Hello dear friends!
Summer is in full flush. It’s Leo season. And it’s the perfect time to spice things up. So, I thought I’d share a few easy ways to dip your toes into Tantra. I know I don’t write about Tantra very much on my blog (yet), but this ancient practice can be a game-changer. If you want to bring the best of spirituality and sexuality to your life, Tantra is the way to go. This is a deeply personal, spiritual journey, to bring you into greater resonance with your heart and your physical body.
When most people think of Tantra, they probably conjure up images of exotic sexual positions to try with their partners. However, the true practice of Tantra is sooooo much more than what we think of as “sex.” I won’t go into depth on the history or philosophy of Tantra here, but I do encourage you to dive into it on your own if you’d like to learn more. But I will say that you don’t need a partner to practice Tantra. You can get started on your own, fully-clothed, in your kitchen!
To truly benefit from this mind-body-spirit practice, we have to start with getting in touch with ourselves (pun possibly intended). Most of us are seriously disconnected from our souls and bodies, and tend to live in our heads much of the time. The word “tantra” loosely translates to “woven together,” echoing the notion of all aspects of the self are in harmony, as well as weaving the masculine and feminine (energies, not genders- anyone of any gender and orientation can practice Tantra), heaven and earth, yin and yang, etc…
As you deepen into the space of sacred sexuality, you will enjoy greater sensory awareness, better confidence, more body appreciation, better orgasms, more fulfilling intimate relationships, and of course, a more tangible and dynamic connection to the Divine.
So, how do you get started? There are so many books and workshops out there, but many of them are quite intimidating!
If you want to explore Tantra slowly and on your own time, here are some of my favorite exercises to do:
Yes, friends, breathing is a HUGE part of Tantra. It may not sound that sexy, I know. But the breath is the foundation for embodiment, which is essential to the practice. Most of us suck at breathing, and we tend to take very shallow, unconscious breaths throughout the day. This is your official invitation to use up every inch of your lung capacity!
Two breathing exercises that apply to Tantra are the microcosmic orbit and the root lock breath hold.
The microcosmic orbit is a flow of energy through the meridian channels- up the back/spine, and down the front of the body. There are two gates in this orbit- the root lock (Mula Bandha or “doing a Kegel”) and “fire point” with the tongue resting on the roof of the mouth, just behind the front teeth. As you breathe, inhale energy up the back, and exhale it gently down the front, while keeping the gates engaged.
The root lock breath hold is pretty simple. Take a deep breath, visualizing energy coming up the spine/up through the chakras, to reach your crown. At the top of the breath, squeeze your pelvic muscles and hold (both the breath and the root lock) for 5-10 seconds, depending on your comfort level. Do at least 10 rounds of this.
Have you ever noticed how deeply uncomfortable it is to hold extended eye contact? We’ve all been socialized to shy away from this intimate practice, and we tend to feel very vulnerable with deep eye contact. Well...spoiler alert- Tantra is all about vulnerability, with ourselves and with others.
Eye gazing is just that- soft, receptive, aware, gazing into the eyes for a longer time than is “socially acceptable.” Whether you are currently partnered or not, I encourage you to try this with yourself in a mirror first. Look into your own eyes for several minutes, and notice what comes up for you.
Once you have a little practice with self-gazing, try this with a partner. Sit facing each other, preferably with legs or arms touching (some physical contact is helpful here), and look into each other’s eyes. Set a timer for 3, 5, 7, or 10 minutes. Allow whatever happens to happen- many people laugh, cry, blush, and have tremendous breakthroughs with this practice.
How many of us know exactly what we like and don’t like, when it comes to sex? How many of us have explored how our body senses pleasure over time? And how many of us touch our bodies lovingly, without the “goal” of getting off? I’m going to guess...not many.
In order to truly feel at home in these physical bodies of ours (our starships, as I call them), we need to explore more of the sense of touch. And we should know what feels good and what doesn't!
In Tantra, the female genitalia is often referred to as the “yoni,” and the male equivalent is the “lingam.” You can find instructions for both yoni and lingam massage out there on the web, if you need more guidance. But I will give basic instructions that can be applied to anyone of any gender and any genital configuration.
Set the mood, like you would for a professional massage, spa session, or lovemaking sesh. Make sure you’re somewhere you will have privacy and quiet for a while (try to set aside a good half-hour for this). Begin by slowly stroking your arms, legs, and chest. Gently touch your breasts, nipples, buttocks, and inner thighs next. Use a variety of touch throughout this practice- soft and firm, circular and linear, etc…
When you’re ready, begin massaging the upper inner thigh, hip, and perineum area, and slowly move onto the genitals themselves. I recommend incorporating a nontoxic lube or massage oil. Stroke, caress, and play, making sure to avoid the highly sensitive areas like the clitoris or tip of the penis. Remember, this is not about getting off. Take your time. Notice what kinds of touch feel best, and where.
After a while, (only if you truly want to), you may proceed to massage to orgasm. But I do recommend doing this practice without orgasm at least once or twice, as orgasm delay/control is a big part of Tantra.
Bonus points for doing this in front of a mirror!
These three practices are hands down (bad pun?) the core techniques in beginner Tantra. Once you feel comfortable with these, you can expand to include more partnered play, or incorporate some toys, or deep meditative orgasm journeys. The sky's the limit!
Have you experimented with any of these three techniques before? I’d love to hear your experiences!
And of course, if you struggle to get in touch with your body, to feel sexually empowered, or to bring your spiritual practice into the bedroom, I’m here to help. Set up a session, and let’s chat!
Love to you all, as always.
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~