Posted by: Shanie Matthews | December 2, 2009

Three Ways Tantra Principles Can Help Happiness

Tantra.

The word alone makes some people squirm because of its connection to sex. But in reality, awe-inspiring sexual discoveries are only a byproduct of the self-love created from exercises mainly done alone.

In all truth, Tantra is more than having sex for multiple hours or a man extending the time before ejaculation. It is a practice that helps physical and psychological health, as well as sexual intimacy. It is more about truly loving thyself and allowing that love to flow into the relationship with your partner and beyond.

Dating back as far as 6,000 years, Tantra has been helping the practice of happiness for a long time and should not be confused with Kama Sutra, a literal guide to sexual positions. Tantra, instead, is the practice of what feels good to the people involved.

Tantra was originally created by yogic masters to learn how to shatter a preoccupation with the ego. As explained by Richard Asimus, a leading Tantric teacher, along with his wife Antoinette, from Cincinnati Ohio, “Tantric yogis discovered the great power (of shattering the ego) is right at the root of every person’s body, in the primal root of sexual energy.” By learning various tools to shift energetic vigor, whether through breathing, meditation or other activities, it shifts the consciousness. Richard compares it to the rising of the sun, “It is like the dawn coming up; of presence, of true aliveness, vitality, an unconditional love.”

Photo Courtesy of Donna Reid, A Day in Your Life Photography

Tantra literally means to expand, manifest or interweave. It is a practice of staying in the moment and being completely aware and present at all times. Richard explains it as “…not thinking about the texture of a carpet or the way the way the light filters through a window, but instead truly being one with it.” It is a practice of allowing the sexual energy to bring us to an altered state of consciousness. It is a mutual journey and adventure that extends arousal, creating psychological and energetic changes.

Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels, authors of The Essence of Tantric Sexuality and the facilitators of Tantric seminars, have helped many learn to move their lives into a state of felicity. “The vast majority of Tantra practices are not sexual,” explains Patricia, “Most of them are done alone.” She is speaking about the many Tantric meditations that promote truly loving oneself. “You must know the divine in yourself before you are able to find it with others.” One of the first practices involved when taking the steps to unbridled blissfulness is as simple as looking in the mirror. Taking the time to look into the mirror and appreciating thyself is a fundamental foundation of Tantra.

The idea that a person cannot love another until he or she loves themselves is one vital belief behind Tantra.

It is about connecting on a deep level and being completely aware of yourself and your surroundings. “Sexual energy dwells in all of us; it is the foundation of who we are,” states Mark. With the combination of loving and appreciating oneself, Tantra transcends the energy that is found in the bedroom, extending into all other aspects of life as well.

With that thought in mind, Tantra does not need to be limited to the bedroom. Nor does it need to seem daunting or sexually involved. “Even the act of washing dishes can be an exercise in Tantra,” explains Patricia. Taking the time to fully feel the pleasure of putting your hands in the warm, soapy water allows you to feel the moment and take pleasure in the here and now. Even if the practice is only for a moment, it is still a step toward the ultimate sexual awakening.

Here are three easy moves that can be done anywhere, anytime to help move closer to a feeling of ultimate love and bliss:

Private Gazing: Take a few minutes out of the day to look into the mirror. This goes beyond looking in the mirror at the physical. Instead, contemplate the amazing, beautiful person that is looking back at you. Take the time to appreciate the person that you are, while looking into your own eyes. Say the words- “I love you” to help with feeling a sense of self-appreciation. This practice allows you to become more in touch with self and the love inside.

Seeing the Space in Between: This meditation practice helps open up the senses and allows the mind to not take anything for granted. Meditating on the spaces between the obvious allows one to open up to the unknown. When this shifts to the bedroom it offers an opening up of the unconscious in to the conscious. It allows the mind to experience more than the apparent.

Pumping Up the Sexual Energy: Kegel exercises deal with the pubococcygeus muscle (or PC muscle). It is the muscle that stretches over the pubic bone, up the tailbone, creating a supportive band for the urethra, vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, other vital internal organs and anus. This exercise is often given to help women control their bladder and heal after pregnancy. But it also supports and opens up the sexual energy of this area. With Kegel exercises the body’s sexual vitality is energized and awoken. The practice includes squeezing the vaginal area while sitting or standing in a relaxed position. It can also be practiced during urination by trying to stop the stream of urine. In the beginning it is important to slowly work up the amount of repetitions, length of contraction and frequency. It is a muscle that can become sore, as with any other muscle, so it is important to not over-exercise.

These exercises can be done discreetly and whenever time allows.

If done with purpose, they can help you become more in touch with yourself.

And that is truly a major aspect to exercising happiness…loving and appreciating yourself, so that it transcends the space between you and the one you love.

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