Durga's Tiger School® of Tantra, Yoga, Arts & Shamanism
Yoga School in Ecuador
Tantra Yoga School in Ecuador and the World:
Durga’s Tiger Yoga School’s original location is in Ecuador, South America. And over the time expanded to Europe and North América.
The ever-smiling Durga Devi has the weapons to fight the demon in all possible forms. Durga gives her followers on the Yoga path the tools to fight their own inner demons in a gentle manner. In Indian iconography the tiger stands for god’s grace. In the shamanic cosmovision of the Amazon the tiger stands for relaxed power in action, and patience. Like a tiger you sometimes have to wait until the right moment occurs. For us, the tiger is a bridge between Indigenous and Vedic wisdom.
Iris Disse is a composer, writer, radio producer, and filmmaker. In 1993 she got to know Tantra Yoga practice and philosophy with her partner David Höner. It changed her life in a profoundly positive way, and she saw that the different twines of what it means to be human are woven into a colorful tapestry instead of shocking opposite and antipodes.
Tantra Yoga is an amazing tool to integrate all these facets into your life. All of us at this Yoga school are convinced that with this approach to life we can create a more peaceful world where people live their lives in creativity and harmony with the sacred law. For us, this includes the acceptance of co-responsibility for what happens in the world and being a part of the solution, not the problem.
We are in the creation of a community in a river valley, close to the sea side to bring the Durga´s Tiger teachings in our every day life: Durga’s Tiger Land.
Let’s ride Durga’s tiger!
A tantric Yoga school where art and yoga meet the shaman.
by Iris Disse
Published in Yoga Actuel Magazine, Germany. Magazine for Yoga & Spiritual Wisdom.
I want to go home. Peace, joy, the “one”. Light. A deep sexy adventurous peace in me – independent of what is going on outside of me. The outside is dancing on my nerves. The banking system – crime against the peoples, which proves to be legal. People starve themselves to death – but there is food for everyone. The powerholders of the planet who have not yet understood that even their children and grandchildren cannot breathe oil either. Whoever sells weapons sows refugees. What do I know? Wherever I look – the madness of normality. I have done something about it in my life – as a theatre woman, as a social filmmaker. Now there are doubts again. What should I do now? Stability I get again and again dancing the tantric path, diving to the depth of myself. Everything that exists is sacred. Even the stockbroker. Also the warmonger. What the Almighty does not want does not exist. Ouch. That hurts. Ok ok. Divine logic is not mine, I get it.
Then: If people know everything, and according to Buddha they only have to wake up – then I will found a school where people will wake up again. What techniques have given me the experience that I KNOW that I have the power to shape my life, to intervene, first of all in my closest environment? That my BEING has a meaning, that I am connected to the “Great Mystery”? What knowledge, what techniques have made me fearless in my life? What do I want to pass on?
This is how “Durga’s Tiger School ®” for Tantra, Yoga, Shamanism and Art came into being. A tantric Yoga school. What does that mean? “Do what you want – in consciousness and love”. A school of experience. We dance the creation, celebrate the many. We are creative persons, discovering the 64 aesthetic arts of Tantra – from looking at the stars, to dancing, to debating, to yoga, to writing poems, to leading rituals, to sex… to name but a few. And then, rich in the “many” we return to the “one”.
Tantra: Communication turns you on
27 years ago our son was born, the fruit of a great love. My world is collapsing on all levels. I know how to love, but I have no structure that leads me to freedom in love and allows me to live an everyday life not only as a theatre-maker, but also as a lover and mother. I react in a panic, send the man away – the child is there, I can’t be without theatre.
We come across Sky Dancing Tantra, and the techniques we learn there save us as a couple. Our sex changes: alone, in twos, and then together.
We free ourselves from the compulsion of spontaneity. We can learn love, plan our intimate encounters. I am responsible for myself, my sexuality, my feelings, the beloved is only a trigger. We learn monodialogs, a new way of communicating from the heart.
This is where intimacy arises. Love is not a feeling, love is the decision to go a way together once the grace of recognition has manifested itself. We do not belong to each other. Even as a lover, I can always follow my own path just like my partner, without being paralyzed by the fear that we might lose our common direction. Love blooms when I feel free. The great happiness rises from nowhere like bubbles of air from the mud, which push to the surface to burst gently. It is exciting to pass this knowledge on.
Shamanism: I am the mosquito
When I leave the theatre, I find in the field of radio the space to be a professional, a mother and partner. But I want to be far away from Berlin. We come to Ecuador, to the middle of the world. Fourteen indigenous ethnic groups! As a radio producer, I explore the world of listening. We make features about the ethnic groups, and I take the son with me into the jungle, we chase sounds. The laughter of the indigenous when I let go of the rope too early and land in the mud instead of in the river. Nightly attacks by porcupines, tarantulas and mosquitoes. I eat worms and spit in the Chicha.
