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Tantric Yoga Practices for Achieving Nirvana

Posted by on Aug 1, 2012

Within western societies’ Judeo-Christian programming, the sacred and profane are usually kept in their tidy corners, far from mixing in any context or imagery.  We were taught to see sexual activity as either purely procreational or lude, never holy. While the roaring sixties and the dawn of a sexual revolution did much to change attitudes in the US, it is still rare to find cultural references to both divinity and sexuality in the same breath. The temple carvings of Khajuraho, in northern India, prove; however, that eroticism and mysticism are glorious bedfellows.

The frieze above is just one of hundreds in the area. There are rotund beauties offering a pre-coitus glance to their lovers. One can observe ménage à trois sculptures and an eager lover cupping a goddess-like woman’s ample breast. There are dozens of images which seem down-right acrobatic, with lovers in enigmatic poses involving headstands and lotus position during obvious intercourse. The Kama Sutra, was in fact, written by a 6th century AD ascetic, yogi and scholar, Vatsyayana. It seems every page from his book is represented in the temples of Khajuraho.

Female Tantric yogis did not need the help of men to attain enlightenment through Tantric practices, but they were often sought out to aid men in their spiritual aims. The consorts and devotees of a yogini would attain spiritual advancement by her kisses, gazes, and mindful touch.

Tantric yoga is the use of our natural sexual energies to reach a release from the circle of re-birth and death, suffering, and destruction. Interestingly, the French often call an orgasm ‘la petite mort,’ meaning little death.  If you were to contemplate your state of mind during those fleeting moments of an orgasm, you can see why it is likened to death. Your mind for once is still, as it might be after eons of practicing meditation or contemplative exercises. It is blissfullly non-striving. It does not think of the past or the future, but momentarily rests on the present so completely that it is the closest experience to a true spiritual Nirvana we have ever known. Sadly, this bliss lasts for only seconds, while a true  awakening is enduring.

Tantric yogis are aware that the sexual fluids in both men and women are charged with massive amounts of pranic energy or qi. (Chi or Ki depending on the language you choose) There are specific mudras which are utilized in tantric yoga as a means to redirect the sexual energies up the spine instead of losing them through ejaculation in an orgasm, for men, and the process is quite similar for women.

Far from an occult science and definitely not intended to be the sexual free-for-all that many early western Tantric yoga teachers claimed it to be, Tantra is the science of utilizing sexuality to obtain higher states of spirituality. It is often called the ‘left-hand or dark art’ because few are able to remove their egos enough to not spoil the practice. Tantric yoga was not meant to be purely hedonistic, but a way to maintain a clear realization of Emptiness/Bliss/Infinity. After all, sexuality is one of the most potent motivators of all humankind. Wars have been fought over beautiful women throughout history, and our collective anecdotes about sex and power are immense in scope.

Female tantric yogis were given many names, such as: Dakinis (woman who flies), Vidyadharim (knowledge-holder), Vira (heroine) and Keeper of Occult Secrets – Yogini
Tantric Goddess – Khajuraho

While it is suggested that only very aware yogic adepts should practice Tantra, the following energy locks are utilized to build up immense energy in the lower chakras and to then direct it up the sushumna or central channel. When this energy is finally let go, it is so immense, like water in a fire hose, it eradicates any energetic blocks that might stand in the way of the final destination – the Sahasrara chakra. It is through the pineal gland and finally through the crown chakra that one realizes Nirvana or Eternal Bliss.

Let not the body be a method of bondage, but a tool to allow the flowering of immense spirit.

Ashwini Mudra – Ashwini comes from the Sanskrit word meaning horse. The mudra is named for the action a horse takes immediately after evacuating its bowels. By constricting the muscles of the sphincter, one can practice this mudra. The contraction truly involves the perineum, the entire pelvic floor, and buttocks so it is ideal for gathering energy from the root and secondary chakras, muladhara and swadhistana, respectively, to draw towards the higher chakras.

Vajroli Mudra – Vajroli comes from the Sanskrit word meaning thunderbolt. This mudra stimulates the genital walls and helps them to become alive with blood flow and pranic energy. It is practiced by constricting both the urethral muscles and the lingam (phallus – the Shiva lingam can be found all over India, China, and the surrounding areas as a symbol of male creative energy. The yoni is the female counterpart which mimics the receiving vessel that is a woman’s body. The lingam and yoni are like yin and yang, the active and receptive aspects of creation.)

Tantric Buddha – Laksminkara

Essentially, if a man or woman were to cut off the flow of their urine with their PC muscles, they would be engaging the Vajroli mudra. There are thousands of nadis (tiny energetic vortices like acupuncture meridians) in the lower chakras and the sexual organs that are energized through the practice of this mudra. A man can even learn how to ejaculate inside his body, drawing the semen back inside himself to retain the pranic energy that is within it.

A woman can tighten her vaginal walls (as in a kegel exercise, but also utilizing the muscles of the lower abdomen) and also gain enhanced energy in her lower chakras to redirect to the third eye (ajna chakra) and crown chakra. It is with this adept-level practice that he or she can then use that pranic energy to realize spiritual ascension and great physical vitality.

As far as Vajroli is concerned, when a yogi is able to restrain his ejaculation while still experiencing orgasm, this is called Sahajoli. During Amaroli, ejaculation takes place and the amrita (sexual nectar) joins with the feminine sexual fluids and are then drawn back up through the lingam. The latter is a very advanced practice.

Both of these mudras, vajroli and ashwini, can be practiced in either sukhasana or padmasana while maintaining a relaxed position and deep, easy breath. Mastery of Vajroli mudra intensifies orgasm for both men and women.

You can practice these mudras with a partner, allowing your natural sexual energies to comingle, but only enough to stimulate arousal, and then drawing energy consciously, through the breath and mental focus, to the higher chakras. It takes practice for men to actually stop an ejaculation, so care should be taken if birth control is a concern.

You can also practice these mudras on your own, holding each contraction for several breaths, and then letting go of the muscles. You can repeat ten times to begin with and work up to more repetitions as your PC muscles and pelvic floor become stronger.

Christina Sarich is a musician, India-trained yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of having studied Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is

This article is offered under creative commons license. Republish at will as long as all links and writer’s bio are intact.





Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Bihar, India


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