By Johnna Smith

Some mornings are just like that. I wake up and feel blue instead of flashy orange, passionate red, or connected white. Sometimes I wake up and just feel blah, blah, blah. Loved ones still saying the same ole thing, house and work aren’t exciting. No energy, no zest for life, and dang it I created this. And I’m scared my yoga isn’t working.

What am I to do, what’s going to happen to me? Woe is me. Questions come to my mind… I go to yoga class. I eat, somewhat, really healthy. Why isn’t yoga working? Where is the peace I’ve been promised by Instagram sunset quotes? Where is the divine in this very mundane existence? I’m miserable, in a “comfortably numb” kind of way. Then I really hear myself, the victim… and I’m like uh – oh and oh yea… time (it’s always time) for some waking up with Tantra.

What is Tantra Yoga

Tantra Yoga is an ancient practice that considers self reflection, self awareness, and practices that awaken your inner power, as the journey to reveal our limitless capacity. It’s the science of overcoming our own boundaries.

Tantra means to weave together the practices which through daily dedication expand us. Practices that allow us to be lit from the inside out. To close our eyes and be blinded by the light of the soul. This light has a pulse, a vibration termed Shakti. Shakti is the subtle creative pulse of the universe as it manifests into the dynamism of each and every living form. You are that living form. The creative force is inside you. It’s subtle. If you aren’t looking at it or for it, you might just miss its eternal presence.

Cultivate this energy right now. Sit up tall (really, sit up tall) and place one hand over your heart, place your other hand on top of that. Intend to connect to that pulse, by an invocation prayer, a calling out “Please, I feel so lost and alone, I cannot do this by myself. That creative force, which is in me, created me and all that is around me, I hold the space for you, I surrender. Please come to my aide. I wish to feel your presence, for I pretend to have all the answers but I do not. I am an open vessel for our light, our love, our creative union, reveal yourself to me.” As you say this prayer, or your similar words, close your eyes and get quiet. The subtle force (spanda) will be felt the more you open and surrender to this invocation prayer. When you feel it’s soft beat, rest in that bliss. Take a few moments to connect to that subtle whisper of limitless energy.

Shakti is accessible on our yoga mats. When in child’s pose, invoke awareness of your creative force, be present with her. (I use the pronoun she, you can use what is meaningful for you) When in the pose you like practicing the least, call for her. Ask for her to co-create with you. Take moment’s throughout your yoga practice to check in with this pulse in your heart. Ancient wisdom has taught: Ask and you shall receive. She will join you when asked. Sometimes all we need to do is give the space, be the invitation.

My tantra teacher, Rod Stryker, teaches that you may begin to feel this pulse in your heart, but then it expands. The nature of energy is to expand. This pulsing energy begins to expand inside of you, from your heart, you will begin to feel it in your belly, throat, and in your spine. The ancient yoga practitioners felt this force, in the spine, and used it as a point of meditation, sitting in bliss. Feeling the vibe man. Sit in your bliss, peace be with you.

Having caught my own “woe is me” thinking, I take a moment in my morning lament, to call my attention to the divine. Having done that, the fear surrounding “my life sucks, what am I to do” thinking has rolled on through. And, upon reflection, those thoughts & feelings I labeled as negative were divine as well. Together the divine and I stand up, make a cup of coffee. I am grateful, humbled. I am not alone. This life is precious, this loved one I live with is undoubtedly the saint of the household, and I can’t wait to rock this day.

Recap Meditation / Contemplation

Cultivating Shakti Awareness:

Cultivate this pulse right now. Sit up tall (really, sit up tall) and place one hand over your heart, place your other hand on top of that. Intend to connect to that pulse, by an invocation prayer, a calling out “Please, I feel so lost and alone, I cannot do this by myself. That creative force, which is in me, created me and all that is around me, I hold the space for you, I surrender. Please come to my aide. I wish to feel your presence, for I pretend to have all the answers but I do not. I am an open vessel for our light, our love, our creative union, reveal yourself to me.” As you say this prayer, or your similar words, close your eyes and get quiet. The subtle force (shakti) will be felt the more you open and surrender to this invocation prayer. When you feel it’s soft beat, rest in that bliss. Take a few moments to connect to that subtle whisper of limitless energy.

 

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