Tantra and Anusara

February 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Yoga Articles

Tantra is an ancient practice that is the basis of the philosophy behind Anusara Yoga, but many are confused about exactly what Tantra is. Hoping for some clarification, I turned to Anusara yoga founder John Friend, who endeavored to explain Tantra’s basic tenets.

Yoga Guide: Can you offer a short, layman’s explanation of tantra?

John Friend: Tantra is both a philosophy and a set of practices to directly experience more interconnection with each other, with life, with the planet. Tantra is a path of expanding love, beauty, and delight within everyday life.

YG: What is tantra’s role in Anusara yoga?

JF: Tantra is the philosophical basis of Anusara yoga, whose foundation is a life-affirming, non-dual form of Tantra that we call Shiva-Shakti Tantra. It is a modern synthesis of principles of Hindu Tantra and cutting edge science. Our philosophy honors and glorifies consciousness and its power, male and female, sun and moon; this is Shiva-Shakti Tantra.

YG: What role does sex play in tantra?

JF: When most people (especially those in the West) hear the term Tantra, they commonly understand the term to refer to esoteric and exotic sexual practices imported from India. Although Tantra does include sacred sexual practices with the intention of spiritual awakening, increasing power, and experiencing bliss through embodiment, it is more fundamentally about living skillfully in harmony with Life and with Nature. It is not a base, sensually indulgent, dharmically irresponsible practice. Rather, it is a vision that sees everything as a form of the Supreme and it is a path to aligning with the Divine.

YG: How can tantra impact daily life?

JF: Tantra is a map for how to live each day in harmony with Nature, with one another, with Spirit. By applying the Universal Principles of Alignment of Anusara yoga on a daily basis, you can align yourself emotionally, physically, psychologically, and spiritually with the Divine life force. Living in this way brings a balanced vibrancy to the physical body, increases the capacity for compassion and love, and helps to cultivate a luminous mind and a delight-filled heart.

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