Tantra yoga and asana

When I teach a class in tantra yoga, people are always startled by the fact that tantra yoga has no rules. There is no asana. There is no sequence. The focus, you see, is on aware exploration of the body, not some sort of physical sequence that magically opens you up.

Most people in class are startled because their past hatha yoga classes have taught them that asana and sequences are kinda sacred. They are named after famous yogis and reputed to be handed down through millennia of practice. And if you do 108 of anything, you are sure to acquire karma points!

There is a physical and energetic opening that occurs during any conscientious hatha yoga practice, but that is because you are changing physical tensions as you move and moving energy around your body. But all too often, the high you get is the same high as running or bicycling or any other vigorous activity.

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Your body is tensile!

spirals

As the awareness of our breath tends to be uneducated, so too does the awareness of our bodies. Your body is more than a cart for carrying around your head!

Everyone knows that the body is made up of bones and muscles, and many know that it is all held together by connective tissue called fascia. Since our thinking still tends to be mechanical, very often we think of the body as a mechanical structure, in which the bones are levers and the muscles are pulleys. Like when you lift weights.

 

mechanical model of body

This is not incorrect when you consider the big muscles of the body, but the body is so much more than this. The body is a tensile structure, which means that it has tension, and that it can be stretched and drawn out. Not even our bones are fixed! Bones are made of millions of cells joined together and are designed to flex in three dimensions under pressure.

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