"Tantra is not about the sacredness of sex, but about the sacredness of everything, including sex." -Rashmi Tantra
So, maybe you're intrigued by the idea of Tantra, but feel a bit overwhelmed or ill-prepared to explore it on your own. Or maybe you've tried it, but feel as though you're ready to have guidance in pushing your boundaries, and taking your practice to a new level. This is exactly where the right Tantra practitioner's help can make all the difference.
The basis of Tantra
Tantra practices are more about mastering and understanding our own energy than with the sex act in particular. However, sexual energy is an element of human nature. As Rashmi Tantra explains, Tantra “accepts human nature as it is and then elevates it, rather than avoiding/denying human nature and human desires.” Tantra does not consider sex "impure." The body is viewed as a vehicle for enlightenment.
“The balance created by Tantric practices [allows] seekers [to be] fulfilled, while neither chasing nor denying the pleasures and passions of life.”
More-conventional Tantra instructors may focus solely on the idea of sacred sexuality, which practitioners like Rashmi consider separate from the original Tantra teachings. “Many Neo-Tantra workshops are [really just] sex education workshops,” says Rashmi.
Diana Daffner, certified sexologist and author of Tantric Sex for Busy Couples, agrees that the purpose of Tantra originally “was not to have better sex or to improve relationships. It wasn’t even to be practiced by couples. It was to help individuals reach their own higher consciousness, to enter the liberating experience of heaven, or 'nirvana.' Some, but not all, Tantric sects...embraced sexual activity.... The sexual practices were designed to provide the practitioner with orgasmic intensity as a pathway to divine energy. It was never about having more enjoyable, sex. It was a spiritual training.”
But, as Daffner explains, “When Tantra was introduced to the Western World in the second half of the 20th century, it took on a new flavor. This teaching of intention [resonated with many people, and began to be] applied as [a way to cultivate] awareness into today’s busy world.”
Different modalities of what some call Tantra and others call "sacred sexuality" have arisen and can provide benefits to modern couples as well as individuals. Rashmi explains, “The practice of Classic Tantra benefits everyone—especially couples—because it transforms at the individual level. By practicing a Tantric life style, couples find balance, harmony and fulfillment within instead of demanding/expecting it [from a] partner. That path usually leads to guilt, resentment, depression and the eventual dissolution of the domestic alliance.”
Daffner says, “Tantra offers couples a way to approach their relationship as a sacred experience, both in and out of the bedroom. Bringing conscious attention to shared time together is what keeps love alive.”
Sex offers greater potential for pleasure when both partners are aware and mindful. Our senses awaken when our hearts are open. A Tantra workshop or coach offers the opportunity to learn to apply Tantra principles to one's life.
Below is a comprehensive list of Tantra/sacred sexuality workshops, classes and coaches throughout the U.S., with details to help you choose the best coach or workshop for you.
1. TantraNova Institute (Chicago, IL)
What they offer: Workshops and private coaching for couples and singles, workshops just for women, and online coaching programs.
If you're interested in integrating ancient practices with modern ones, TantraNova is right up your alley. Dr. Elsbeth Meuth and Mr. Freddy Zental Weaver, both internationally renowned workshop leaders, relationship and intimacy coaches, and certified Tantra Yoga teachers, founded TantraNova in 2001 to help women and men rediscover their innate energy—the fundamental life force that allows us to be wholly connected and fulfilled both internally and in relationships with others.
Their method blends the old and the new—hence the term "Nova." They draw on the ancient Eastern practicse of Tantra and the Tao as well as modern Western disciplines such as human development and self-discovery. Western lovemaking is typically goal- and performance-oriented, but Tantra emphasizes an energy connection and deepening of intimacy, allowing for deeper intimacy between the couple.
Check out the options here.
2. Sacred Garden of Tantra (Portland, OR)
What they offer: Private coaching/instructions with Founder/Owner Rashmi (women and couples only), or various Tantra classes for singles and couples.
Why choose: If you are looking for a pure approach to tantra. Rashmi's teaching style is traditional and authentic, and has been practiced for at least 15-20 generations from it’s origin in India within her family. It's a spiritual awakening, showing a path of living with bliss, fulfillment & harmony with one’s own divine self and everything around. Rashmi's workshops are unique in the US, because few teach the actual teachings of Tantra from it’s origin and it’s subtle yet deeper meaningful practices.
Check out the options here.
3. Intimacy Retreats (Siesta Key, FL)
What they offer: Workshops for couples only.
