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The essence of Yoga

The essence of Yoga

What are you practicing when you practice yoga?
The yoga that we mostly see in the West is primarily physical. Of course, there are benefits for the mind and emotions, as any conscious movement will benefit the mind and the emotions – many people find long-distance running, for example, to be very meditative.
It’s wonderful that so many people now are drawn to some version of yoga, even those who otherwise would be totally closed to spirituality in any form!
But is this all that yoga can be?
How we see yoga reflects a lot about how we see ourselves.
In a materialist society, where most people are totally identified with the physical body and can’t see beyond it, yoga is only for the physical body.
But what if we are more than that? What if the blood and bones are only the tip of the iceberg?
What if there are dimensions of our existence that are vast and subtle, accessible only when we turn inwards? What if our limits do not end with our skin but stretch into unknown realms, edging on a mystery so profound the whole cosmos seems to circle around it, like a galaxy around the black hole at its center?
With this expanded perspective, we can also start to perceive the deeper dimensions of yoga. The world of energy, subtle realities and the true essence of yoga – our own essence – which is beyond even these phenomena.
We can begin to understand why the great masters and founders of yoga spoke the way they did.
Gheranda, the author of one of the most revered texts of hatha yoga, described yoga as the fire in which a human being can be baked, as a clay vessel is baked so that it can hold water. Our ordinary minds, senses and sense of self are not yet expanded enough to perceive reality in its entirety.
Patanjali wrote, nearly 2,500 years ago: “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. Thus the seer abides in his own nature.”
Yoga is the path, but also the end of the path: union, as is the true etymology of the word “yoga.” The state of unity, of not-two-ness, the state of being undivided from oneself.
It starts with a movement of the body. With a breath.
It ends as this door to nowhere, the strange light created when two mirrors are held to face each other.
And along the way, a process of radical self-discovery, allowing ourselves to unfold in more and more exquisite geometries.
If your heart is yearning to follow a deeper, more authentic path of yoga, you are welcome to join Aum Tantra Yoga in our upcoming 200-hour teacher training course in Mazunte, Mexico. We will explore tantric hatha yoga as it was practiced for hundreds of years, as a system of profound transformation and a path to complete spiritual realization.

Making peace with each other in the age of #metoo

Making peace with each other in the age of #metoo

Relations between men and women should be a dance, not a battle. So why do interactions between the genders seem so fraught with pain, mistrust and misunderstanding?
Often it feels like we can’t see eye to eye because in fact we are interacting shadow to shadow.
Every human being contains a part of their personality which is conscious – the part that seems to be making decisions – and a part which is unconscious.
The unconscious aspect of the personality (the shadow) is often unacknowledged and difficult to access, but it wields incredible power: much more than the conscious mind! This vast network of patterns and deeply ingrained tendencies is largely responsible for our decisions in life, the way we relate to others and to the world in general.
Carl Jung wrote: “Until the unconscious is made conscious, it will rule your life and you will call it fate.”
When patterns in our lives seem to be repeating, when we find ourselves stuck again and again in the same situation, it isn’t that the universe is out to get us. It’s just that something in our subconscious is caught in a loop and pushing us to go through the same experience over and over again.
As a species, between men and women, it seems very much like we have been stuck in a loop. Centuries of pain and abuse, violence and victimhood, passed from generation to generation.
Now, at this precise moment in time, we have a chance to break the cycle. What are we going to do with this opportunity?
Of course, change must come from within, one heart at a time. I say this not to diminish the value or necessity of working for broader social change, but simply to acknowledge the basic reality of our human situation, as a vast network of intimately connected but irreducibly unique beings.
It’s this beautiful paradox: we all influence each other deeply, with everything we do, and yet each one of us belongs only to ourselves. We can only ever change ourselves and let the ripples spread out to the world.
The current movement, #MeToo and everything surrounding it, has a bit of the feeling of a forest fire or an earthquake. Powerful, destructive, frightening even, but with the potential to allow for new creation.
Space for new trees. The roots of new mountains.
As tantra practitioners, we are perhaps both the most sensitive to these dynamics and potentially in the best position to cultivate something fresh and positive from all the upheaval.
What the world needs – what men and women need – is not more laws or contracts or punishments.
It needs more understanding. More compassion. More quietness and space where souls can communicate.
Without making excuses or justifying their actions, we can recognize that those who abuse others are also suffering from a wounded sexuality. We can understand, as Ekhart Tolle so beautifully wrote about compassion, that if we were in their place, with their past experiences, their traumas and their conditioning, we would act in exactly the same way.
The world needs healing for the feminine, which has been violated and suppressed for so long. Healing for the masculine, which has suffered just as much from being cut off from sacred Femininity, from being squeezed into a box where often its only way of expression was through violence.
We need to empower masculinity, not cut it down. Make space for that strong, vertical, divine expression of masculinity that is here to protect and uplift, never to cause harm.
Of course we can’t do the work for other people. But we can do it within ourselves, in how we relate to others and especially by shedding light on the dark parts of our own psyche, the places within that are calling out for healing.
When one person is fully illuminated, that radiance shines on everyone.

