Written by Iris Disse
A path to love, sex, and spirituality. The personal story of a gentle revolution through the experience of tantric yoga that enables sexuality beyond old expectations.
What yoga should have to do with sexuality was never quite clear to me. I was interested in the knowledge of love, sex, and spirituality. In our tantric practice, I thought I would get along without practicing any Asanas. “If I want to move, I would rather dance,” I used to say to my yogini friends.
“This is more ecstatic, and dancing the tango with my beloved connects us over and over again.” But Eros apparently lost interest in us. The arrows of love, which had made us travelers in all the skies, became more and more rare. Eros seemed to be busy elsewhere.
Love and Freedom
Bringing consciousness into sexuality is a never-ending challenge. How to combine discipline and sex? And how can this be accomplished if the other partner is only moderately interested? It is difficult to always remain fully present in the body when we touch each other. To communicate our fears. To deal with the fact that I want “more” than he does. Despite the Tantra training, much remained in the unconscious, and I felt helpless when I realized that we simply did not use the love tools we had learned.
We were moving away from each other more and more, working on different continents, being free at all levels, but hardly being together anymore. It was clear: I was on a spiritual path that included sexuality, but something inside me felt dependent on walking that path together with a man. But in that case it is not an independent spiritual path, is it? Surely, my soul is androgynous?
Sat-Chit-Ananda, meaning soul, consciousness, and bliss, are my innermost nature. So why do I need the other so much that it hurts?
Consciousness in Sexuality
So I set out alone and locked myself in a Tantra Ashram in India for five months. To learn more about the classical tantric way. I learned about the Vedas and practiced three hours of Tantra Yoga in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. There was nothing else to do. “I will not learn anything about sexuality here,” I thought at first, and wanted to leave again soon.
Kaula Tantra Yoga
Kaula Tantra Yoga is one of the oldest traditional yoga techniques. It is a long meditation in motion– I flow into the asanas from the deep relaxation of Shavasana. Even while I hold the asanas, I remain relaxed. The breath flows deeply and regularly. The eyes are closed during the session of two and a half to three hours.
I lie on the yoga mat on the concrete floor of the terrace covered with corrugated iron. Dogs bark on the street, a motorcycle chugs past. Children shout, laugh. The palm fronds rustle quietly in a light breeze. “Flow into your Chakrasana,” says Bhagavan Shanmukha, the teacher. And today it works.
From Shavasana, I flow effortlessly into Chakrasana, the wheel.
A wave of joy– it works all on its own, I am not straining myself, not trying hard. Wow. Crazy. How did I do that? I do not know. Somehow I just imagined it, and that was it.
I have to say that until then I had only managed this asana with a lot of effort … put the crown on the ground, then press… and groan, and on, and push harder… I thought I just did not have the muscles in my arms that I needed to push myself up elegantly.
And now, I was just there. “Relax your head, your face” – and I can do that, too, and I can do it with ease.
The Non-Doing in Doing
Suddenly, I know I have found a way how to continue my exploration on the tantric path of yoga: To discover my own body, the flow of my own energy. To see how my thoughts and my world view shape and influence my body. What is work, what is effort? What is joy? If I assume that my muscles love to move, I realize that my dictatorial instruction “quickly, move into the asana, push yourself!” superimposes the joy of my muscles to be allowed to move. After all, that is what they are there for. If I consciously invite my inner child, I get access to this joy– and it does not strain me. Suddenly, I can implement the absurd demand “stay relaxed in your asana.” My body intelligence takes over. No one has to tell me from the outside how to build the asana. Every day, my body understands on a deeper level what this is about– and that creates trust in myself. I now know with every cell of my body that I can live my truth. The societal demands, my conditioning with their distorting mirrors “You should… you should… No, not like that …” give way.
“I am part of everything, the great mystery lives through me, too. Amazing – to sit, to breathe, to be, and orgasmic waves flow through me.”
Breath Is Sound Is Life
In Makarasana, the crocodile pose, I lie on my stomach, my arms stretched forward, palms together. “You are alert and relaxed like a crocodile,” I hear the teacher’s instruction. I can be deep inside of myself, and at the same time remain aware of what is going on around me, who else is in the room. The sounds of my breath, the breath of others.
Breath is life – obviously, I am thinking. But can I really perceive it?
I start to research once again what there is to learn about breath, now without the connection to sexuality. Simply for me. I take it seriously: I do not need a partner to progress on the tantric path. I notice that this means I take myself seriously. In the Nadabrahma meditation, I softly make an “O” sound while exhaling. I feel the vibration in my body. Breath is sound is body.
Riding Durga’s Tiger
I get up while it is still dark, head to the beach. I build an altar, then I just sit down, dive into myself. Dawn. The daily meditation, with my breath as a vessel. I and I, we are on a journey into our innermost nature; and what an adventurous journey it is. Infinite, and at the same time present in the here and now. Who am I? Durga lifts me up on her tiger, and together we race through steppes, hide in the jungle, fight my demons: resignation, and the dependence on my beloved in apparent freedom, to name but a few.
The deep gratitude of just being here, alive. So much sweetness in the heart, a heart that overflows– just like that, without any visible reason. I am part of everything, the great mystery lives through me, too. Amazing– to sit, to breathe, to be, and orgasmic waves flow through me. Light. Who or what is sitting? Connecting myself erotically with nature around me is unspeakably satisfying. I dance tango with myself, alone.
I know, I know, it sounds cheesy – it is hard to find words for such an airy, light and yet deep state.
The Crocodile and Sex
Home again. My new gained serenity changes our love. I am freer in myself now, at home in my body.
My old love movie, which fogs my free explorer spirit as soon as I desire my partner, becomes weaker. I no longer need to measure our love by how I should be when I love. How he should be when he loves me. How passion should be… a gentle revolution has taken place. We are still dancing tango, and it feels good. But it is clear that it cannot replace the intimate relationship of the “I and I” that I experience in yoga practice.
When we used to meet sexually, I often simply fell into him with my being, losing contact with myself.
Today, I think of what I learned in the crocodile, in Makrasana: I am first of all completely with myself, and only then and nevertheless at the same time with him. Now, I can remain present with what is really going on between us. And that is simply powerful.
Orgasm in Shavasana
He and I, we lie tightly entwined in front of our fireplace. The fire burns, warmth on our skin. He has his linga in my yoni. We hardly move. We breathe together. We look into each other’s eyes without wanting anything, just open the window of our souls, be present. We relax, meditate, while making love.
Everything I learned from Kaula Tantra Yoga now unites with our tantric knowledge. Just as I can decide to meditate or do yoga, I can decide to be with my beloved every day and meditate together in love-making. I am not dependent on “it” happening spontaneously. The myth of spontaneity in our anti-loving everyday life, where everything, but also every minute, is planned, is usually a love killer. There simply is no time left for relaxed love-making to unfold.
He puts his hand on my breast, bodies tremble. With the breath, we become permeable, it flows. I and him, we make a long, soft, unifying sound as we exhale. How sexy. There it is again, the light. Through the practice of Tantra Yoga, my body can also remain relaxed in the sexual tension. That way, I feel more. I can be completely inside of myself, and from there, I can meet my lover.
It creates a deep intimacy– doing nothing, just being with myself and then being with each other. “I am aware and relaxed like a crocodile,” I say, and my lover has to laugh at the idea of making love with a crocodile.
No time to explain– now.