Ayahuasca, the vine of death. I lie in the hammock and relax in the symphony of the nightly jungle. The shaman calls me, and then the rustling of the Surupanga takes away all my heaviness.
A Limpia, I am purified and come into harmony with the world that surrounds me. The visions of the great serpent open new dimensions. In the Temascal we sit close together, sweat in the belly of Mother Earth, the stones glow red in the darkness of the low round ritual hut, singing we breathe together. I pray for myself, for others, thank myself, and give away everything I no longer need, becoming light, so light. Shamanistic rituals bring art, healing, social thinking, spirituality together. That goes deep, symbolic connections with ALL. I am the mosquito. I am the nature that surrounds me. Knowledge which has power. Give it on.
Yoga: I am not a car
Kaula Tantra Yoga is based on deep relaxation. A session is a meditation in motion – for at least one and a half hours, but usually two and a half to three hours. Body, mind and soul flow together again. No more fragmentation of my body: “this asana repairs the liver, it makes a nice ass, it works for the back”. I’m not a car. My muscles remember how wonderful it was to move before the social censorship (be quiet, sit down, don’t wriggle, shut up, don’t get dirty, don’t run…. no… no…hold still). They move again with relaxation, with joy, and I flow into every asana. I rest, and nothing strains.
Revolutionary is also the trust I place in myself: my body finds the asana. I don’t need alignment. The Asanas are old healing archetypal attitudes. I KNOW them – if I dive inside myself. No one has to tell me from the outside if I am right. Wow. After weeks of uncertainty a wave of trust when I found the asana or the asana moves my “body mind soul” unity. Never again in my life will I allow myself to be told from the outside if I am ok. I find it in me. What security. Opening this space of experience for other people is important for me. It is so simple.
Art: I dance Durga´s Tiger
As inside so outside, as outside so inside. So many feelings come up, move me. When old patterns become visible and want to dissolve, old fears are slowly disempowered, there is a BANG. Don’t judge, there are no negative feelings. Be your inner witness and just watch. And then express it. That’s how the Heyoka comes into play, the shamanic clown. You hold the mirror up to yourself. Yoga of feelings. Liberated screaming, crying, laughing, silence. Theatre, that is all.
Durga´s Tiger dance. My demons are moved, emerge, dissolve in the light of breath, voice, movement. My voice makes every cell vibrate. Silently we paint a yantra on the floor with coloured sand – a picture that the wind carries away. Non attachment. In the forum I stand in the middle. Use the theatrical expression to tell what makes my heart beat. Self-portrayal can be entertaining – for everyone. And deeply moving. I am not my thoughts, my feelings. The inner witness smiles. Movement, breath, voice – the three tantric keys. Pass it on.
The community – love is a social phenomenon
“You’re a social loner,” my friend says. I love people. People strain me. I need to be alone. That’s how it is. At parties I dance a lot. So I am present without having to talk much. I love rituals. To playfully invent worlds together with people in the theatre and to work towards a foreseeable goal, the premiere, is joy: a life in parallel realities.
Tantra training is no longer about a goal, but about me as a woman. That is a challenge. Trust and vastness arise when many people work intensively and truthfully on themselves, immerse themselves in them and then express deep longings. When I communicate feelings and needs, nobody in the group has a problem, I may be angry, helpless or sad. We all become researchers in inner spaces. There is compassion and respect for each other. Perceiving that I and my partner are not the sole owners of our seemingly oh so private problems, but that amazingly many couples have very similar difficulties, changes the perspective enormously. Is failure in couple love a social phenomenon? To build a research space such as Durga´s Tiger Yoga School is healing.
Meditation: I die. I live. I hold my breath. I am in eternity, here and now
The meditation holds me. Short visits to I and I. That feels good. Coming home. The way I am. Concentrated, agitated, sad, happy, lacking energy, vibrating – everything is allowed. Now. The chakras turn, lotus blossoms are born, pass away. Light blows into every cell. Every cell sends light. I shine, oh man. Voice it forward.
Rebellion: I´m out of here.
Durga´s Tiger Yoga School is subversive. Rebellion is on, it flows through me like a rising river. Resistance is washed away. I become fearless. I know: The great mystery, God speaks, acts, draws through me. The division of life into work and leisure is a fiction. Many yogis and yoginis of the Durga´s Tiger School ® quit their “jobs” and start to live. Waking up, they become seeds blown into the world by the wind of change. They feed our morphogenetic field with alternatives to the current global suicide program. Yes to the mystery. Life is exciting.
