“Sexual healing is not just a Marvin Gaye song,” says the late Psalm Isadora, sex and tantra expert, at Mindvalley’s A-Fest 2016 on the beautiful island of Mykonos, Greece. (Psalm sadly passed away in 2017, but her teachings are still available on Mindvalley’s Tantra Touch Quest.)
She explains it’s something that many of us are starving for. And tantra may just be the solution.
For some of us, the word ‘tantra’ equals sex. For others, however, it’s a philosophy of healing and connection. It’s a way to find that aliveness and bliss within us — something that many of us have learned to repress.
So here are some frequently asked questions about this practice:
- What Is Tantra?
- Where Did Tantra Originate?
- Why Is Tantra Important?
- What Is…
And sprinkled in are great pearls of wisdom from a wonderful and beautiful teacher, Psalm, may she rest in peace.
What Is Tantra?
The word ‘tantra’ loosely means loom or weave in Sanskrit. It’s more commonly referred to in regard to tantric sex. And those who practice it “weave” the physical with the spiritual.
It’s an ancient spiritual path with the belief that our bodies, emotions, and minds are composed of the Divine. And we can reach it by going deeply into any sensation, emotion, or thought.
According to Psalm, it teaches you “how to be authentic in intimacy and say what you really want as well as being vulnerable enough to connect on a deeper level.”
What does that mean? A total mind-body-spirit connection.
What is tantra practice?
Tantra practices enable us to release any emotional baggage, shame, and insecurities that are holding us back. There are several aspects to tantra, including:
- Tantric sex
In life, we go through many sufferings, misunderstandings, and confusion. From time to time, the world can seem like a confusing place.
Pain allows us to learn and grow, and there are many lessons to learn. Yet, dwelling in place too long can take a huge toll on our emotional well-being.
But tantra practices can allow us to find that aliveness within us — that calm center was always there, but we forgot about it. As Psalm says, “Our soul is here to have an experience.”
Where Did Tantra Originate?
Going down the timeline, tantra emerged in India around 500 A.D. The name tantra comes from sacred instructional texts that describe rituals for invoking all-powerful deities.
As old kingdoms fell and new ones rose, new rulers were drawn to the allure of tantra, which promised worldly and spiritual power. So they commissioned magnificent temples, paying homage to the tantric lords.
With the British rule of India, tantra adopted a more sexual expression that led up to the modern-day perception of tantra that we know today.
Why Is Tantra Important?
In more modern terms, this practice helps you be mindful during your escapades so you can have a healthy and thriving sex life. Psalm says, “One of the most beautiful things we can ever do is have that experience of connection and sex with another.”
And sex, she adds, is “the core of what our lives are built on.”
She’s got a point, right? We all come from sex. So obviously, it’s the most natural thing, one would think.
However, in this day and age, where transformational growth is a thing, it’s one of the areas that often gets overlooked. In fact, the 2021 General Social Survey found that 26% of American adults didn’t have sex once over the past 12 months.
Sex — the word and even the act — is not given the respect and honor it truly deserves. So, with tantra, sex is no longer something shameful or pornographic.
With tantra, sex is about moments of intimate connection that inject aliveness and vitality and allows you to reclaim your sexual power.
What Is Tantric Sex?
While the common understanding of sex is to orgasm, tantric sex (also called tantra sex) is otherwise. It’s a slow, meditative sexual experience that allows you to enjoy the journey in its entirety — from foreplay to expressing your sensual emotions to feeling the sensations in your body.
But what if sex, sensual touch, and intimacy could be more than just physical sensations? What if it could be a doorway back to yourself?
As with all journeys of transformation, the pleasure comes with the pain.
That’s because your mind is your biggest sex organ. Tantra helps you be present in the moment, so the downside is that negative self-beliefs may just surface.
Sex is like a Rorschach test. We project parts of ourselves onto it: longings, trauma, feelings, and hidden parts of yourself, not expressed in our everyday life. What turns you on right now tells a story about you, both about your history and who you are in the process of becoming.— The late Psalm Isadora, trainer of Mindvalley’s Tantra Touch Quest
Tantra sex positions
While tantra helps you heal, kama sutra can help guide you in the art of love and living virtuously. And if you’re down for it, here are six positions Psalm suggests for you to try:
- Cowgirl Come Again. This is a woman-on-top position, which allows the woman to orgasm more easily as well as gives her control to create the pace and depth of penetration.