Is Tantra a path for women?

Is Tantra a path for women?

While teaching tantra workshops around the world, we see clearly that women are leading the way, both in numbers attending our courses and that the men are often come led by their girlfriend’s hand!
However, so many stories of abusive teachers and toxic communities have rocked the tantra world in the last few years.
This can leave many women wondering, is the tantric path right for me?
Tantra was historically one of the spiritual paths most open to women, one of the few that was truly accepting and honoring of feminine power.
Unlike most organized religion and spiritual disciplines in ancient India (and around the world), tantric teachings were not restricted by caste or gender. The prerequisites instead were integrity, spiritual maturity and authentic aspiration.
In fact, tantra was not just open to women but depended on them.
It is thought that some of the roots of tantra lie in ancient cults of the Divine Feminine. Perhaps as an inheritance from those days, in many tantric lineages women were the initiators, the ones passing down teachings and empowerments through the generations.
Many core elements of tantric practice are very well suited to feminine practitioners, perhaps more so than the cold austerities of Vedanta or other ascetic traditions.
Tantra is a path of energy, of life, of an intimate connection to the elements all around us and within us. It is a path of devotion. It is a path to reaching enlightenment through the senses and the joy of embodiment, embracing beauty, color and multiplicity.
In tantra, the world is Shakti. Everything around us is the Goddess, in Her thousands of faces, and the tantric road to transcendence runs through a direct encounter with the sacred archetypes of femininity. It is a path that loves, honors and adores femininity.
And not just one model of femininity, like that old Christian reverence for the Virgin Mary. Among the tantric Goddesses we find images of beauty, sweetness and joy, but also terrifying power. Shakti takes the form of mother, lover, virgin, seductress, warrior, queen, widow…
So as a woman with a calling to explore tantra, how can you be sure you’re in a safe and authentic path?

  • Look for traditional teachings. Some modernization and adaptation to Western minds is fine and often very necessary, but the heart of the teachings should come from tradition. Spiritual wisdom passed down for centuries is generally more trustworthy than something that someone made up two years ago based on his or her ego, without knowing where it might end up.
    Authentic tantra, it’s important to note, is not only about sex! Sex is just one (very powerful) tool tantrikas use to attain spiritual realization. If you’re hearing only about orgasms and nothing about transcendence, you’ve landed in the realm of neo-tantra.
  • Spend time getting to know the teacher. In Tibetan Buddhism, the old recommendation was to spend 12 years with a teacher before fully accepting him (but then, you’d commit 100%!). Few of us have that much time to spare, but still, take your time before throwing your heart and soul into it. And just as important…
  • Get to know the community. Talk to other students, learn what attracted them to this path or this teacher, and how they feel they’ve changed. Ask yourself, do I want to become like the people who have been a long time around this teacher?
    Study with woman teachers or couples. Of course, this isn’t to say that all male tantra teachers are abusive, but female teachers are often more conscious and committed to creating a safe and protective space.
  • Check if the teacher sees female students as students or as women. It’s natural that men and women are given different advice along the tantric path, but if the only answer a teacher has for his female students’ issues is, “have more sex,” something is wrong.
  • Last but definitely not least, be clear with yourself. You need to know where your own boundaries are and have the self-assurance to stand up for them if they’re crossed. Your heart will tell you if you’re in the right place, you just have to listen.
    Tantra often takes practitioners to the edge of their comfort zone. This is good – it brings fast evolution – but you have to be sure this is what you want. Only when you trust yourself, you can trust the process.

