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The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Tantra Yoga

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Aug 17, 2007
The more you learn about any kind of Yoga, the more there is to know. A wise teacher once said, "Every day I wake up to find out I know less than I did the day before."

This is even more true of Tantra Yoga - about which there is much misinformation and distortion of truth. The history of Yoga is long and a bit of a mystery as it migrated throughout Asia. The methodology of Tantra Yoga is too complex for a mere generalization.

Tantra Yoga is a vast subject that cannot be practiced to its full potential by reading books. This style of Yoga requires formal guidance from a Tantra Yoga teacher. There are a few myths about this form of Yoga, which are false or partial truths. Below I will cover a few of them.

Ritualized sex is not a common practice within these Yoga schools. Most Tantrics follow the Dakshinachara path, which is often called, "The right-handed path," within western culture.

This is a deeply spiritual form of Yoga where deities, such as Shiva, are worshipped. Tantra Yoga is an integration of Bhakti Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Mantra Yoga, and Yantra Yoga. The Tantric who follows the Dakshinachara path is usually a good example of tolerance and lives a constructive life.

The Tantric who follows the Vamachara path, which is sometimes referred to as, "The left-handed path," is a Yoga practitioner who participates in sex rituals, drinks alcohol, consumes other intoxicants, eats meat, and sacrifices animals.

Keep in mind, this is the minority, but most of the contemporary Tantra Yogis and Yoginis, who follow the Vamachara path, are practicing a form of "New Age Tantra Yoga," without any direction or guidance from a Guru.

They blindly search for a higher spiritual plane of existence, by trying their best to incorporate magic and witchcraft into this blend of New Age Tantra, without a Yoga teacher.

Is this New Age Tantra really Tantra Yoga? This is a subject for debate, but most of those that follow the Vamachara path, with a lineage, are not going public. On the other hand, the New Age Tantra Yogis and Yoginis, who post their pictures up on the Internet, in pursuit of many different sex partners, are doing their best to go public.

A Yoga teacher is not usually a sex therapist. If a person, or a couple, is experiencing sexual problems, or difficulties, due to trauma, infidelity, levels of sexual interest in each other; that person, or couple, should seek professional help with a qualified sex therapist. It only makes sense that you get counseling from the most professional source.

A sex therapist is not usually a Tantra Yoga teacher. This is just another way to market and re-package sex therapy. If you happen upon a sex therapist, who also claims to be a Tantra Yoga teacher, do a little research first, and you may find the deeper truth about marketing.

Finally, most Orthodox Hindus do not look favorably upon the Vamachara path. For religious fundamentalists, who are not Hindus, the Vamachara path is the "smoking gun" of Yoga, but ironically they point the finger of suspicion toward Hatha Yoga (union by physical mastery) because of its global popularity.

Copyright 2007 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

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