Practicing the Way of Love
Following the path of heart tantra yoga means practising the way of love and healing. It opens the door to more love, harmony and creativity.
I chose the path of tantra yoga when I saw that people were totally focused on material gain. They were running around like ants, with little capacity to see the beauty of life. This pressing always-on lifestyle creates a lot of stress and misery. I saw tantra yoga as a path to more happiness, creativity and deeper love. Simply put, I had found a way to create more meaning and more joy in my life.
My Dream Career
I had a dream career in political science and hoped to contribute to positive change with my publications on political oppression. Studying the power dynamics and control of marginalized groups in South Asia at a prestigious university was, at the time, a dream come true for me. The Berlin Wall had just come down and the academic community was excited and optimistic. The time seemed ripe for change and a new and better world order was just around the corner.
However, it seemed few people were interested to know the truth of what was going on in the world. A world increasingly driven by greed and fear of one another. On a personal front I was caught up in ambition and materialism, and unhealthy attachments kept me stuck in broken relationships. As a result, I began to feel a desperate need to reset my life and find a new way forward.
Inspiration from krishnamurti
Even with the demands of a successful career I still felt a void in my life. Something was missing. I was not drawn to religion but did feel the need for a new perspective. During my research, I came across the teachings of the Indian philosopher Krishnamurti and found something meaningful in his words.
This and other writings of Krishnamurti somehow summed up the feelings I had about my political science career and the personal challenges I was facing. I began to understand how the way we have organized this world is fundamentally broken. Furthermore, it cannot deliver what we all are looking for.
I began contemplating that perhaps it was not knowledge that we lack, but love. Krishnamurti argued that love cannot exist where there is fear. I pondered if we have become destroyers of beauty and love? Technology gives us the power to create a world order built on compassion, beauty and love. Yet it has not happened.
There seemed little point in continuing to write about oppression when people cared little about the poor and casteless. So, from a dream career in political science, I decided to leave everything behind and travel to India to study yoga philosophy.
The path of self destruction
We are under constant pressure to be better, faster, stronger and prettier than the person next to us. We have to be sportier, slimmer, smarter, more popular. Even yoga has become a fashion accessory, a part of the eternal drive for perfection. A brief look at western yoga pages shows branded yoga pants, perfect bodies and perfect asanas. Yoga is now monetized, just another commodity. We even now have a World Championship of Yoga.
Seeking perfection has never been so important.
We hug too little, we smile too little, and we experience too little peace. Many of us live in a state of chronic stress and have lost sight of the importance of love, beauty and creativity. This is not a healthy way to live.
Peoples lives are filled with artificial contacts, virtual reality and the demands of social media. We are under near-constant pressure to be the most pretty, strong and amazing version of ourselves. Tired and bruised from this endless competition, we routinely fill ourselves with stimulants just to cope.
Our main accomplishment seems to be that we are now wreckers of the earth, even threatening our own ability to survive. Is this really the best we can do? Oceans are filling up with plastic, many species have gone extinct and the rate is increasing. Low-cost products drive our economy but require the exploitation of children and resources. We are increasingly dependent on addictive foods stuffed with chemicals.
All the while, planetary consciousness sinks lower as fewer hands take more power. Most people live in or close to poverty, on the brink of giving up.
The ethos of efficiency
Has efficiency become the dominant ethos in the post-millennium world and greed its organizing principle?
Competition drives efficiency and so society has been programmed to compete. We are now always trying to be better than each other or to acquire yet more things.
We work, and we work hard, to the point where we become sick from stress. Are we just filling our void of love with things? Are we working hard to create more fulfilling and happier lives, or are we merely providing for the greed of the one percent that owns more than 40 percent of the world’s resources? How long are we going to continue like this? Must we destroy everything beautiful in this world before we wake up?
Being efficient leaves little room for us to love ourselves and others. To have deep conversations and to care for each other. The world of efficiency has no purpose for such things. Yet these are the exact things that matter most in life.
The Path of Tantra Yoga & Personal Transformation
Real change, I have come to believe, does not grow out of the need for efficiency. It must come from love, compassion and care for each other.