Real tantra will never involve abuse. It will never leave anyone traumatized. There can be challenges along the way, but at the end it’s only love.
Tantric women, let’s hear from you! Do you have any advice for sisters just starting on the path?

Tantra and Homosexuality: The art of sacred intimacy in the homosexual couple

Tantra and Homosexuality: The art of sacred intimacy in the homosexual couple

During our seminars around the world, we often meet homosexuals, both men and women, who ask us if it is possible to apply the principles of tantric sexuality even between two partners of the same gender. To meet this need, we have undertaken research in the context of the ancient tantric tradition but, neither in ancient texts nor in consulting with various masters, we have found references to homosexual sexuality in Tantrism.
Despite this, we have used our experience as yoga and tantra teachers to draw up some guidelines that are also perfectly applicable to homosexual couples.
First of all, we must make it clear that sexual energy is born from the energetic attraction between a masculine and a feminine polarity – Yin and Yang, solar and lunar – which are attracted to each other throughout the universe, from the level of atom to the most complex life forms.
The spark that ignites the sexual charge is nothing else but an electricity generated by male and female polarity.
This is a universal law, like the force of gravity, and cannot be questioned.
It is clear that masculine and feminine are present in each of us, either expressed or in latent form. You can be born in a woman’s body and manifest this energy outside while keeping your masculine side latent, or vice versa. The factors that determine which polarity we naturally express are manifold, linked to our relationship with parents and to education, to social culture, to what we experience in life and probably also linked to karma. What cannot be denied is that both polarities, male and female, are contained in the psychic apparatus of each of us.
Even in homosexual sexuality, the spark is born between a masculine and a feminine energy. This is an inescapable universal law. If there were no such polarity, there would be no fuse that frees this powerful energy which is sexuality.
It is clear that if there is sexual attraction between two men or two women, one of the partners is expressing his feminine aspect and the other the masculine.
Not being a homosexual, I asked many gay friends to tell me about their experience and I discovered that this kind of polarity in homosexual couples can be constant or alternating during the relationship.
Returning to tantric sexuality, a clarification is needed above all for couples of men:
The main foundation of tantric sexuality is the sublimation of sexual energy towards the high chakras, preventing it from being wasted externally with ejaculation.
When a man learns to implode his orgasm instead of exploding it outward, all this energy is channeled into the spine, leading to high states of consciousness as in meditation and prayer. A true spiritual experience!
Containing seminal force requires great control, a certain familiarity in maneuvering one’s own energy and often requires real training on the part of man.
Women in this are more fortunate, as the internal female orgasm is by nature implosive. The energy is freed towards the high chakras without great effort. All that a woman must learn is the ability to totally abandon herself to this experience to liberate its power to the maximum.
When a man makes love with a woman, when she frees all this force that implodes upwards, he can ride the wave and climb with her imploding orgasm. A true alchemical miracle. Man, through the woman’s internal orgasm, can experience orgasmic experiences that involve not only the genital area but the whole body, where the energy rises along the column activating the upper chakra. A great expansion experience!
Surely even in sexuality among men, it is possible to reach such levels and avoid exploding energy outward with ejaculation (this leads to a drastic drop in vital energy and a sense of exhaustion) but this requires a capacity for even stronger energy control.
Also in the masculine body there is an implosive erogenous point positioned in the prostate area and which is stimulated with anal penetration. It is called “point P” and is the equivalent of the G-spot in the woman, being able to release an implosive orgasmic energy even for men.
I kept asking my gay friends if they had ever experienced this experience. I discovered that it is not such a common thing, because anal pleasure frees an energy that is very powerful but still dense and heavy. Linked to the Earth element, it is connected to the first chakra and often remains limited to the low chakras. However, this type of deep, oceanic orgasmic “valley” experience may be possible also between two men.
Speaking of homosexual sexuality, in terms of Yin and Yang energy, there is another aspect to be explored. This has been explained by Mantak Chia, contemporary master of Taoist tantra.
He claims that, since the physical body of two men are still predominantly loaded with Yang energy (with an emissive characteristic), they could undergo an imbalance of this energy. This can lead to a continuous sense of dissatisfaction: sex is never enough, and an excessive need to ejaculate which could lead to the exhaustion of vital energy.
Often, in fact, in male gay environments, sexuality can become really extreme and promiscuous. (Obviously not always! We are talking about people with little awareness of their own energy and guided mainly by animal instincts).
In his books, Mantak Chia provides specific advice for homosexual men, practices to absorb Yin energy to balance the excess of Yang. I report some of them:
• Expose the genital area to the moonlight, full of Yin energy, without clothing of course, to absorb the lunar energy (Yin).
• Create a small hole in the earth and lie down on your stomach putting the penis inside, absorbing the Yin energy of the earth
• Occasionally invite a woman for a three-way tantric ritual (if there is such open-mindedness of both partners, of course).
In the case of homosexuality among women, Mantak Chia speaks of the opposite situation in which there is an excess of feminine, receptive Yin energy. Two women standing together can experience an excess of passivity that can lead to long-term apathy. Frequently two women will end up being together as sisters and sexuality may not be very vital. Obviously, based on the personal predisposition of both women, this cannot be a fixed rule. Following are some practices to balance the Yang energy:
• Allow sunlight to enter the vagina and absorb the Yang energy.
• Extended use of penetration during sexual intercourse between two women, with the help of special tool.
• Occasionally invite a man for a three-person tantric ritual (only if it is lived in a pleasant and harmonious way).
With this I hope I have explored the subject in a complete and politically correct way, without having offended anyone’s sensitivity. For me, love is the only thing that matters, in any form and colors.
My intent is to bring more energy awareness in the field of sexuality but my love and my respect goes to any human being in the same form, regardless of identification with one gender or another.
The human being is wonderful precisely because of its diversity. From everyone there is something to learn and I am open to your comments and your sharing.
Amita – AumTantraYoga

