What is asana?
Asana is the physical postures and shapes in which we create. When we understand what the different shapes can create, energetically we can masterfully create a unique energetic flavour to help balance our energies and or our nervous system. There are 6 main pose categories that we focus on in Tantra Hatha. Forward folds, backbends, twists, laterals, extensions and inversions.
What is pranayama?
Pranayama is energy management through breath control. We breath automatically all day and every day, if we’re not breathing, we are dead. I believe our breath is a direct representation of our quality of life. Through managing our breath with breath holds (kumbacha), energy locks (bandhas) and length of breaths we can create different energies. The more awareness we have over this the more we can control our life.
What is mantra?
Mantra is not a thing or an object, its closer to a state of consciousness. It’s a particular sound and vibration that is the framework of manifestation and creation. It has the capacity to heal, transform, inspire, protect and enlighten. Spoken mantra impacts the conscious mind and silent mantra impacts the unconscious and deeper layers of the mind.
What’s the difference between hatha and vinyasa?
Vinyasa is a practice that involves moving quite a lot, usually one breath per one movement. In Tantra Hatha the poses are held for longer periods of time allowing one to see the inner workings and limitations of the mind. An advanced vinyasa class becomes is restrictive and or limiting due to physicality, age or fitness level. An advanced hatha class with kumbahka ,mantra and bandha is accessible to everyone. The layers of practice facilitate a deeper spiritual practice rather than merely a physical workout.
Why pranayama, then meditation?
In the Tantric system pranayama comes before meditation as we use pranayama (breath) to connect with the mind. The mind is then more concentrated enabling a much deeper practice.
Why meditation after savasana?
Savasana no longer is the final pose of the practice. It is a transitional pose bridging the asana portion and the seated practices. This prepares the body and the mind for the most important phase - meditation. Practicing in this order helps achieve higher states of consciousness as we use the body (asana) to connect to the breath (pranayama). The breath to connect to the mind (meditation) and mind to connect to source (samdhi)
What is kriya meditation?
Kriya meditation works not on trying to still the mind but rather utilise it. It is an internal action or intention that is coupled with directed breath and movement of attention and awareness. While Pranayama is just breath on its own, kriya is an internal mechanism or movement with the intention of bringing more focus and to create a more concentrated mind. Following this is a static portion, before we then come to rest in a meditation gate, whether that be naval, heart or third eye.
Why do we chant or use mantra?
A specific mantra with a particular intention and vibration will amplify the intention of the practice. During asana mantra is utilised to penetrate deeper layers of our being of which asana alone cannot reach. Asana tends to only reach the superficial nadis (energy channels) Silent mantra with its subtler vibration goes even deeper than the spoken.
Is mantra during class compulsory?
Nothing is compulsory. Like anything though, the more layers we add to our practice with the right intention the more we will get out of our practice.
Is Tantric Hatha Yoga a workout?
It can be but that is not the main objective. Tantra is more about energy management and uniting our forever changing and never changing aspects of our being. This offers a complete practice for us to embody, embrace and live our best human experience. It should be considered as a spiritual practice.