Yoga & Tantra
Yoga in Western Societies
The practice of yoga got very popular in western societies since the early 90s, in very different styles and variations: Acro-Yoga, Ansura-Yoga, Ashtanga-Yoga, Gay Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Hot Yoga, Iyenga-Yoga, Kundalini-Yoga, Nude Yoga, Shiva-Mukti-Yoga, Sivananda-Yoga, Vinyasa-Flow & Power Yoga... Some of them are very sportive, some more meditative, some are more about body fitness, others to support the spiritual life some very static, and others dynamic. Finally, they reflect the different types of characters of human beings, so that everyone can find his adequate way practicing yoga for many different kinds of reasons.
Yoga at its Origins
In ancient yoga traditions, core teaching and practices are about body awareness and meditation. The practitioner surrenders into a certain posture (asana) and relaxes body and mind. In this way not only the flexibility of the body increases but also the ability to voluntarily surrender. This increases the degree of one's presence, consciousness and ability to go beyond the body limits.
The Connection between Yoga and Tantra
For the purpose of training one's consciousness and meditation, yoga suggests a more ascetic lifestyle, including reducing sexual activities. According to yoga, they disturb the peace of consciousness.
Tantra also wants to achieve the peace of consciousness and enlightenment but shows through different ways to put awareness not only to the body or to the breath, but also to the flow of sexual energies. In other words, tantra is yoga in a sexual context.
Yoga helps the tantra not to get reduced to spectacular sex techniques and Tantra helps yoga not to remain in ascetic withdrawal but to be part in the everyday life where sexuality is a part of.