Ethical sexual behavior in Tantra

Ethical sexual behavior in Tantra

The responsibility of teaching tantra and the question of “open relationships”

Teaching tantra is no simple job. Contributing to spread this ancient knowledge that has led to the liberation so many human beings over the centuries must be considered a real mission.
This requires exemplary preparation, both theoretical and in the direct experience of what is taught, with a complete integration of this knowledge into one’s life.
It is necessary to specify that it is not possible to separate tantra from yoga, as the first is considered a branch of the second.
In the last decade, with the boom of yoga in the West, the oriental holistic disciplines have become very fashionable but, often, they have lost the depth of the teachings. Instead, for the most part they have become yet another entertainment for the Western mind always in search of new stimuli. Yoga has become a gymnastics and tantra is a very fashionable thing to improve intimacy, exchange massages or indulge in the pleasures of the body and s*ex.
Tantra is a spiritual path that aims at the recognition of the Supreme Self in each of us.
Tantra is the search for God in the most intimate part of ourselves.
Nothing less than that!
Only by maintaining this approach it will be possible to avoid losing the depth of this ancient spiritual path. On the other hand, it is true that, by taking the path of Red Tantra, which includes the practical use of s*exual energy to access the Divinity that is in each of us, s*exuality becomes something never experienced before, opening up to unimaginable levels of pleasure.
It is also true that, in this journey, partners can find an intimacy so profound and sincere as it is unlikely between two people in bed. But until the two lovers drop the illusion of their identity to become One with the everything, merging into the Supreme Source from which everything derives, it cannot be called tantra.
Along the tantric path, due to the integration of s*exuality as an important human aspect, strong morality and correct behavior are absolutely essential.
S*exuality is one of the most integral aspects of the human being but, for this reason, it is also the most sensitive. It can be the source of the most powerful energy, recharging and regenerating all aspects of our being and our life, or a huge obstacle that blocks the free flow of energy and stifles our human potential.
S*exuality can create the strongest attachments and cloud the lucid vision of the mind and discernment, leading to conduct that does not respect oneself and others.
A tantra teacher must constantly check the purity of the intent and make sure that he/she does not use tantra and the role of the teacher for personal purposes and s*exual gain.
Creating a safe energy space is a primary responsibility of the tantra teacher.
Due to millennia of repressive culture, many women still have difficulties in navigating in the sphere of their own s*exuality.
A high number of women who was abused, often very early in life, approach tantra in search of healing.
This sacred approach can really be a great resource in this case. Experiencing that there are many men willing to honor the body of a woman like a Goddess is already a great healing in itself.
Despite this, these students may feel very vulnerable in the circumstance of a tantra workshop. The teacher has the responsibility to create a safe space where they feel protected and supported.
Many girls idealize the teacher and hope to receive help in the process of freeing their s*exual energy. This could actually happen, as the tantra teacher is an expert, but it is necessary to take very good care to the circumstance.
A girl who is approaching s*exually her tantra teacher out of idealization or projection, most probably can end in some unclear situation which will bring a lot of frustration, jealousy, attachment and pain. It is the responsibility of the teacher to pay attention to this and avoid any unhealthy situation, sometime evaluating that is better to avoid s*exual intercourse with students, for the benefit of the teaching and of the student.
Recently, in different spiritual environments around the world, we have been witness to so many scandals exactly for this reason.
Let’s clarify this: despite what many people think in the modern tantra world, this path does not have to pass necessarily through “open relationships” or promiscuous s*exuality. People often use tantra as an excuse to justify frivolous and shallow behaviors.
You can practice tantra in your long-term relationship as well and this sometimes is even better. By knowing each other so well, the level of intimacy can be really amazing.
Open relationships can be a possibility only if both partners are deeply willing to explore it and no one is suffering. Otherwise this can bring about a lot of difficult emotions to deal with and waste a lot of energy. This is absolutely counterproductive.
Big suffering due to disharmonious relationships can leave traumatic memories in the psychic apparatus that can take years to heal.
Every time, in name of s*exual freedom or the erroneous use of the concept of tantra, suffering is created and also negative karma is created. We do not consider this beneficial for spiritual accomplishment.
Whatever you choose to do in your relationship and in your s*exual life, this is an invitation to be aware not to use the name of tantra as an excuse for dwelling in superficiality and to escape depth and commitment.

