Words by Blaise Angel As a Yoga Teacher and Life Coach in Switzerland, I teach relaxation and meditation techniques. I have been doing that job for many years and am a highly experienced practitioner. I teach classes in my studio,…
Tantra is the ancient empirical philosophy and science of liberating energy in order to expand consciousness and realize one’s inherent spiritual power.
Consciousness and energy are united and made available for health, mental peace, emotional resilience, creativity and spiritual realization.
Tantra is a practical, empirical and experiential science that lights the torch and shows the way to self-transformation through psychological, psychic and spiritual growth and fulfillment.
Tantra and Yoga are intimately related. Many yogic techniques are used as part of tantric practice and ritual. Both yoga and tantra share the common goal of uniting our individual awareness with the highest Self.
The word tantra is derived from the Sanskrit roots tan and tra. The root tan means extension, expansion, a stretching and pulling, as you pull rubber. Tra means to liberate, to release, to emancipate, and to make free. Energy is liberated so that it can be united with consciousness.
Yoga means connection or union. In this context, it refers to techniques that enable the union of consciousness and energy, of Shiva and Shakti.
Yoga-tantra, therefore, is the “liberation of energy (trapped in matter and neurotic psychological patterns) in order to expand individual consciousness and unite it with universal consciousness”
Energy is often trapped in tensions, old unconscious habits, and patterns within the body-mind. We may feel small, powerless, and out of touch with our true Self.
The Sanskrit word sankalpa means “a resolve or intention formed in the heart”.
We’re greatly heartened to know that so many of our students have been empowered to make meaningful changes in their lives, some small, some large, all significant.
The ability to make a powerful Sankalpa – one that empowers us to manifest our intention is difficult to achieve because the mind is innately unstable, full of doubts, and conflicting desires.
To counteract these conflicts and doubts, students of our course are given various tools and exercises to examine each desire. Using Yogic Knowledge, Meditation Practices and Integration Exercises students test their desires and intentions through different perspectives or lenses. For example, how each desire fits into a particular stage of life and how to cognize the different desires that arise from each of the seven chakras. This results in an ability to form a holistic relationship with desires.
If we only listen to what one part of us wants we are silencing another part of us, and sooner or later this part will demand to be heard.
The Clarifying Power Of Adversity
Sometimes it takes a negative experience to stir up a powerful Sankalpa. In this way, adversity can be a blessing because it thrusts us into reconnecting with our will to survive, to overcome the odds, to heal, or to repair. And it is the aim of the course to support all of our students being able to remain on track while facing difficult, challenging and powerful life experiences, experiences that have the potential if they are managed wisely, to change your life for the better.
In our moment of truth we either collapse under the weight of the adversity or, if we are lucky and able, we muster all of our internal resources to rise to the challenge. The course will help you do this.
Case Study: How our student overcame a near death experience and taught her doctors about the power of Sankalpa
The story by Sanyasi Yogamitra epitomizes what we can do, even when faced with life-threatening illness, in what appears to be insurmountable odds.
Both stress and relaxation are frequently misunderstood. It is often thought that stress is a minor problem, similar to a light cold, and that relaxation is simply an escape from work through recreation. They are much more than this.
Stress is deeply embedded in the body-mind from birth. You carry the cellular memory of the deep past; the trials and traumas of your ancestors, and the worries and tensions that your mother experienced while you were in her womb.
True relaxation is a skill that inhibits negative genetic expression and triggers positive genetic expression. It short-circuits your predisposition towards disease.
When you understand and practice relaxation you take significant control of your biological and psychological processes. You disrupt both the everyday stresses, and the deep tensions that you’ve carried since birth, and which have formed who you are. This enables regeneration of the body-mind on a cellular level.
Choosing how your genetics express
You had no choice or control over your ancestral inheritance, nor did you have a say in what happened to you in the womb. You inherited strengths and weaknesses from your ancestors, and you developed strengths and weaknesses while you were growing in the womb.
It is our weaknesses that cause us daily stress and, if not managed well, prevent us from dealing with ongoing accumulating pressures. This is what we all are obligated to address if we want a healthy, disease-free life. We have to learn how to use our strengths to manage our weaknesses and if we become skilled enough we can actually transform our weaknesses into strengths.
From a young age, you have made lifestyle choices that have had a positive or negative impact on your life. How well you feel today is a result of how successful you have been in reducing your accumulated daily stresses and combating the stress of your genetic inheritance.
Fortunately, you can still make choices today that will have a very positive impact on the rest your life, and that will alter your genetic vulnerabilities.
You are more powerful than you think
It is crucial to appreciate the immense power you have over your own genetic expression.
When you think of all the things you want, your list could be thousands of items long. When you feel what you want, you’re more likely to have only a few things that really matter to you.
This simple meditation can be used to quickly cut through the confusion and can also help you go to sleep, especially if you do a lot of thinking in bed.
Meditation to see what your heart wants, quickly.
One of our students recently wrote to us asking our thoughts about the possibility that meditation is dangerous. She quoted an article that describes the experience of people who had reported that engaging in mindfulness-based meditation resulted in the following negative experiences:
- strange, persistent and obsessive thoughts
- the sense of depersonalization
- extreme sensitivity and vulnerability
- a feeling of being exposed
- anhedonia – the inability to experience pleasure
- lack of meaning and joy
- loss of direction
Like anything in life, meditation can cause problems when it is misused or misunderstood. If you don’t approach meditation with the correct preparation and attitude, you can become excessively introverted and psychological disturbed. It’s also possible to develop physical symptoms such as digestive problems, joint stiffness, muscle pain and metabolic imbalance.
Yogic perspective on the dangers of meditation
From a yogic perspective, these symptoms are described as excessive activity in the ida nadi, the left-hand channel that runs along the spinal chord, which carries mental energy. There are three energy channels running along the spine: ida nadi carries mental energy, pingala nadi carries physical energy and sushumna carries spiritual energy.
For meditation to be successful it’s important to balance ida and pingala nadis, the mental and physical energies, otherwise, your brain and mind can become over-stimulated, and depleted.