Yesterday I decided to try something new. Although I’ve been doing yoga for a while I feel like a complete newbie. For those of you who think that Tantric yoga has something to do with sensuality and some kind of sexual experience, that’s not the case. I was an interesting experience where we practiced for 90 minutes with our eyes closed.
A lot of western yoga is sometimes focused on the physical wellbeing of yoga. Of course, this is maybe the most immediate that you might feel and see. A few teachers I have encountered invite us to experience something different. Tantric Hatha yoga is a kind of Hatha yoga that comes from Tantra that simply means energy. The teacher said that many of us are not used to feel the energy in our bodies anymore. That is just sad. I believe we can all feel it without going all hippie hokus pokus like.
He explained that in this practice we work with the 7 different chakras. The word Tantra is made up from two words, Tanoti and Trayati. Tanoti means “to expand, stretch, extend”, while the word Trayati means “to liberate or free”. So it’s basically supposed to expand our experience and awareness of everything.
The class was quite slow paced, more slow that Yin yoga which I find really challenging. I realised how scary it was to do sun salutations with my eyes closed and I had no idea where I was on the mat. We would speed up and slow down and the focus was really on how to feel the body.
I quite liked this experience. Although most asanas were quite easy it was really challenging to hold the poses for such a long time. 1, 2, or even 5 minutes. Try to stand up with your arms up for 5 minutes, that was the hardest I think. I did feel some kind of energy but I’m not sure if it was the chakras or if it was just the fact that I had no more blood in my arms.
Although the class was interesting, it became a bit too much for me when the teacher started to talk about receiving the gold dust of the universe through our palms. When the talk becomes too much about cosmos and things I kind of switch off. I believe I’m much less hippie now than I was when I was a teenager.
I’m open-minded and receptive to energies, mantras, chanting. I like when teachers pick a theme and talk about ourselves, our full potential and we should open ourselves. When it’s too much about cosmos, the universe, planets and too abstract then I think it falls into some kind of stereotype. What was nice about the class was that it wasn’t about being bendy or stretchy. Most postures we should just relax, be comfortable and try to feel the energy in our bodies.
I think it was good for this Chinese crowd as this studio is very physical oriented. Now the teacher was really hot. He looked like some kind of half Brazilian, Italian, bedouin-like mix. White and beige clothing as he came straight from the desert. Yogis like that just have a certain aura around them that you can feel in the whole room. As he walked around in the room I could also sense that he smelled like the desert. Some kind of Sandalwood/Myrrha, wood, sand scent. Much more handsome than on the picture attached, this was the closest I could find. Just that was a nice experience. Maybe it’s just that I’ve been living in China for almost two years now and part from my other half I don’t see many handsome men around.
Tantra yoga also has to do a lot with our female and masculine energies, yin and yang. This was quite interesting. I realise that there are so many types of yoga but we all try to thrive to the same end result. All yoga is fine and accepted just certain types are maybe more fitted for different people. No matter the path you choose, we all try to get a bit more of a clear and focused mind, feel good in our bodies, with ourselves and in our environment. Be curious, be open and it’s always fun to try new things. I’m stuck with Ashtanga and Vinyasa for now though, mixed with some hot. Those are my favourites.
Today I’m having one of those days I literally can’t wait to get to tonight’s Flow class with the star teacher. Soon, I can enter that flow again.