Tantra Yoga Demystified
Tantra Yoga is a relatively modern revamping of the ancient vedic and yogic spiritual practices. The Tantrics developed innovative yet unorthodox techniques for allowing one to experience the reality of the true Self, the oneness of the entire cosmos. The Tantra Yogis emphasis on personal experimentation and experience led to radical techniques to cleanse the body and mind to break the knots that bind us to our physical existence. The famous “Left Hand” schools of Tantra used unlawful practices of consuming sex, alcohol and meat as powerful tools for transformation. Tantra Yoga encompasses a huge range of techniques, yet its underlying focus is on using the body as a temple to worship the all-encompassing oneness of life as sacred.In Tantra Yoga, the subtle bodies of energy and spirit are developed to create a bridge from the physical to the Devine. The development of energy is focused on the purification and cultivation of prana and the activation of kundalini. The physical body is used to activate energy through the practices of asana, pranayama, mudra and shatkarma. Thus, the Tantra yogis developed the yoga postures (asana) and breathing exercises (pranayama) that are most commonly used today in Hatha Yoga. Mudras include hand gestures and an intense fusion of asana, pranayama and bandha. Shatkarma (often referred as kriya) are esoteric exercises and techniques to purify the body and cleanse the energy pathways.
The devotional practices of mantra, yantra and puja are used to develop the spiritual body. Mantras are sacred Sanskrit sounds that are manifestations of the divine power. Yantras are sacred geometric forms used for concentration and visualization in Tantric rituals. Puja is the active devotional worship of a chosen deity through offerings of food, incense, light, water and gems.
Tantra enables the practitioner to directly experience the Divine and to taste the oneness of the cosmos. Tantra offers a smorgasbord of yogic techniques to bring one into the state of ecstasy representing a vast synthesis of spiritual knowledge.