Teaching Yoga in the Twentieth Century: Pro’s and Con’s of the Modern Era For Spirituality

Teaching Yoga in the Twentieth Century: Pro’s and Con’s of the Modern Era For Spirituality

What does it mean to be a spiritual seeker in modern times, in the Internet age?
Before the world became so technological, if you wanted to receive the teachings of a master you had to travel across the world, by land, to go and knock at the doors of a guru who likely would test your determination by letting you wait days or months at the doorstep.
Once accepted, the student had to serve the guru and revere his guidance as a servant. In return, he received knowledge. How many of these stories have been known for millennia, in the Himalayas and on the banks of the Ganges! That was the price you had to pay, the fair exchange to receive the teachings of a guru.
Now it’s all different. You can access everything with a click and pay with a bank transfer.
On the internet, even we Westerners can access some of the ancient knowledge of yoga and tantra without moving from home or receive it in a concentrated way in a few weeks, without so much effort.
On the other hand, the “market of spirituality” is so inundated with any kind of information and concentration of disciplines that for those who want to seriously deepen their spiritual research, it’s not so easy to find the right source of knowledge without running into superficial surrogates rather than any authentic kind of yoga or especially tantra.
In the era in which yoga has become only gymnastics and tantra has been transformed into so many things except the original teaching, how do you find your way? How to avoid taking paths that leave you confused and make waste so much time?
Even those who hear the call to teach are confronted with the modalities of modernity. The teacher no longer waits for the students to arrive guided by the law of karma.
If a teacher now wants to fill his or her courses, he must use trendy language, have a website with gorgeous photos, advertise on Facebook, write a book that becomes a bestseller on Amazon, etc…
The truth is that a yoga teacher must spend a lot of time in front of the computer (which is not at all yogic) if he or she wants to spread this knowledge. He must adapt to the language of the world. To carry his message, the yogi must leave the cave where he has meditated for so long and force a foot into the “system.”
He must practice using the computer, write interesting articles and put on a good face to shoot videos to post. Only then he can attract attention!
The “job” of the yoga and tantra teacher has become inflated. What’s more, let’s not forget that while most yoga teachings now are only oriented to the well-being of the physical body, more spiritually oriented teachers must find their place in the same crowd.
So any teacher who feels in her heart that she must bring the more spiritual and esoteric teaching, and that this is what matters the most, must nevertheless jump into the jungle of competition among the millions of teachers who are out there presenting a mainstream, physical version of yoga.
It is not easy to maintain a yogic mental state in these conditions. It is very easy to fall back into mental agitation and lose the “detachment” that is so much taught in yoga.
It is also easy to enter into competition patterns with other teachers, because in any case a school must also survive economically in order to have a future and to be sustainable.
What we see in the world of yoga teachers in the twentieth century is that those who are successful and attract many students are not the teachers who have such strong spiritual aspiration and capacity to inspire other human beings – a fundamental requirement of a teacher – but those who are economically strong and can invest in marketing and advertising.
This is an invitation for every yoga teacher (including us of course) to remain fully aware of ourselves, to understand how the compromises we make in order to teach in modern times affect our own integrity.