- Sexy Spoons. Spooning creates a feeling of security and intimacy while adding a dash of erotic entry from behind.
- Doggy Style On Her Belly. This really gets the man’s heart rate pumping. And to add more friction and skin-to-skin contact, the woman can lie on her belly.
- Happy Boyfriend. This one’s for the flexible — the woman is on her back with her knees bent towards her chest. She can put her feet on his chest to control the depth of the penetration.
- 69. A classic, don’t you think? If you’re unfamiliar, it’s when both the man and woman are giving and receiving oral sex at the same time. Psalm says, “This is great for foreplay or when you’re both turned on for that climax to come quickly from the lightest touch.”
- Yab-Yum. The woman sits on the man’s lap, allowing them to feel three points of contact. This turns regular sex into tantric sex and energy orgasms.
The intimate moments of your life can be greater than just physical release. They can be the doorway to new realms of awareness, healing, and abundance of spirit.
Sex can be a celebration, not just a game of giving and taking. It can lead you to transcend unworthiness and other mental blocks which hold you back in life.
What Is Tantra Massage?
Tantra massage is often mistaken as sexual. The difference is, though, that sexual massage is on a physical level with the intention of leading to sex. And a tantra massage? It’s about deep breathing, delayed gratification, and spreading the energy.
Giving and receiving pleasure — that’s its main focus. And when you approach your partner’s body (or even your own), it’s considered a sacred ritual. That’s why it’s sometimes called ‘sacred spot massage.’
And what are the sacred spots on the body? There’s the yoni (vagina) and the lingam (penis). For that reason, there’s the yoni massage and the lingam massage.
Types of tantra massages
Tantra massage is more than just an appetizer. When it’s used mindfully, it can connect your sexual energy with a powerful awakening and healing.
- Yoni massage. This massage allows the yoni owner to feel loved, worshiped, and honored. Its aim is to give you more energy and more pleasure. Additionally, it’s known to have helped some women heal their sexual shame and trauma. So slow your roll and awaken your inner sex goddess with a yoni massage.
- Lingam massage. For most men, the goal is ejaculation. However, with the lingam massage, it’s about giving, receiving, loving, and worshiping. Thus, the focus here is to stimulate the whole body so that the man is at the edge of feeling aroused for a longer period of time.
Remember: tantra massage is not about sex. It’s about understanding your sexual energy, awakening your sacred sexuality, and creating a deeper, more intimate connection with your partner.
What Is Tantra Yoga?
Tantra yoga — or orgasmic yoga, as Psalm calls it — brings together meditative and yogic practices. The goal of it is to provide a deeper understanding of the self as well as to promote feelings of self-love and acceptance.
The benefits of this practice are:
- Stress relief
- Increased connection with your partner
- Increased sex drive
- More pleasure
- Better sleep
- Improved mental focus
“You can use it as foreplay before you have sex and make love and connect,” advises Psalm. “Or you can just use it as an everyday thing to do with each other, to deepen your intimacy, your relationship, and your connection.”
What Is Tantra Meditation?
Meditation combines mindfulness and breathing to open our chakras. And once those chakras are open, energy flows freely through our chakra system.
Tantra meditation takes it a step further by adding movement and sound to the mix to awaken the senses.
There is plenty of research out there that details the benefits of meditation. In fact, a 2019 study on the role of sexual mindfulness showed that “sexually mindful midlife adults were more satisfied with their relationships and sex lives and had better self-esteem.”
According to Psalm, tantra meditation will give you “a huge ‘a-ha’ moment when you’re stuck in these intimacy blocks and not being able to open your heart to receive and connect more deeply.”
Curious to see how it’s done? Here’s a demonstration of one of the tantra meditations:
Awaken Your Tantra Magic
Make love. Just make love.– The late Psalm Isadora, trainer of Mindvalley’s Tantra Touch Quest
There’s beauty in tantra — the journey of discovering an authentic connection with your partner and the journey of healing to embrace your most authentic self.
During her time in this world, Psalm shared her beautiful story of tantra so that you may discover how to go on yours. So if you’re curious to know more about the world of tantra, you can learn from Psalm and be inspired by her work at Mindvalley’s Tantra Touch Quest.