What is tantra?
Although often synonymous with sex, tantra is really about connection — whether that’s with yourself or between you and a partner.
After all, the word itself — derived from the ancient Sanskrit — means “web” or “to weave energy.”
In practice, tantra is about enlightenment: to transcend both the sexual and spiritual planes by engaging in deeply meditative, spontaneous, and intimate sex.
It’s about getting to know your body
Like yoga, tantra is all about physical and spiritual awareness.
When you learn and practice tantra, you become more in-tune with your body, what gives it pleasure, and the way it feels pleasure. This allows you to pay better attention to your body’s wants and needs and make sure they’re fulfilled.
Plus, the energies you channel during tantric sex flow throughout your body and can intensify your orgasm.
And if you have a partner, getting to know their body, too
Tantra isn’t only focused on reaching a higher state of mind-body consciousness. It can also be about creating a deeper, more harmonious bond with your partner.
When you practice tantra, you and your partner learn to be physically aware and spiritually present, feeding each other energy that continues to grow well after you’ve finishing having sex.
Tantra also allows you both to explore and expand all aspects of your personalities, so that you begin to truly know the other person inside and out.
Interested in practicing tantra, but don’t know how to approach this conversation with your partner? Sofia Sundari, a writer and sex empowerment coach, suggests the following tips on her blog:
•Try not to overwhelm your partner with information. Instead, explain to them what you enjoy about your sex life and how you could enhance the experience.
•Listen to what they have to say. Your partner may give you an enthusiastic yes or a hard no. Or they may be somewhere in the middle. No matter their response, listen to and respect what they have to say.
•Let a teacher lead the way. If your partner is open to tantra, seek out a teacher who can guide you both as you learn more about the practice.
How to prepare your mind
Tantra is a spiritual practice, which means your mind comes into play as much as your body.
When you practice tantra, you’re connecting your body, mind, and soul. A clear mindset and willingness to step out of your comfort zone are important to uniting those parts of yourself.
Some people find that spending 10 to 15 minutes in meditation can help prepare your mind for tantra practice, as it allows you to go inward and examine your thoughts.
How to prepare your space
Tantra is a holistic practice. It isn’t about sex or orgasm — it’s about the journey to get there. Your environment has a direct impact on your mindset and your ability to relax and enjoy that journey.
How to build the moment when you’re solo
There are many ways you can implement tantric principles when you’re alone. But remember, the end game isn’t always masturbation — you can work up to solo play or decided not to go there at all.
Meditation is a great way to free yourself of all that’s holding you back. But instead of letting the energy flow out of you, ground yourself. As you meditate, let your energy flow downward into the earth. Let that energy build and spread throughout your body, giving you strength.
Make your self-massage a full-body experience. Get your favorite oil or lotion and pour it all over your skin. As you rub your oil or lotion in, spend time massaging your belly, groin, inner thighs, arms, neck, and chest.