What is Tantra?
I can’t tell you what Tantra is, that’s a big task with many complicated answers and offshoots. All I can do is tell you what Tantra is to me.
Having been practiced in some form for thousands of years beginning with ancient Shamans, Tantra is the worn down path or philosophy of how to be a better person and live a more blissful life. A person who is more in touch with themselves, other living things, the planet, and whatever they choose their spirituality to be. It has included practices such as yoga, bodywork, meditation/chanting, dance, visualization, energy movement, breathwork, cosmology, psychoactive plants (this is still debated), holistic medicine and traditional medicine such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine TCM.
In his book Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit; A personal guide to the wisdom of Yoga and Tantra, Ramesh Bjonnes says, "In India, Tantra means science, practice, art, as well as a path of liberation, freedom, and bliss. As the yoga of everything, Tantra is an integral practice and a lifestyle for body, mind, and spirit. Tantra is also a worldview, a philosophy and a practical cosmology to live by."
The form of Tantra that I practice is considered Neo (new or modern) Tantra. It is inspired by classical Tantra, but not strict to ancient texts or rituals as in White Tantra. You could say Neo Tantra has elements of White, Pink, Red and Black/Grey depending on the practitioner.
The colors of Tantra: by Satori de Ruijter
White Tantra is used to describe a spiritual path of tantra which incorporates meditation, breath work, sounds, and postures. Although all of the major chakras or energy centers are recognized in this practice, it is the upper two chakras; the third eye and the crown chakra that is the most important. White Tantra has nothing to do with sexual expression.
Pink Tantra is the middle path of both white and red tantra. It is about opening the heart chakra and healing, teaching body awareness and to cultivate love without attachment, ownership or expectation. Solo or with a partner, sexual energy is transformed and added to the stream of love/life energy. Partnered it is a merging of embodied souls, for both pleasure and enlightenment.
Red Tantra is a form of tantra oriented towards the ecstatic experience of sexual union: the divine union of the male and female principle. Red tantric practice historically is a bit rebellious. Red Tantra is focused on sensuality and sexuality (lower chakras). However, all of the chakras are involved, leading to orgasmic being and connection.
Black Tantra is a form of tantra oriented towards exercising certain magical powers (siddhis). The human body can be powerful. The human mind can be powerful. Combined magic can occur. Sex magic uses sexual energy to envision certain desires during orgasm which then come true – manifest- in real life. It’s the power of body and mind. Also in black tantra we see the introduction of BDSM, kink and power play.
What is Tantric bodywork?
For me Tantric bodywork is about helping you along your path to a more blissful life. It’s hard to stay on an awakened path when you have a stressed mind, an aching body, repressed emotions, shame, fear, stagnant energy and other physical and mental blockages.
In my Tantric session we will approach and work to unblock each chakra one at a time. Some ways we will do this include; guided meditation and breathwork to ease and open the mind, bodywork to reduce muscle tension, stretch to release fascial restrictions, intuitive energy healing with loving and nurturing masculine energy to help clear stagnant energy and balance the chakras, an atmosphere of safety where you can open your heart, express repressed sensuality or desires to someone who will listen without judgement. We will also begin and end each session with a hug for as long as you need.
If you are feeling unsure or nervous about receiving a session or if you still have some questions feel free to ask for a free consultation phone call and you may also find it helpful to read through the Tantric Bill of Rights by Matthias Rose which I adhere to. It goes more in depth on boundaries, expectations and how to get the most out of your session.
So what are exactly are Chakras?
In the ancient traditions, there are seven main chakras or invisible wheels of bioenergy, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. In the modern day, there are some who link the theories to physical aspects of the body. For example, Stephen Sturgess suggests the lower six chakras coincide with specific nerve plexuses along the spinal cord as well as glands.
1. Muladhara (Root) - Related to survival, security and being grounded to the Earth and grounded within your own body. Associated with the color red.
2. Svadhisthana (Sacral) - Related to creativity, sensuality, sexuality, the desire for pleasure and being outgoing. Associated with the color orange.
3. Nabhi-Manipura (Solar Plexus) - Related to our power in this world and a "fire in your belly", positive self-respect and self-compassion. Associated with the color yellow.
4. Anahata (Heart) - Related to gratitude, love, compassion for others and being in your heart center. Associated with the color green.
5. Vishuddhi (Throat) - Related to speaking your truth, honesty, communication and expressing needs. Associated with the color blue.
6. Ajna (Third Eye) - Related to insight, intuition, awareness, giving and receiving guidance. Associated with the color indigo.
7. Sahasrara (Crown) - Related to spiritual connection, trust in yourself and your purpose. Associated with the color violet or white.
When any of these energy centers are blocked due to stress, mental or physical issues, it leads to stagnation and can contribute to a variety of physical and spiritual ailments. If one or more chakras spins too quickly, we feel hyper, tense, or overly nervous, thus causing us to feel burned out. Or, if any of our chakras are spinning too slowly, then we feel tired, ungrounded, lacking energy.
You may feel that more than one of your chakras is imbalanced or blocked. This is because when one is blocked, the other chakras begin to compensate for it and either become overactive or underactive. So the best way to start balancing all of your chakras and work towards well-being is to start at the root and work your way up to the crown, one chakra at a time.