With the rising popularity of Yoga in the recent past many different styles and teachings have established themselves. So what does the Kaula Tantra Yoga practice offer you?
The sequence taught at our school comes straight from an ancient lineage and is based on the teachings of Bhagavan Shanmuka Anantha Natha. We work with asanas, bandhas, pranayama, mudras and mantras. Different to other practices this series is practiced in a slow and flowing manner to build patience and awareness. Each asana is held gently for a period of time to allow students to relax into the posture. This way, each individual finds their own unique way of expressing the asanas without pressure of competing or ‘performing perfectly’.
Tantra Yoga facilitators approach students as whole human beings and discourage ‘isolating’ or forcing muscles. Their priority is to hold a space of acceptance and love, with only little guidance where necessary.
Over time students learn to meditate in the postures to connect with the Divine. This yoga specifically cultures the diaphragms and thus balances every area of life, including sexuality.
Please note that classes do not involve nudity or sexual contact. In the advanced stages, deeper Pranayama practice, Bandhas, and Mantra practices are incorporated to culture Kundalini Energy.
In Hatha Yoga practice students move the stagnation of the body and mind. Through asana, meditation, pranayama and yogic philosophy we meet our physical and spiritual strength that cultivates the energy that empowers our lives. This practice is complimentary to Tantra Yoga as it gives students a perspective yogic style that comes from the evolution of traditional tantra yoga, enabling students to gain a deeper understanding of both Hatha and Tantra.
Through Kundalini yoga, students learn another approach to the energy work in yoga. Students explore pranayama, chakras theory, the concept and work of the Kundalini energy. Students explore and cultivate the energy of the two poles, masculine and feminine inside of themselves and all around.
Please note: we don’t train the modern Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
As we are living in Ecuador with a huge indigenous population, students also have the opportunity to learn about Andean culture, its cosmovision and its similarities with eastern culture. During the course, shamanistic energy concepts are explored together with the Tibetan tantric tradition. There are parallels in how these two different traditions understand energy, astrology, subtle anatomy and physiology. We are very proud to work together with different wonderful Shamans from Ecuador.
We will approach the vision and methodology of the Kaula Tantra yoga practice in these classes. We will develop a connection with our inner body intelligence, learn how to read it better and act according to its current needs. It’s about the combined powers of the mind and the physical body and the effect of being totally in harmony with the messages we perceive form our bodies in each moment.
We will learn the main principles of tantra philosophy, the Ayurvedic knowledge, alignment, Pranayama to understand the traditional yoga practice and its benefit on the whole human being in all its levels- physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Durga’s Tiger Dance is a form of movement developed by Iris Disse based on energy work and different dance styles. It is yet another form through which students deepen their creativity and intuition through techniques of liberation of the voice and relaxation in body movement.
Mantras, the science of sound, in Tantra represent a powerful tool of liberation of the mind and connection with higher states of consciousness. We explore different mantras during our meditation practices, mantra chanting circles and yoga practice.
We use mantras and sacred songs of indigenous cultures to connect with spirits of nature and mystery of creation.
The teacher training also involves chanting of spiritual “come together” songs from different cultures.
Students explore the vibration that the sound creates within us and at the same time they learn about the use of the voice as a tool to guide people into yoga practice.
Chakras are centers of consciousness located in our subtle bodies. They store information about our different stages of development including our strengths and blocks. In the training, the chakras are experienced through dance, yoga, breath and meditation. Another approach is to deal with the psychological component of the chakras.
They represent developmental issues that we humans have to face step by step, e.g. anchoring in the family, detachment, growing in the field of tension with the opposite and finding our very own path. We learn to recognize archetypal patterns in the chakras and explore them through our own biographical history.
These classes are a powerful opportunity of self discovery. As the course is based on experience we will create active and participative classes where we will work on some of the main aspects of Tantra.
We will understand the three tantric keys and what eros, love and sexuality have to do with breath, energy work and with Kaula Tantra Yoga (listen podcast)
We will discover the joy and the importance of support and be supported, The challenge is to take care of the sacred space dancing between me and my partner, and I experience the joy of giving and receiving. In these classes we will keep on working on many asanas of the kaula tantra yoga serie, using the approach of tantric wisdom, in which we will focus in presence, senses, connection, body communication and in this way we will create the dance of Shiva and Shakti.
