Tantra Yoga: What’s Sex Got To Do With It? – Part 4: Funky Sex and Multiple Orgasms

(Continued from The Catch: Tantra’s Sex Appeal and the Need for a Guru)

A branch of Tantrics, known as the Left Hand Path, supported, encouraged and condoned the use of sexual rituals as a means to cultivate spiritual enlightenment, whereas the majority of Tantrics, known as the Right Hand Path, frowned upon such, casting out the beliefs of the other group as erroneous, even dangerous. The Right Hand Path instead promoted celibacy as a means to mastery over desire and wanting, in order to merge with the Divine while in form.

Saying Tantra is about sex is like saying that Muslims are about terrorism. Nothing could be further than the truth. The vast majority of Muslims are a faith-loving, good people who promote wise and compassionate action. An extreme sect promotes the use of terrorism. The same could be said for Christianity and Buddhism and other world religions, where small sects seem to paint a general picture over the tendency of that belief system. Perhaps because we lack cultural and spiritual maturity as a people, we allow the flavour of one grape to affect the entire batch of wine.

I have always had a natural connection to the unseen realms, ever since I was a child. As such, my yoga and meditation practices and studies naturally and organically flowered into a relationship with the realm of the energetic. Fueled by the desire to understand what was naturally occurring within me in my yoga practice, I uncovered references in the Tantric texts to contextualize what I intuitively knew and what I was physically and energetically experiencing.

It has been in some sense a personal interest of mine to support a deeper understanding of Tantra through my musical works and performances, and through my yoga teaching method called YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine. YEM naturally finds home in the Tantric traditions, since this Hatha Yoga practice emphasizes the alchemical power of breath and its relationship to the flow of life-force energy throughout body/being in order to create a body/being that consciously co-creates with the divine.

So I say to the New York Times article, “Come on! Really?” Surely we have evolved into a people that can hold the notion of potential paradox so that that a few does not colour the whole. A few Tantrics were keen on sexual rituals, whereas the majority stressed the rituals’ deviance from the spiritual path and warned of their self-deluding tendencies. But I guess if we elect presidents and leaders who are overly ready to press the button on war with alarming reactivity to fight terrorism, we must not be quite ready to see that a few does not make the whole. We may need more time to mature.

Until then, Tantra will be seen as being about funky sex and multiple orgasms, Hatha Yoga will come from a sex cult and yoga studios will be full of those who seek beautiful bums instead of spiritual alchemy. I used to own a yoga studio in Montreal, then one in Toronto. But my music career become too demanding so instead I offer YEM workshops as I tour my music and shows. I used to also teach Tantric workshops, but tired of having to continually explain that Tantra was not about orgies and how to master blissful sexual climaxes. Thanks to John Friend and the recent sex scandals, here is another opportunity to help clarify the beautiful and powerful roots of Hatha Yoga and Tantra, illustrating what it is, and what it is not. Thank you, John.

I believe that sex has a place in the spiritual arena and by no means, though my personal practice lies most naturally in the Right Hand Tantric field, do I dismiss it. But just like Tantra and yoga are easily misunderstood, so too do I feel that the spiritual power of sex is largely misunderstood and misdirected. Sexual power is after all the very force that creates life! So what are we creating with it, beyond new babies? Whatever consciousness we bring to sexual acts will be amplified through it. But this is for the topic of another blog.

Until next time, practice fierce discernment and courageously follow your deepest joy.

Jai Ma,
Parvati

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Lindo, Parvati, você pensa tudo que penso! Abraços. Algenir Loiola

Abraços, Algenir! Thank you for reading and sharing the light. Enjoy the gift of the now.

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
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I am light, in delight!
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Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
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I am the light, liquid gold light
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I am light, dancing in delight!
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