Amita

 

The tantric relationship: being together to evolve

The tantric relationship: being together to evolve

The tantric relationship: being together to evolve
16 years together, it seems like an eternity!
In the times in which marriages often end in the third year of living together, our relationship seems like an ancient Egyptian pyramid that resists time and atmospheric phenomena, unwavering and stable. The storm passes, sometimes real cyclones, yet Marco and Amita still come out together. Then the hot, arid desert sun, but Marco and Amita find a way to nurture the foundations of their life together. It’s all true?
Well, of course there were storms, when the hurricanes of the inner turmoil of both of us affected the couple. There have also been certain dry moments, certainly, of those that leave a dry throat.
And yet, even those times when everyone thought we would split, we found a way to rebuild ourselves, to be reborn from our renewed and grown ashes. This is the truth!
It has been certainly not easy, there were times when it seemed impossible to agree on our requirements, so opposite, almost mirror-image.
We both saw our parents suffer as a couple and we had to, in some way, rebuild that inner trust that a man and a woman can be happy together. This has cost a great deal of inner work, individually before that of a couple.
Only when both partners in a love relationship are able to look inward, only when you can bring awareness into the dark shadows that we all carry and turn them into light, then the couple becomes a wonderful tool for growth with two, without fall into mechanisms of projection and manipulation. It takes so much courage!
But it is the only real way to create a solid foundation for the couple that allows the union to survive even in difficult times.
Consecrating the relationship to personal and spiritual growth has always been our philosophy, at the cost of getting out of our comfort zone to face those parts of us that we like the least and that sometimes hurt.
Don’t use the other to feel protected and safe by bury your head in the sand!
Our life together has always been a real “work in progress”, a flow between moments of rest and regeneration and others of great inner work.
This is our recipe and it is also what we want to convey and share through our work, as teachers, where the best version of us comes out!
Marco and Amita

The meaning of some basic terms in yoga practice

The meaning of some basic terms in yoga practice

Resonance

Start or amplification of a vibrational phenomenon in a system under the influence of similar vibrations produced by another system. The phenomenon of resonance takes place when the frequency of a vibration is close, or coincides with one of the frequencies with which the system that comes into resonance is able to vibrate. During the resonance process there is always a transfer of energy from the stimulating system to the stimulated system. At the time of resonance, the amplification increases significantly, showing a typical peak as in the graphs. This phenomenon could become infinite – as happens at higher levels – due to a certain friction that comes to develop with resonance. Being a selective phenomenon, the resonance offers us the possibility to “work” on a large scale with energies that otherwise would be too small or even imperceptible or even to drive the transfer of energy on a certain frequency in relation to a phenomenon. Resonance is an essential, very sensitive method to better understand many phenomena in the world of yoga.

Frequency

Quantity indicating how many times a phenomenon occurs periodically in a given time fraction.

Agreement

Alteration of a specific characteristic of a circuit or vibratory system by means of which its frequency is equal to that of another given frequency. The agreement operation leads to harmony.

Transmutation

The transformation of a nuclear structure of atoms through which one element can become another, or a substance can disintegrate into an enormous amount of energy. The original concept derives from alchemy, where the end of the practitioner was the legendary enterprise of turning metal into gold, this process is called the transmutation of metals. From a yogic point of view, it is shown that it is possible to transform the lower components of the body into higher structures or forms of matter, or even more in different forms of energy. Many of these processes are nowadays known under the name of biological transmutations such as for example nuclear reactions that occur in living beings at normal pressure and temperature. In the human being the process of low-energy nuclear transmutation takes place: during mental activity, in emotional states, erotic experiences, love intercourses and spiritual experiences.

