At the heart of the practice of Flowyoga is Tantra and Kundalini. These are defined as awakening, stimulating and moving energy to induce a meditative state.
Westerners often see Tantra as sexual. This can intrigue some and make others uncomfortable. It tends to cloud the true purpose of the ancient wisdom of this practice. Tantra is a powerful force that cannot be limited to categorization or bias. Its aim is to remove labels and duality, and to reveal a profound depth linking us to our inner nature and connecting us to all of Creation.
Let’s start by breaking down the root meaning of the word Tantra, which is actually the combination of two words, Tanoti which means ‘expansion’ and tryati, meaning liberation. Therefore, Tantra is the science of expanding consciousness and liberating energy.
By first understanding the limitation and capacities of the body and mind we can then prescribe techniques for this expansion and liberation to occur, paving the way for transcendence and a higher reality to be experienced.
The practice of Kundalini is a way to access this higher reality. It goes hand-in-hand with Tantra. Kundalini is the name of the sleeping, dormant energy symbolized by a serpent coiled at the base of the spine. Awakening Kundalini occurs through yogic techniques such as asanas (postures), pranayama (breath), concentration, and meditation. Through these practices, prana (life force) is increased and moves through the energy centers of the spine. These energy centers are called Chakras, which means ‘wheel’. Chakras are often seen as swirling vortexes of energy.
Each of the seven Chakras represents a different state of consciousness. When opened, they release physical, emotional and spiritual blocks. The result is a feeling of ‘letting go’. When openings occur at the higher level, we experience a deep meditative state.
This opening into a higher meditative state could not happen without the help of the three main psychic channels, called the Nadis, that emerge and flow up the spinal cord. These are IDA, the receptive, intuitive force on the left side, PINGALA, the active, vital force on the right side and the SUSHUMNA, the spiritual force rising from the center. In the practice of Tantra, when the IDA and PINGALA are completely balanced and intersect along each Chakra, it causes the ‘wheel’ to spin. This arouses the dormant Kundalini to move upward along the Shushmna subtly or with great force, opening each Chakra from the base of our spine to the Crown at the top of our head.
On this website, I will offer a series of blogs to explore the gifts and challenges of each of the seven Chakras as they relate to our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. I will also suggest and demonstrate in short videos some poses that will help open, balance and expand our awareness of this energy.
We’ll begin quite literally at the root of our spine with the Muladhara Chakra and wind that serpentine energy all the way up to the Crown to the Sahasrara Chakra, exploring every Chakra along the way. I look forward to making this journey with you!