Let’s explore the ancient practice of Tantra yoga and how it still makes an impact on the modern world. Translated from Sanskrit, the word tantra (तन्त्र) means to “weave” or “loom”. And that’s exactly what it does. It combines the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that developed in India over the centuries. Several different styles of yoga come together into one practice that attempts to connect spirituality with materialism. According to Padoux, Tantra can also mean “system”, “doctrine”, or “work”. It denotes the way the practice follows ancient teachings and traditions. A key feature of Tantra yoga is the use of mantras, not as common in the other yoga styles. Allegedly, regular Tantra practice increases the practitioner’s relationship with themselves. It brings unconscious habits to the forefront, therefore allowing you to understand their origins and stop unhealthy behaviors. It exposes the weaknesses and strengths of Tantra practitioners, accepting them both and using them to accomplish goals. Many poses and sequences come from Hatha, with the addition of chanting and meditation practice to enhance the spiritual connections to the world.
History of Tantra Yoga
In ancient times, Tantra yoga existed through readings and scriptures. In fact, it was more of an inactive practice. The central idea of these teachings was that all things belong to the same consciousness. Therefore, every thought and reaction you experience exists in the same universal system. These teachings influenced a lot of people. Over time, they evolved into a method that could be useful in facing the challenges of the world and not run from them. This is a branch of yoga that is still surrounded by mystery, with some texts that have never been translated. This resulted in the practice’s introduction into the Western world being very mild. In the West, Tantra yoga is less spiritual, with teachers usually voicing sutras or tantras during an exercise.
Benefits of Tantra Yoga
There is a big focus on the person’s ability to overcome whatever life throws at them. As a result, those who practice this style of yoga will notice a more confident and self-assured outlook. Tantra practice trains the mind to be present at all times, which creates a better awareness of the world and one’s place in it. In short, you train yourself to have better focus, higher energy, fewer aches and pains, and a healthier lifestyle when you incorporate this practice into your life. Tantra yoga is not as common in most studios, but if you get a chance, you should definitely try it!