Tantric yoga is intended to combine all areas of science into a unified method of understanding the world and the individual’s position in it. Instead of a single discipline, tantric yoga combines ideas from chemistry, physics, physiognomy, math, and psychology with the principles of astrology, numerology, and ayurveda to expand consciousness and foster freedom and creativeness. Tantric yoga has been linked with increased sexuality.
The beginning of tantric yoga can be traced back several centuries before the birth of Christ, but its roots are basically the same as hatha yoga’s origins in Northern India. This yoga form gained popularity in the Western world in 1989 when The Art of Sexual Ecstasy, by Margot Anand, was published. Even before this, however, Charles Muir, a pupil of Swami Satyananda, began to lead workshops in “The Art of Conscious Loving.”
Tantric yoga poses are done in conjunction with a partner and are usually a variation of hatha yoga positions. Their purpose is to enhance strength in the body and intimacy between the couple. A common pose is the downward dog with the male partner standing behind the female. The tree pose is also frequently done by partners standing in close proximity face to face so that eye contact may be held. The wide-legged forward bend can be effective in tantra yoga with the buttocks of the partners joined so that they view each other through their legs.
Tantric Yoga is best practiced as a couple and has a more intense emphasis on intimacy and preparing the body for successful sexual encounters. While most other yoga forms ask that students constrain their physical desires, tantric yoga allows them to celebrate their sexual side.
The positions in tantric yoga are intended to give the mind control over the body. To do this, participants use special breathing techniques and postures, repetition of words or phrases, the symbolism of diagrams, and visualization. These are obviously techniques that should only be practiced by mature adults with the help of trained guidance. It is also recommended for partners looking for a way to strengthen their relationship.