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Lots of peeps think tantra is all about crazy sex seshes. But in reality, this practice isn’t about getting it on. Tantric yoga is all about promoting spiritual growth while enhancing your mind/body connection.

Here’s how to get started on your tantric yoga journey.

Tantric yoga fast facts

What is tantric yoga? Tantric yoga links many meditative and yogic practices together. The goal is to give you a deeper understanding of yourself and to promote feelings of self-love and acceptance.

What are the benefits? Tantric yoga can help you feel more connected to the real you. This can lead to better relationships with yourself and the people in your life.

Do you need a partner? Nope! While you can share your tantric yoga experiences with others, you can also do it solo.

Are there variations? Yes! Tantra isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice. In fact, there are lots of different ways to incorporate tantric yoga into your life.

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Tantra is a Westernized philosophy based on Taoist, Tibetan, and Hindu traditions. The core principle of tantra is to connect your body with your spirit. This can lead to a better sense of self.

Traditional tantric yoga elements

There are lots of variations in tantric yoga. But a traditional sesh should include:

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A regular yoga routine might focus on a specific set of poses. They also tend to have the same sequence. But with tantric yoga, you’ll go through a variety of poses and sequences.

These include:

  • twists
  • inversions
  • backbends
  • side bends
  • forward folds

Your tantra yoga teacher will guide your through the movements. They’ll also lead you in chants, meditations, breathing exercises, and chakra work.

Again, tantric yoga can vary from person-to-person. It’s all about what feels the most comfortable for you. But here are some basic steps to help you get into a good flow.

  1. Quiet your mind. Focus inward and concentrate on your breath.
  2. Be comfortable with yourself and your surroundings. This can take some practice, but you’ll get there in time!
  3. Set realistic goals. Try to reach a new mini-milestone each new session.
  4. Don’t push yourself past your limits. Going too hard can lead to injury and discomfort. If it hurts… STOP!
  5. Lean into it. Don’t go into your practice with crazy expectations. Just focus on enjoying each breath and be in the moment.
  6. Follow your path. Don’t worry if you can’t “keep up” with other people around you.

Tantra is divided into white and red. White tantra is the kind you practice solo through a blend of meditation and yoga. Red tantra relates to sex.

Tantric sex is a mediative way of getting it on. The goal isn’t to have an orgasm. The aim is to move sexual energy throughout the body for transformation, enlightenment, and healing. Tantric yoga can have similar results, but doesn’t involve sex.

Is tantric yoga a great way to work out your body? For sure. But first and foremost, it’s all about spiritual liberation.

Tantric yoga might help you…

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Here are seven tantric yoga poses to increase feelings of freedom and self-trust.

1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Chair Pose will build heat in your core and will improve your breathing.

To do the Chair Pose:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Inhale and move your arms overhead.
  3. Exhale and draw your navel toward your spine.
  4. Bend your knees and sit back as if sitting in a chair.
  5. Take 3 to 5 breaths here, with weight in your heels.
  6. Slowly return to standing position.
  7. Repeat 5 to 7 times.

2. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

This pose is a one-way ticket to Relaxation Station.

To do Corpse Pose:

  1. Lie down on your back on a yoga mat.
  2. Separate your legs and let your feet fall out to the sides.
  3. Rest your arms alongside your body.
  4. Tuck your shoulder blades for added back support.
  5. Relax and take deep, cleansing breath.
  6. Stay in this pose for at least 5 minutes.

3. Half Boat Pose (Ardha Navasana)

This challenging core workout can increase your confidence and feelings of self-worth.

To do the half boat pose:

  1. Lie on your back with straight legs.
  2. Press your shins together.
  3. Lift your heels about 6 inches off the ground.
  4. Engage your core and draw your tailbone toward your heels.
  5. Hold for 2 breaths.
  6. Bring your left knee toward your chest.
  7. Hold for 2 breaths.
  8. Switch sides.
  9. Hold for 2 breaths.
  10. Repeat this sequences up to 10 times.

4. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

This pose builds confidence and opens the chest.

To do Warrior I:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step your right foot a few feet in front of the left.
  3. Bend the right knee so it’s aligned over your heel.
  4. Keep your left leg straight.
  5. Face your right foot forward and your left foot facing outward.
  6. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and lift your arms straight over your head.
  7. Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.
  8. Switch sides.

5. Empty Lakebed Pose (Tadaka Mudra):

This pose is very soothing and can help you master your breath work.

