WHAT IS TANTRIC YOGA?
Tantra is about expansion in all its forms. When practising tantra, we give ourselves precious opportunities to identify our current limitations and heal from and grow beyond them. In this way we can experience ‘personal growth’; positive changes in the way we experience both ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; the way we interact with others sexually and socially; and our relationship to our environment.
The ways in which these benefits manifest are many and varied and differ widely among individuals, but to give you a few examples, participants have reported feeling more relaxed in themselves, more connected to their friends and family, better able to communicate in their intimate relationships, more relaxed and creative at work and more alive in their bodies. Feelings of joy are also common.
MY EXPERIENCE OF TANTRIC YOGA (TY)
My first experience with TY was back in the late 1990s when I attended Confest, an annual festival held in south-western NSW that gives participants an opportunity to freely share their skills and knowledge in a wide range of areas in workshop formats.
Bud Barber was my first TY teacher. I attended many of his workshops at various Confests over the ensuing years and each time my enthusiasm grew. We would practice many different activities ranging from breathing exercises, meditations and fun partner and group activities involving dance, music, chanting and respectful consensual physical contact such as hugging, partner stretching, massage and energetic healing techniques.
What stayed with me after each of Bud's workshops was a profound sense of happiness and wellbeing. Bud always handed out written instructions of the main practices he taught at the end of his workshops. This enabled me to start practising the TY techniques I had learned at Confest when I returned home to Canberra. I never really understood why at the time, but I was compelled to do this.
I practised TY this way for more than 10 years, teaching what I knew to friends and partners. In that time I also trained as a Hatha Yoga teacher with IYTA. During that process, I realised that there was a lot of crossover between the two styles of yoga and that Hatha was a great preparation for TY.
So, now I combine aspects of both when I teach my classes.
During 2012, I travelled to and from Melbourne many times whilst I completed a Tantric Yoga Teacher Training course with Heart of Shiva Tantra Yoga. During that time I initiated a regular TY practice for myself and my practice partner, which I have maintained since. Regular practice hones my teaching skills. I also experience firsthand some of the effects that can be experienced by practising TY both with another person and by myself. My teacher training was a great opportunity to learn in much more depth about the TY practices I had been exploring for the past decade, and also learn many new activities I could share with others.
During my teacher training, I came to realise that TY gives participants a priceless opportunity to heal as it helps us ‘expand’ or rise above all forms of suffering (contractions), whether we're aware of them or not. I considered teaching TY to be the highest form of spiritual service to people. What could be more rewarding to the individual and helpful to our world than to help people become happy, whole and awakened to the vast potential that lies within them!
So it's with great passion, enthusiasm and respect that I offer this knowledge to you. The following will give you a broad overview of this revered spiritual path. Please let me know if you need more clarification or details. Bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of TY practices, as they are many and varied.
TANTRIC YOGA PRACTICES INCLUDE
Yamas and Niyamas
Moral and ethical codes of conduct to ease you through your experience of life in relation to yourself and others.
Dhayana and Dharana
Mental focusing and meditation techniques to centre and calm your mind, helping to transcend the ‘mundane’ and reach a stage of consciousness sometimes described as ‘bliss’ or ‘samadhi’. There is considerable evidence of various physiological and psychological benefits, both anecdotally, and more recently, scientifically.
Physical cleansing practices, including stretching for mobility and flexibility; resistance training for muscle strength, healthy joints and bone density; balance poses for agility; fine motor control; mental focus and personal safety; inversions for calming nerves; lymphatic cleansing and resting the heart.
Self-enquiry to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your desires, motivations, behavioural habits and addictions; and learning ways to overcome self-defeating tendencies.
Spiritual cleansing practices for the self and one's personal environment, enabling us to clear out, let go of and ‘wash away’ otherwise toxic influences.
A coming together of like-minded souls. A celebration of life in food, song, musicality and dance. A call-and-response style of devotion to higher ideals, whilst connecting with others in a welcoming circle; facilitating respect, learning, and in recognition of our shared commonalities.
Controlled breathing practices for the generation and raising of energy (shakti) in the body and mind; enhancing physical wellbeing, emotional stability, mental clarity and mental focus. Pranayama fuels spiritual pursuits such as enlightenment, emancipation from illusion (Maya) and freedom from suffering.
Using spiritual intention for manifestation on the physical plane, for the betterment of all, learning how to provide for your needs by harnessing your spiritual potential and directing it towards personal goals that benefit you and others, within your circle of influence.
Soothing and nourishing physical bodies with human touch, aromatherapy-grade aphrodisiac essential oil blends, promoting self-healing, facilitating connection and giving love and sensual support to self and others.
Chanting and Mantra
Uttering the names of the divine; repetitive phrases that evaporate extraneous thought and engender an experience of your full spiritual potential — your purest essence — revealing your innermost truths of love, peace and connection to all of creation (aka The Mystical Experience).
Uniting us with our spiritual ‘brothers and sisters’, helping us feel loved and connected — not only in the flesh — but also in heart, mind, spirit and community. The ultimate way to bond with our fellow humans is through love, and sex can be a physical representation of that highest emotional state.
I trust this will ignite your curiosity and encourage you enough to contact me about some training.
WHAT I OFFER
I specialise in providing Tantric Yoga and Massage coaching for gay couples, but I have also worked with straight couples.
I’m trained in Tantric Healing to Level 3 and offer that as a service to members of the public. I can send information about that sublime healing technique should it be of interest to you.
I offer Tantric Massage to individuals. It's a very intimate and sensual form of bodywork.
I also offer Tantric Yoga and Tantric Massage training in the form of workshops to members of the public. Please ask about my next workshop dates.
LISTEN: Gavin talks about Tantra
LISTEN: Gavin talks with Jason about his experiences with Tantric yoga and massage and