As I moved onto the path of Tantra yoga I began to adopt a different view of myself. I realized that I was deep into attachments. Attached to unhealthy relationships, to things and even to my children. I genuinely thought I was practising love. But attachment has little to do with love, attachment is about possession. Possession and love do not go together, freedom and love go together.
For me, the path of tantra yoga is about bringing more love into all relationships. Not only to those in your closest circle, everyone you meet. Meeting the world with love does not mean when it is convenient for you. It is something constant and present in every encounter.
Tantra teaches us techniques for increasing love, connection and harmony in relationships.
How i came to Heart Tantra
As many people I got to know about tantra through the neo- tantric scene. But I was witnessing so much suffering around me. Accusations of use and abuse and a lot of people in real suffering. I thought to myself, can this really be it? Is this what these ancient practices have to offer us?
As a former researcher I took on my academic glasses and started researching translations to the ancient sutras that form the basis of tantra as we know it today. And it was a truly beautiful universe that opened up for me. It let me to believe that tantra is not at all about sex or sexual pleasure, but about the deepest heart connection. Both to yourself and to other people.
I researched the ancient scripture and practices and that let me to a new concept, heart tantra which reflect the true intend to tantra. Tantra philosophy holds that the universe was born of the love union between Shiva and Shakti. The universe was created and is sustained by love. The path of Tantra opens the door to sharing more love, harmony and creativity in the world.
I truly believe we derive meaning from love. All meaning of the universe comes through the medium of love. Tantra helps us find that original and perfect version of ourselves that permanently abides in love.
Returning to our authentic Self we are completely incapable of hatred or anger. Because that aspect of our being is pure love. It is also a place of complete freedom. The path of anyone living the path of tantra yoga is the path of meeting the world from the heart.
Winnie winnetu and yogi living ashram
I am Winnie Winnetu. My ambition is to help people experience a deeper form of yoga. Freely giving and receiving love is the path I have chosen for myself. I created Yogi Living Ashram as a yoga center for teaching how to approach the world from the heart. It is a place where people create meaningful change in their lives.
My most intense yoga experiences have come through tantric practice. Tantric practise unites the healing energies of yoga: asana, pranayama, kriya, meditation, mudras, yoga nidra, intimacy yoga and energy work. The difference between yoga and tantra yoga is subtle. The principal difference is tantra focuses on working with energy and often, though not always, involves practising using the mirror of another person.
Yogi Living Ashram is not for those looking for sexual encounters. The sexual practice of tantra is reserved for experienced tantriks or couples wishing to deepen their intimacy. It requires extensive preparation to avoid creating attachment to passion, to your ego or to your partner.
Focus on the sexual aspects of tantra risks simply replacing old attachments for new ones and risks creating further traumas. It is not for beginners.
Examples of the Tantra techniques we teach on a Tantric Love Yoga retreat are:
- Dynamic Meditation. An active meditation moving to music. An Osho technique with the aim of releasing physical and emotional blockages.
- Love kriyas. A set of practices of sharing love energy and connection in a group or with a partner. Love kriyas include:
–Venus kriyas. Partner yoga exercises for heart connection, moving and sitting yoga positions with synchronized breathing.
–Butterfly Walk. A group practice of collectively sharing love, care, and intimacy for each other.
–Tantric Hug. The practice of sharing a hug and love energy with synchronized breathing. Both in groups and as couples.
- Laughter and tantrum kriyas. Kriyas release past anger and unblocks your energy flow.
Escaping The Matrix
I believe we do not need a Guru or a priest to connect to our spiritual selves. We only need to come together with the intention of creating change, to escape the matrix. Do you want to live your life free of unconscious programs? Be able to love yourself and others more deeply?
Yogi Living Ashram is a center for deep reflection on life, love and a new way of being. We engage in group discussions on creating constructive relationships, meaningful communication and how to deal with attachments. It is a yoga center to reflect on how the world is organized, past and present and what kind of future we wish to create. And it is a place for experiencing the healing and loving aspects of the path of Tantra yoga.