Tuning, unison, consonance

The equalization of specific frequencies of a certain vibratory system (for example the tuning of two string instruments tuned to the same musical note).

Discover how to practice this priciple in our teacher training couses.

Marco – Aum Tantra Yoga

Real Yoga in modern time

Real Yoga in modern time

In recent years we have witnessed a “boom” of Yoga around the world.
If once it was necessary to go to India on the banks of the river Ganges to find a teacher and learn the discipline, nowadays intensive yoga and training courses for teachers are found in almost all latitudes of the planet.
But has the quality of the teachings of Yoga been maintained in this “globalization” of a discipline so ancient and profound?
The answer is unfortunately, no.
In most cases, what is left of the ancient esoteric and spiritual path of Yoga is nothing but a complex series of stretches for muscles and ligaments. These give a healthy and elastic body, a deep sense of relaxation and therefore well-being. But is this Yoga? Bodily health and calmness of the mind?
The answer is again: No!
Don’t get me wrong – flexibility and health of the physical body is a great thing. Yet this aspect is only the tip of the iceberg in the way of Yoga. A positive side-effect that improves quality of life. This is very good but there’s a lot more to discover.
Yoga is the in-depth study of the energetic structure of human nature. This includes a dense network of energy channels and Chakras (energy centers) in which energy flows, or can become blocked. With various techniques including positions, breathing, mantra repetitions, visualizations and meditation, these energy channels are purified and opened in a progressive way so as to be able to sustain higher levels of energy. When the system is perfectly optimized, the energy can flow to the upper chakras to achieve the expansion of consciousness.
In fact, Yogic teachings maintain that most human beings use only a limited part of their potential, and for this reason their level of consciousness remains at a certain level. But human potentiality can be amplified, and anyone who steps on the path of an authentic practice of Yoga can experience it. The levels of vitality, intelligence, intuition, ability to love, personal power etc. are amplified even after a few months of intense practice.
And yet, this too is not the ultimate goal of Yoga.

In Yoga, as in of any spiritual practice, the purpose is to discover the true, universal, Divine nature of one’s being.
Yoga maintains that it is possible for every person to experience this. To feel and sense themselves as inseparable from the universe itself, as eternal and immortal consciousness. This is a mystical experience, a state of recognition of the universal nature of the True Self. Often it is accompanied by a sense of pure ecstasy, a beatific pleasure that infuses being and that brings a beneficial treasure on all levels, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
How? The pathway is in bringing our mental attention inward. We learn, with training, to focus the mind in a single point until the discursive flow of the mind ceases. With mental peace it flows to channel our energies upwards, towards the higher chakras, opening the gates of consciousness.
Recognizing the universal nature of one’s self is the real purpose of the Yogic discipline. This is why the word Yoga means “Union”, that is the union of one’s individual microcosm with the Universal Macrocosm.

We understand that this is much more than the physical discipline that is often found in gyms and Yoga centers around the world – even in our our homes, thanks to the internet. In fact, while on the one hand the knowledge of Yoga has become more accessible, on the other hand this ancient wisdom practice has been emptied of its depth reduced to a form of physical, toning gymnastics.
I have been practicing Yoga for more than 25 years. In those years I have studied in various parts of the world and also in the homeland of Yoga, India. But for a decade of my research I found only masters who instructed me in a re-elasticizing and toning physical practice but which brought very superficial effects on my being. The mind swiftly resumed its agitated conversation, the fears were always the same and it didn’t really seem to me to get a deep transformation.
When I met the authentic and esoteric teachings of Yoga, I immediately understood that what I had practiced up until that moment was only a superficial aspect and that much more was waiting for me. With enthusiasm I threw myself into the study of the energy aspects of Yoga, for years and years my life was marked by an intense practice of 4-5 hours a day on the Yoga mat.
Gradually I began to perceive the inner changes that this produced, I refined my ability to channel energy towards the high chakras allowing the consciousness to always vibrate in a very subtle way. I started using my energies in a much more constructive way. Some changes in life happened naturally, in diet, in work, in my social life and in my relationship with my partner.

A different approach to existence has completely transformed my way of perceiving the world and life. Where there was anxiety, now there is much more expansion, where there was fear now there is so much peace.

Amita Helga Albini – Aum Tantra Yoga

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