An Air Warrior and devotee of Lord Krishna has published over 100 short stories and 10 books on fiction and 4 on military history.
Tantric yoga is a form of yoga practice that's aligned with tantra. What is Tantra? It is an ancient spiritual practice originating in India, Tibet, and other parts of Asia. Tantra is often associated with the sensual, spiritual form of sex. Yoga is an ancient Hindu exercise and meditation system and consists of holding certain poses called Asana. The amalgamation of both these disciples is the heart of tantric yoga.
Yoga is well understood in the west, though much of the realization of this art has come only after the 20th century. Still, some Catholics consider it a Pagan ritual. However, a vast majority accept Yoga as beneficial for the human body.
Some of the asanas are easy and some are extremely complex which can be initiated only by a guru. Another aspect of Yoga that must be understood is that in ancient times Yoga was not a mass-based phenomenon but restricted to Yogis and Rishi’s( holy men) who practiced Yoga as a sadhana( concentration). In other words, it was practiced by a select gathering.
One reason for this was that Yoga has also a spiritual connotation that is more important than the physical aspect. It is also a step to Tantra, which is recognized in Hinduism from pre-Vedic age as another path to salvation and god. Thus Tantra and Yoga do have a strong linkage. One of my Gurus Swami Shraddanand of Nirmal Gaon, Bassein Road, close to Mumbai expounded on the concept of nude yoga. I had joined his ashram two decades back when I was posted in Juhu.
Amalgamating the two concepts
What is nude Yoga? In simple language, it means doing the yogic asana in the nude in the company of other men and women. Nude Yoga is not part of mainstream Yoga and is practiced by very few people. It can also be understood only under the guidance of a guru. But it is closely linked with Tantra which is a very important part of Hinduism. Tantra leads to sublime sex where the orgasm is not the goal but a milestone on the way to salvation. Tantra sex relaxes the body and as per Hindu thought is one of the roads to salvation and eternal Moksha (upliftment) and becoming one with the almighty. The other paths are through study, prayer, deeds, and knowledge.
Both nude yoga and tantric sex are interlinked. Nude Yoga is a preliminary step in going on to Tantra practice and concept. Nude yoga gives a practitioner awareness of the body and removes many cobwebs from the mind. It is not easy to start practicing nude Yoga in a small group or with other people. Hence it is best to first practice it in the seclusion of your home till you become aware of your body and can reach a spiritual level where sex becomes second to the asana you are practicing. But all along a guru is most essential, especially in case you wish to graduate to Tantra practice.
Swami Shraddanand when alive was an excellent teacher of nude yoga. Once a person has confidence in his or her body he can start nude yoga in a group. Perforce in nude yoga, the groups are small and must consist of both females and men in equal proportion. This is a step to a realization of the beauty of the body and awareness about it. It also allows you to try and reach a higher mental plane where the nudity of the woman next you to does not disturb you.
But as pointed out by the Yogic teachers some form of attraction is bound to take place. This in itself is a good thing as it makes the next step of learning Tantra easier. Nude yoga not only tones the mind but has many other beneficial effects on the mind. Tantric rituals are much easier to understand and practice. A combination of both these disciples is one of the paths to mental peace and salvation. Nude yoga is difficult enough, but Tantric sex is even more difficult as the fundamental western thought of orgasm takes a back seat.
Both of these concepts have picked up a lot in Africa, Europe, and the USA. Dedicated centers are run in big cities like New York and Los Angeles. It still remains very exclusive because many people have really not understood the concepts and treat it as a plain sensual act which it is not.
References for further study
The Origins of Yoga and Tantra: Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century by Geoffrey Samuel( Cambridge University Press)
Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by David Frawley (2002) Available on Amazon.
© 2021 MG Singh emge