When people hear the word Tantra, they usually think of kinky sex and sex positions in the Kama Sutra. They find their way to it by desiring to enhance their sex life. That’s okay for starters. However you find your way is however you find your way.
But then to find it to be so much more than enhanced sex gratification – what a surprise! I have found many unexpected health benefits from practicing this ancient form of meditation and related breath practices.
I began Tantra like most people, thinking it would enhance sex making it hotter and maybe even wilder. I had no idea back then how powerful Tantra was to become in every aspect of my life.
Very soon, after embarking on this path, I became aware of a quieting down in the mind, something I had been trying to accomplish for years to no avail. This alone helped me to reduce my stress levels. But that’s not all; that was only the beginning.
Now, after 14 years of practicing Tantra, I am aware that I am not suffering anymore about anything physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Did I know this would happen to me? No way.
Tantra roughly translated means “to weave” body, mind and spirit. What this literally means is that you can expand your whole being through increased awareness of your senses, feelings and energy. This includes awareness of your breath – the basis of all forms of meditation – with the addition of your sexual energy increasing your ability to feel – specifically feel pleasure – very different from other forms of meditation.
So how can Tantra affect your health? Why is it a holistic form of healing?
Basically people feel little if anything. They are mostly living their lives inside of their thoughts, judgments, evaluations and assessments: living in their heads. When their bodies give signals, they miss or ignore them because they are trained to value only what the mind thinks. So most people are numb or they do not feel very good. When they do feel, it appears that they feel bad, sick, hurt, victimized. There is very little room for pleasure. As a matter of fact, they feel little to no pleasure at all. Pleasure shows up as anticipation rather than a sensual experience, one that is felt in the body.
Remember really wanting something like a new car? Then when you got it, the pleasure didn’t last very long, maybe until the first scratch. It wasn’t the feeling you expected from acquiring a new car, was it?
The mind can imagine something or other will bring us a feeling of pleasure, but it actually takes the body to feel it. For many people, feeling strongly passionately was discouraged. We were told we had to stay in control of ourselves, of our emotions. Things were said to us like, “Why do you feel like that? That’s not rational.”
So, we learned to bury our feelings and experience life in our heads. Our bodies became useful for wearing decorative adornments (attraction) and for getting us somewhere, like from meeting to meeting (minimal movement). In essence our bodies have become something we do to or use in certain ways, but not a source of inner knowledge. Not bad, just not pleasurable; not healthy either.
Many people have become automatons rushing to work, doing, doing, doing. But when it comes time to relax, take a breath, we cannot seem to do it. For most people, it’s a little frightening to stop and focus on breathing.
When we look to find our pleasure, even erotic pleasure, there seems to never be enough time. Because we’re so disconnected, sex doesn’t live up to our expectations. Or maybe, just maybe, all those feelings we’ve been holding down are likely to come rushing up and we can’t have that, can we?
That’s right, feelings, emotions, senses, intuition, memories will often come up during sex. And then what do we do? Who has time for that anyway? What if we go out of control? Who wants to experience that?
You do! I do!
Why is this so important?
You want to feel all of those feelings so you can increase your capacity for pleasure. It’s your birthright to feel pleasure and it’s an aspect of life to feel. In essence, it’s honoring yourself.
When you start this way of breathing and sensing, you will naturally feel better, happier, passionate, more alive. The operative word here is “naturally.” It is our nature to feel.
Okay, how? Why does this have anything to do with Tantra?
In Tantra, we learn to breathe along with doing Kegel exercises and making sounds. So, we learn how to breathe properly. Then we add sphincter muscle and PC muscle contractions to build a charge in our own body using the vital life force – sexual energy. This enables us to feel all our feelings.
Once we feel them, we learn to release stored toxic feelings and memories from the past. We also learn to transmute the sexual energy into a spiritual connection with our “higher selves.”
The result is eradication of feelings of shame and guilt as well as any other trauma we may have experienced earlier in our lives that’s has been stored in our cellular memory.
The outcome = pleasure, permission for unabashed life at it’s fullest – body, mind and spirit connected working in union.
Remember I began Tantra thinking it would enhance sex. I had no idea how my life would really change. Had I known, I would have become interested in Tantra earlier in life. Is sex hotter? Yes. Is that all? No. It’s so much more.
The Holistic Benefits of Practicing Tantra:
1. Feel great about yourself – more attractive, self-confident, increase your capacity for more pleasure, experience joy and fulfillment as a way of life.
2. Empower your well-being – eliminate toxins, eliminate stress – accept yourself for who you are & release deep painful cellular memories; feel safe and whole.
3. Focus – set your intentions, do the practices and watch the laws of attraction bring what you want i.e. life partner, more money, career change
4. Uplift your relationships – see others for who they really are, relate to their deep divine nature and trust your intuition
5. Experience the expression of your deepest emotions. Know rapture, love, passion and beyond! Become your own beloved!
Laurie Handlers www.ButterflyWorkshops.com is a sex educator, author, and intimacy coach. She holds a Masters in Education and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology. Her career includes over thirty years as a corporate change consultant, individual empowerment coach and international seminar leader. She’s a dynamic speaker, facilitator and has taught transformational workshops for women, men, couples, singles, parents and teens since 1978 on communication techniques and secrets that are the basis of healing the body, releasing past emotional trauma, stopping the aging process, and reducing stress. Pod casts from her show Sex and Happiness can be found at www.WebTalkRadio.net. Laurie stars in a hilarious indie documentary “Tantric Tourists” and her new film “Beyond Dinner” just won best short feature award at the Erotikos Film Festival 2012. Her book Sex & Happiness: The Tantric Laws of Intimacy and her CD “Shamanic Release & Latihan” are samples of her offerings.