes sexuality as a sacred force.
- The thermometer to determine if you’re on the path is your personal happiness. Since the goddess has created the universe in order to be happy, you become closer to her if you’re able to live your everyday life happily.
- Tantra is not a religion, an institution, a dogma or a church. Tantra is a path that can adapt itself to any creed; you can discover through it a higher level of consciousness. It is a deeper understanding of religion that each person practices.
A Short Introduction:
Shiva and Shakti, The Dance Of The Antipodes
Shiva is the God that represents Pure Consciousness and Shakti is the Goddess that embodies the Dynamic Power, the energy that is the origin of all.
This active and divine feminine figure is the principal characteristic of Tantra. Her name, Shakti comes from the Sanskrit root “Sak” that means “The being capable of doing; having the force of acting.” Shakti is the real energy that encompasses all that is possible.
As the Tantric scholar Sammohana says, without Shakti the world can’t exist. Without Shiva, true knowledge can’t be achieved. Therefore, both should be worshipped.
In the Vijñána Bhariava Tantra you can read:
One who accesses Shakti understands the non-distinction between Shiva (the consciousness) and Shakti (the energy) and passes through the door to access the Divine. As he recognizes the illuminated space by the rays of the sun, he also recognizes Shiva thanks to the energy of Shakti, the essence of Shiva herself.
Tantra, the network of our reality
The Tantra World is very complex; it is a complete, ancient vision of the cosmos. The principal elements found in Tantra have origins in the religion of Indian territories dating back as far as 5,000 years ago.
The Tantras are sacred written texts whose authors are mostly unknown. It is said that they are derived from divine sources. They speak to us in the form of dialogue, where Shiva speaks to Shakti and Shakti to Shiva.
There is a tantric art, the tantric sciences research atoms, sound, alchemy, astronomy, astrology and texts regarding divine principles.
The root of the word tantra comes from Sanskrit and it means network. It refers to the making of many patches of fabric and then weaving them together. From the Eastern perspective, this entire patchwork would be seen as the entire universe where everything is connected and communicating, where nothing exists independently and where everything is a part of the same reality.
With the same meaning of the word fabric, but referring to philosophic knowledge, the Buddhists and Hindus recognize the term ‘Tantra’ as the teachings of the fundamental theories. Practices of this path are known as Tantra Yoga.
The syllable “Tan” also means to extend, continue and develop, expressing the idea of maintaining a tension or extending something to its limit. The syllable “Tra” means tool.
So Tan-Tra is more than a philosophy; it is a tool for expansion and liberation.
In the tantric tradition, there exist two fundamental lines.
The first line is called “the right-hand –path or Dakschima Marga. It is the newer and more conservative of the two lines and is underlined with meditation, austerity and devotion. Within this line of practice, the creative energy of the universe is considered to be limitless but sexual energy is considered limited. Mainly in the highest cast, the cast of the Brahmans, they often censured the ancient texts to teach preservation by way of sexual abstinence and purity.
Hence, this line of thought proposes asceticism and when the sexual union is mentioned it is always referred to in a symbolic way, as a mystic union of a man and Shakti, the interior goddess.
The left-hand-path or Vama Marga encompasses a wide variety of psychophysical practices, ranging from respiratory control pranayamas, energetic locks called Bandhas and Mudras, Asanas, and the sexual act Maithuna that is used to reach higher levels of consciousness.
Many elements are shared by both practices.
The way of the left hand is of interest to those who want to develop and widen their relationship with their partner. In the tantric sexuality, passion and a meditative attitude unite while desire and consciousness awaken and develop spiritual unity.
The path is experience
Tantric masters insist that the path must be one of experiencing your own body, mind and soul – your whole self. A field of consciousness is a way of understanding. It is not a library of knowledge disconnected from an idea or a specific concept; theory is what you gain after experimenting with something.
One who has seen the ocean, smelled the wind gliding over it, swam in its waters, tasted in their mouth the salt water and felt its strength understands it in a different way than if he had only learned the word, read about it, been told about it, seen it in photographs or even seen in the most realistic movies. The difference is in the experience.
So the need for experience is the principal characteristic of Tantra. Through its techniques, it searches to expand and liberate consciousness from its limits.
Various sensations, emotions and enthusiasms of sensual pleasure and affection and also the failures and pains that are common in all human experience are all accepted and valued in the search for heightened consciousness in Tantra. When these sensations are utilized correctly, they can be the base of an expansion that takes you to illumination and awakens you to a new reality.
When the consciousness is expanded from its limits; it is difficult to describe the experience with daily language. It is necessary to use metaphors, parables, images, poetry, myths and symbolism to describe these experiences. When consciousness is expanded, space and time disappear.
When consciousness is expanded; something appears, something unique and mysterious that we interpret as sacred, powerful and worthy of respect: the true Being.
When consciousness is expanded; the subjective and objective ceases to exist, there is no ‘them’ and no ‘I,’ and the wonder of the unity intervenes.
When consciousness is expanded; love, truth and beauty become some of the most appreciated values.
When consciousness is expanded; all fear including fear of death is lost.
The energy concept
Everything is energy. It has different names: Chi, Ather, Strength, Prana, Life Energy or Orgone. In many cultures it is described as breathing: Jahwe means “The breath of the Gods” and Adam comes into live when God blows.
Energy is the power of being alive. It is the creator power, a mystery, which lies in everything. Energy cannot be destroyed, but it can change forms. It is shown in consciousness, in our relationships, in sexuality, in spirituality, in the micro and macrocosm. On the Tantric path, you learn to activate and amplify the vital energy hidden in our sexual energy, and extend it.
The optimal achievement is utmost happiness with being alive and in a state of ecstasy and to access our full potential as individuals. In order to activate the vital energy, we need to play with two principals:
*Techniques in ecstasy consist of four tantric keys: breathing, movement, voice and consciousness
*Relaxation, being, silence
Osho, an Indian mystic, master and teacher explained it in these words: “Tantra is knowledge”.
It’s not Hinduism, in the same way that the Theory of Relativity isn’t Jewish just because Einstein proposed it. No temple is necessary. You are enough of a temple in yourself. You are the laboratory. The entire experiment consists of you entering into yourself. The dogmas are not necessary. Courage and an adventurous spirit are necessary to participate in the experiment. It’s the most beautiful part.