To do Empty Lakebed Pose:

  1. Lie flat on your back as in Savasana.
  2. Stretch both arms above your head and interlace your fingers.
  3. Inhale and lengthen your spine.
  4. Hold your breath and draw your belly inward.
  5. Slowly exhale.
  6. Repeat for up to 10 breaths.

6. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

This posture is fab for body awareness and establishing alignment.

To do Mountain Pose:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Plant your feet firmly into the floor.
  3. Engage your quads and lift your kneecaps.
  4. Keep your spine aligned.
  5. Take a deep breath and lift your ribs away from your pelvis.
  6. Take 10 to 15 deep breaths.

7. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana):

This stretch will open your hips and calm the mind.

To do a wide-legged standing forward bend:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step each foot out to the side to form a letter V with your legs.
  3. Press into the floor with both feet.
  4. Slowly bend forward and plant your hands on the floor.
  5. Gently bend the elbows and align your head in between your legs.

Pro tip: Use a prop if you can’t reach your hands to the floor.

This is a personal preference type of thing. You can share a tantric experience with a lover, friend, or anyone you trust. But you can also slay your sesh solo style.

Just keep in mind, it might be tricky to self-guide if you’re new to #TeamTantra. Some experts suggest you wait to learn the basic principles before practicing alone.

You can totes practice tantric yoga from the comfort of your own home. There are tons of awesome online classes you can sign up for. You can also look into local studios that offer virtual sessions.

Once you get the hang of it, you can create your own tantric yoga sequence.

PSA: Some peeps prefer a one-on-one session with a tantra guru. Ask around your local yoga studios for a certified and well-trusted instructor.

Sharing a tantric yoga experience with fellow yogis can be an awesome experience. Just keep in mind, not all tantric yoga studios are legit.

Here are some things to double-check before you sign up:

  • It should be white tantra (aka not sexual).
  • The class should involve chanting and meditation.
  • The goal of the class should be related to self-growth.
  • Classic tantra yoga classes should be solo, not partnered.
  • The teacher should be certified in tantra, Hatha yoga, or Kundalini yoga.

New to the tantra life? Welcome aboard! Here’s how you can prepare your mind and space for your first tantric yoga session.

Preparing your mind

Take 5 to 10 minutes to clear your headspace before your session. Spend this time focusing on your breath and grounding yourself in your own body.

You should also drink some water to ensure you stay hella hydrated during the lesson. This might be particularly important if you’re doing a hot tantric yoga class 🔥.

P.S. Don’t forget to turn off your phone or any other devices that can kill your calm vibe.

Preparing the space

You can perform tantric yoga pretty much anywhere you have a stable floor. But you might have a better time in a relaxing setting.

To turn your room into a top-notch studio, clear the space of clutter. Try to remove any objects that will distract you or make you feel anxious.

Pro tip: Engage your senses. Play some relaxing music and light a scented candle.

Tantra is a very personal experience. You can customize your sessions to fit your individual needs. Here are some tips:

  • Start slow. Yoga isn’t about speed. Take your time and move from each position with purpose. Also, don’t worry if you can’t bend like a pretzel on day one. Flexibility, endurance, and balance take time!
  • Focus on your breath. Breathing is a huge part of tantric yoga. Focus on the quality and power of your breath for each pose.
  • Wear something comfortable. Make sure your clothes won’t distract you from your session. You can also go au naturel if it suits your fancy.
  • Pick the right partner. Even though tantric yoga is not about sex, it can still be a very intimate and emotional experience. Only partner up with a person you feel comfortable with.

Here are the three best breathing techniques to incorporate into your tantric yoga practice. They can be done solo or with a partner.

Bellows Breath (Bhastrika)

  1. Breathe in and out forcefully.
  2. Pull your belly in as you exhale, and let it relax out as you inhale.
  3. Repeat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Take a full breath and hold, then release the breath fully.

Pro tip: If you have high blood pressure, a heart condition, or if it’s that time of the month, skip this breath and stick with a gentler breathing practice.

Ahamkara Mudra

  1. Touch your right thumb and index fingers together.
  2. Place these fingers at the center of your chest.
  3. Take deep, cleansing breaths as you visualize a light expanding from your heart to the rest of your body.

Release the Clamp

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine aligned.
  2. Relax your hands on your thighs.
  3. Squeeze your lower abdomen as you take deep, controlled breaths.

There are TONS of tantra sources online and in text. But finding the right ones can be overwhelming. Here are some fab resources to get you started:

You can also reach out to your local yoga studios to see if they specialize in tantric yoga. Just remember to make sure they’re legit.

Here are some more Greatist articles about yoga: