I am writing this blog to work alongside the video that will be released for mental health awareness week. I am a Yoga teacher, orgasmic meditation, transcendental meditation and tantric practitioner. I am also training to be a psychotherapist as I believe that these components; yoga, psychotherapy and tantra (or other mindfulness practices) help to give you a healthy mind.
I have my own mental health obstacles, I have ADHD and suffer from severe bouts of anxiety.Tantra is a way of life that some follow religiously with morning rituals and specific movement routines whilst others use it for the sexual benefits. Myself and my partner mainly use it for the mindfulness qualities (some of which are similar to yoga and meditation which you may recognise) and for the sexual practice.
Today I am going to take you through a beginners short tantric mindfulness sequence that you can practice. This routine should help you to connect to your partner, quieten your mind, relax your body and get sexual energy flowing around the body. My partner and myself ensure that we get at least one tantra session booked in each week but the more the merrier. Some of you may find it strange to schedule in what may turn into a sexual practice but I love it. Allocating the time to do this shows that you put each others needs and your mental health first, it makes you feel appreciated and seen.
1. Set up your space. We call ours the nest. Make a space ideally on the floor. This is your sacred zone. Put down blankets and cushions, light candles and incense, make delicious drinks and perhaps some snacks – chocolate/grapes for later. Make the room warm if possible. I am always cold so I need a warm room to not feel distracted. We like to play music, anything that sets the mood but isn’t too distracting. Personally I can’t listen to anything with words as I start singing along.
2. Enjoy a bath or a shower together, wash each other, dry each other and rub lotion onto each other if you wish. You can now chose to stay naked, put your clothes back on or maybe even a special outfit.
3. Re find your nest. Take a moment to focus on yourself. Find a comfortable seat perhaps with the legs crossed on the floor and with your eyes closed. Imagine your heart chakra (Anahata) in the centre of your chest as a big ball of green energy. Try to imagine this chakra and keep your focus on it for a five minutes. If your mind starts to wander just bring it back to picturing the image of Anahata.
4. Come together for a grounding hug. One person goes first and then you swap. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, slightly bending the knees if its comfortable. The giver brings the awareness to his/her root chakra (Muladara). The giver then hugs their partner by bringing one hand on their lower and one hand on their upper back. The giver takes 10 deep belly breaths imagining that you are grounding your partner into the earth with every exhale. Swap and repeat.
5. Lie down on the floor. This exercise is similar to what you might know as Yoga Nidra. Lie on your back (we like to hold hands here) and gradually go through your body relaxing one part at a time. Ie – the toes, ball of the foot, arch of the foot, heel of the foot all the way through until your whole body is relaxed. Take 5 minutes doing this.
6. Slowly sit up and take a grounding meditation. Find your comfortable seat with a straight spine and eyes closed. Imagine that there is a long line of energy connecting your body to the earth. The energy travels from the earth into your root chakra, making its way up through all the chakras until it reaches the top chakra at the crown of the head. Take a moment to picture this energy. Allow all negative thoughts and emotions to leave your body through this energy channel, then reverse the energy and allow all positive thoughts and emotions to enter through it. Stay here for 5 minutes.
7. Come together and hold hands for eye gazing. We like to kneel but it’s up to you. Choose who will be the giver and who will be the receiver. The giver sends looks of loving energy into the receiver’s eyes. Look into their non dominant eye (if your partner is left handed you look into their right eye). Get playful with this. Sometimes I think of the future, sometimes loving thoughts, sometimes I imagine energy circling between us and sometimes I just look. After one minute swap. To receive just allow your heart to be open and enjoy the sensation. If you are new to this you may laugh but that should ease off as you practice.
8. Find your seat again for Kegels. This is similar to Mulabanhda in yoga. Breathe in and out through your nose for 10 breaths and whilst you do, try and activate and then release your pelvic floor muscles. Try to keep the momentum flowing as you get tired, and keep the pace. I personally do around 10 activations and releases per breath.
9. Sit in the yab-yum position. We practise it with my boyfriend on the bottom and me on the top (this is the traditional way) but feel free to adjust for comfort. With the base person sitting on the floor with their legs in a small bent legged straddle, the top sits on-top facing each other so you are hugging. Feel free to use yoga props of cushions etc to make this more comfortable. Breath together in and out through the nose. Perhaps try breathing in and out for 6 seconds at the same time. You could stay with this or try circular breathing. One person inhale whilst the other exhales, really take notice of each other to make sure you breath at the same time. Breath for 5 minutes. This might make you feel light headed so take care.
10. Finish with a full body hug, a kiss and a thank you. This next part is up to you, you can go back to doing the dishes or…..
Written by Becky Crepsley-Fox (Previously known as Spooner)
Becky soon took her first of three (so far) yoga teacher trainings and started teaching yoga right away. She now teaches 5 styles of yoga; Hatha, Vinyasa, Rocket, Ashtanga and Yin and teaches full time in yoga studios around North/East London. Alongside the yoga training, Becky also trained to become a personal trainer and a children’s yoga teacher. She is currently training to become a psychotherapist, has taken meditation courses and is a tantra practitioner.