Why choose: If you want a couples-focused workshop that mixes Tantra and Tai Chi. Richard and Diana Daffner, authors of Tantric Sex for Busy Couples, are both Certified Sexologists and also certified teachers of T'ai Chi Chih®. They've led intimacy retreats across the United States and internationally for over 15 years. They developed a unique program they call Tantra Tai Chi. Tantra and Tai Chi are both practices intended to help individuals balance and circulate their internal energy. The Daffners created their Tantra Tai Chi program to help couples awaken and honor their intimate connection by teaching them about energy, and the movement of energy, through the body, as shared exercises. Couples are given “home-play” assignments they can use in their hotel rooms at the workshop that personalize the principles from the Tantra Tai Chi moves.
Book a workshop here.
4. Devi Ward Tantra
What they offer: Classes, workshops and coaching for individuals and couples.
If you're totally focused on increasing pleasure, Devi Ward is an internationally recognized Tantra and sexuality expert who can help. She's been featured on Playboy Radio, in Men's Health magazine, on NBC, CBS, and Rogers TV. She specializes in Tibetan Tantra, a style of sacred sexual practice that combines ancient Tantric sexual and non-sexual teachings from Tibet, Taoist sexual yoga practices, Tantric Movement, Transformational Communication and Somatic/Tantric Healing Methods. Tibetan Tantra approaches “pleasure as medicine” and sex as a healing art.
Ward practices and teaches Tibetan Tantra under the guidance of Lama Tashi Dundrup of the Shangpa Kagyu Lineage. Ward teaches keys to awakening your full orgasmic potential, including sexual mastery for men and how to awaken the (10+) different types of orgasms women can experience.
Check out the options here.
5. Ecstatic Living Institute (San Francisco Bay Are, CA)
What they offer: Workshops and events at retreat centers all over America, and well as in destinations such as Costa Rica.
World-renowned Western Tantra pioneer Margot Anand, founder and creator of SkyDancing Tantra, studied with the world’s prominent masters of Hindu and Buddhist Tantra (including the great mystic, Osho, in India) for decades. SkyDancing Tantra is a unique path that weaves together her studies in humanistic and transpersonal psychology, bodywork therapies, sexology, yoga, music, and metaphysics with human energy movement, visualization, and a deep focus on the energy map of the chakras.
The Ecstatic Living Institute was founded in 1999 by Steve and Lokita Carter, pioneers in ecstatic living and Tantra instructors who taught thousands of people the art of SkyDancing Tantra—ecstatic living and loving. Since 2000, Margot has been closely associated with the Ecstatic Living Institute.
Workshops at ELI are led by Tantra instructors taught in the lineage of SkyDancing Tantra. Workshops focus on Tantric massage and Tantric intimacy, and private, custom coaching sessions are available for couples and individuals.
6. Tantra for Awakening (Sedona, AZ)
What they offer: Tantra and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, plus couples' retreats in Sedona, AZ.
If you want a customized Tantra vacation, these couples' retreats, held in a spa-like setting, can be booked for as little as one day for up to 14 days. Each retreat is tailored to the couple's unique needs and desires. Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Counseling are also offered, along with other types of coaching and workshops.
Private coaching sessions are facilitated by the founder Crystal Dawn Morris, a Certified SkyDancing Tantra Teacher and Intimacy Coach. She has over 20 years of experience as a healer and teacher and has a diverse background as an RN, Certified Nurse-Midwife, Reiki Master, Shamanic Practitioner and Minister.
Check out the options here.
7. Institute for Conscious Sensuality (Pahoa, HI)
What they offer: Workshops for couples and individuals.
If you want to learn about conscious sensuality, not just Tantra, Robert Silber, M.S., LMT is a fantastic teacher. He founded the Institute for Conscious Sensuality (ICS), and teaches sacred sexuality workshops around the world. He coaches individuals and couples and is a licensed massage therapist.
His bodywork incorporates elements of lomi lomi, Thai, cranial-sacra,l and pelvic-release techniques. He is also developing a new home for ICS on 25 acres in Hawaii, where he hopes to provide a community grounded in conscious communication and intimacy practices with beautiful spaces, permaculture gardens, sustainable living, and spiritual cultivation.
8. Tantric Retreat (Asheville, NC)
What they offer: Retreats and sessions for men, women, and couples.
If you want to discover a bit of everything with hands-on bodywork, Tantric Retreat is a discreet option. Practitioners offer sessions at their private location for men, women, and couples, as well as custom individual and couple Tantra retreats. They use guided energy work, breath work, and sacred intimate touch, including full-body Tantric touch.
Practitioners do not perform massage therapy, but instead use various techniques and movement to relax your muscles, awaken the energy within and get vital energy flowing. Tantric touch is done with the intention to help you become aware of your sexual essence for healing, inspiration and spiritual connection. They also offer a four- or six-session mastery series to deeply study the practice of Tantra.
Check out the options here.
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