Lighter: Living Tantra - Book Excerpt, Introductory Chapter
Since the late 1980s and into the 90s, when American sex educators such as Annie Sprinkle and Margot Anand invited us to expand our awareness of sexuality, a new and explosive interest in Tantra has begun to surface. After a period of separation and individuation, there appears to be a collective longing for more connection and intimacy in relationships. As people become more enlightened as a whole, heavily influenced by the yoga revolution, there is also a call, more specifically, for sacred and spiritual connections. People of all ages, genders and sexual orientations are feeling the need for a place to connect with their body, mind and spirit in community.
For those who are new to Tantra, it is a practice that combines movement, breath, meditation and sound to assist the energy system within the body to open. This opening allows dormant energy, also known as kundalini, to move from the pelvis, up the spine. As this life force energy moves up the spine, it helps one to transform and heal. This healing involves loosening constrictions within the body that develop throughout life. When the constrictions are loosened, one’s true identity is revealed. When one feels safe to be them self, one is happier and attracts easily. The expansion of the energy body also increases sensation, clairvoyance and one’s ability to connect with others.
Many are sampling Tantra in two hour or half day workshops. Those wanting a deeper learning experience attend extended retreats. What I have learned on my own tantra yoga path, and as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, is that these experiences alone are not enough to open the chakra system and free the kundalini energy. Opening the body to receive the kundalini energy requires transforming a lifetime of parental and societal messages that can cause contraction and holding within the body when one is not living their truth. The body, mind and spirit integrate these openings in the chakra system at a pace that is dependent on physical and emotional history and is unique for each individual. The body, mind and spirit can only assimilate so much change at once. Consequently, a brief experience will provide a step in the right direction, but will not provide the purification necessary to run kundalini energy and have the tantra experience that many are seeking.
Attending workshops and retreats is an important first step toward exploring Tantra. One way to deepen the experience is to develop a tantra lifestyle practice with a master teacher. A practice that slowly allows one’s chakras to open and expand. In doing so, the practitioner can discover his or her true essence, while fully supported and experiencing the gifts of Tantra. This is a gentle approach, so the body, mind and spirit have a chance to integrate the chakra openings. Transformation takes place, as well as life shifts: significant physical and emotional health improvements, new jobs, new or deeper partnerships, and moves to one’s dream location. These are just some of the outcomes I have witnessed.
To learn more about Prana Regina Barrett and Tantra to Love™ workshops, retreats, apprenticeships and private couples sessions, please explore our website and join our mailing list.