These classes are an energetic training that combines improvisation, clowning, dancing, musical/rhythm work, meditation and practical shamanism, among other things. This work is a fusion of tools and experiences that can be used in art & life. Get in touch with your inner child and intuition, develop the right side of the brain and lateral thinking, release patterns and blockings, open your ears and eyes to the present moment and to others, work in group in more effective and loving ways, and increase your creativity and artistic skills by looking at things in a completely new perspective.
The clown is an archetype that repeats its presence throughout many cosmovisions in human history – east to west, ancient and contemporary. The fool, the contrary, heyoka, etc.
Derived from ayurvedic wisdom this ancient foot massage was used to prepare warriors for battle as well as open the physical and energetic bodies before the Yoga practice. Working with partners it’s a very effective, meditative and intuitive way to give and receive before the Yoga practice. The massage touches many important Marma Points as well as softening the muscles.
In the Forum developed in the ZEGG community we deepen heart-to-heart communication through consciously used theatrical means.
We create a social field that helps us to open to the impulse of life. We share from the heart and explore new possibilities in life. Any topic that emerges like emotions, personal development, love, community living, body symptoms can be shared and explored within the group that works as a spiritual community (Sangha). This process helps to self-knowledge, development and transformation.
Karma Yoga is part of the learning process of community life. We learn to receive from others, and consciously give back for the benefit of the community.
Karma Yoga is a basic aspect of the tantric yogic path: we learn that we are allowed to receive from the common, and that we have the chance to create a positive personal Karma by serving the community.
This work is a fusion of tools and experiences that can be used in art & life. Get in touch with your inner child and intuition, develop the right side of the brain and lateral thinking, release patterns and blockings, open your ears and eyes to the present moment and to others, work in group in more effective and loving ways, and increase your creativity and artistic skills by looking at things in a completely new perspective.
The temazcal is a place where we can connect with Mother Nature and the 4 elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air.
It’s a half round space that can be made out of different materials like wood & blankets or even earth (clay). In the center there is a hole where the hot stones come in bringing the heat into the Temazcal. This stones are warmed up by the fire before transported into the Temazcal.
Inside of the temascal we put the different herbs, copal on the stones & poor water on them so that the water can evaporate and create heat inside.
When the ritual starts, people chant Drum, rattle and pray to the great spirit of nature. In this way the temazcal can be seen as a particular type of sweat lodge that is considered to be a symbol for the woom of Mother Earth as it is dark, hot and wet inside just like in the belly of our mother.
The Intention of the Durga’s Tiger School Temazcal is to allow Healing, energetical cleansing and Last but not least to allow the TTC Groups to connect as the spiritual community that we are. This is why it is a community Temazcal.
This is a fresh and unique program, where the spiritual program doesn’t go from A to B, it moves in spirals in which each Tantra Yoga Teacher Training course follows a very elaborate and proven energy choreography to guide and accompany you through a beautiful and challenging process of personal exploration and experience.
We do not build wisdom, we first experience it and then connect it with theory, so we can integrate it at different levels. Like a seed, wisdom starts to grow inside us, like a plant to light. You cannot construct life, you can only give good conditions, so the seed can grow into beauty.
Wherever you enter in the spiral of experience is the right moment for you. There is no beginning and no end because is a life long process…
Since everything in this world is in constant flow it is important to us that there are never two trainings that are exactly the same. Therefore, we are always switching some of the teachers and practices from training to training in order to create a unique, intriguing and fresh program.
And no matter if you choose a 200, 300 or 500 hours course you will find yourself in a very holistic, balanced and well rounded experience.
Yoga Teacher Training Highlights
Learn to be a co creator of your life
Learn to teach an inspiring, intuitive and deeply meditative yoga practice
Unify body, mind and spirit through yoga and learn how to integrate tantric philosophy into your daily life
Engage in a personal and transformative process in a beautiful and intimate learning environment
Get in contact with the culture of South America and experience the similarities between its shamanic Cosmovision and the ancient indian teachings
Discover your personal light and shadows through a range of experience based Art forms such as dance, shamanic clown or applied tantric philosophy
Discover the importance of the ritual
Enjoy 3 delicious, healthy, vegetarian meals per day
SPECIAL: In Ecuador Training, there will be the possibility to do a Power Plant Ceremony with an experienced Healer/ Spiritual Guide. This power plant ceremony is optional and is not part of the teacher training. There will be an introduction course. In this way the energy design of Druga’s Tiger School gives the possibility to dive deep with a power plant to experience healing and energetic cleansing.
In case you would like to be part of the power plant ceremony you are very welcome. Before the ceremony starts, please let the school and the organizer of the power plant ceremony know if you are taking any strong medication or antidepressants because they are stimulating the nervous system. Please notice that in this case you can’t be part of the power plant ceremony because of safety reasons.
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