Tantra has been shrouded in mystery and misconceptions for centuries. In recent decades, its general understanding has been broadened, and its practices have become much more common. Tantra is a form of spiritual practice where yoga, meditation, and philosophy is applied for transformative experiences. It is often linked to spiritual awakening, exploring the physical sensations of the body, and expanding consciousness.

Tantra is believed to have originated from India around 1000 BCE and evolved as a combination of yoga, Hinduism, and Buddhism. As it spread, it evolved to include different forms of ritual, meditation, visualisation, and prayer. The term ‘tantra’ itself is derived from the Sanskrit word tan, which translates to ‘stretch’, and trá, which means ‘instrument’. This references tantra’s focus on stretching and expanding the boundaries of what the human experience is or can become.

At its simplest, tantra is a way of using our bodies and minds to explore states of higher consciousness. Examples of this include kriyas, or yogic breathing practices, and visualizations called kundalini. Tantra is also used in combination with other spiritual practices, such as inner guidance and energy healing. By practicing tantra we can learn how to stay present, work with our physical forms, and reverse the conditioning we’ve naturally acquired from our lives.

The goals of tantra are both physical and spiritual. Physically, tantra seeks to explore the senses and awaken the body’s sexual energy. Spiritually, it focuses on bringing about a personal transformation by challenging our mental and emotional conditioning, and ultimately resulting in self-awareness. The key to achieving these goals is a combination of mindful physical exploration, meditation and mindfulness, and working with both conscious and unconscious energies.

The main philosophies that underlie tantra include connecting with higher spiritual power, transformative energy, and inner guidance. Depending on the practitioner, these beliefs may be expressed in varying degrees and in different ways, from an Eastern-based understanding of the Chakras, to a Western-based exploration of archetypal energies. The practice of tantra involves different methods for accessing and exploring the physical and psychic energies which are believed to connect us to our higher selves.

Tantra can be a powerful, life-changing experience for anyone willing to open up and explore the boundaries of themselves and their desires. To do this, it is important to create a safe and supportive environment. This can be done through various practices such as yoga and meditation, as well as finding a support system or a teacher who is experienced in tantra. It is also important to understand that the spiritual and physical exploration that comes with tantra can be both challenging and liberating.

The practice of tantra in the East is different from the Western approach. While in the East, tantra is mainly for spiritual and psychic advancement, in the West, it is seen more as a way to amplify physical pleasure and sexual intimacy. There are various practices that can be used, including breathing and energy-connection techniques, visualization, and physical postures. With a combination of physical and spiritual exploration, tantra allows for an opportunity to open up new pathways for personal growth and self-fulfillment.

In summary, tantra is an ancient yet modern practice which combines physical and spiritual exploration. It enables us to explore our physical senses and energies, deepen our connection with our higher selves, and open up new pathways for personal growth and fulfillment. Through mindful exploration and practice, it can be a powerful tool for awakening and transformation.