The Health Benefits of Tantra
By Laurie Handlers
When people hear the word Tantra, they
usually think of kinky sex, the Kama Sutra, something they saw on
HBO or on Sex & the City. That's if they've heard of it at all.
I have found many
unexpected health benefits from practicing this ancient form of
meditation and related breath practices.
I began Tantra like anybody else thinking it
would enhance sex making it hotter and maybe even wilder. I had no
idea back then how powerful Tantra was to become in every aspect of
Very soon, after embarking on this path, I
became aware of a quieting down in the mind, something I had been
trying to accomplish for years to no avail. This alone helped me to
reduce my stress levels. But that’s not all; that was only the
Now, after 10 years of practicing Tantra, I
am aware that I am not suffering
anymore about anything physically,
emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Did I know this would happen to
me? No way.
Tantra roughly translated means “to weave”
body, mind and spirit. What this literally means is that you can
expand your whole being through increased awareness of your senses,
feelings and energy. This includes awareness of your breath - the
basis of all forms of meditation - with the addition of your sexual
energy increasing your ability to feel- specifically feel pleasure –
very different from other forms of meditation.
So how can Tantra affect your health? Why is it a holistic form of
Basically people feel little if anything. They are
mostly living their lives inside of their thoughts, judgments,
evaluations and assessments: living in their heads. When their
bodies give signals, they miss or ignore them because they are
trained to value only what the mind thinks. So most people are numb
or they do not feel very good. When they do feel, it appears that
they feel bad, sick, hurt, victimized. There is very little room
for pleasure. As a matter of fact they feel little to no pleasure
at all. Pleasure shows up as anticipation rather than a sensual
experience, one that is felt in the body.
Remember really wanting something like a new
car? Then when you got it, the pleasure didn't last very long, maybe
until the first scratch. It wasn't the feeling you expected from
acquiring a new car was it?
The mind can imagine something or other will
bring us a feeling of pleasure, but it actually takes the body to
feel it. For many people, feeling strongly passionately was
discouraged. We were told we had to stay in control of ourselves, of
Things were said to us
like, "Why do you feel like that? That's not rational.”
So, we learned to bury our feelings and
experience life in our heads. Our bodies became useful for wearing
decorative adornments (attraction) and for getting us somewhere like
from meeting to meeting (minimal movement). In essence our bodies
have become something we do to or use in certain ways, but not a
source of inner knowledge. Not bad, just not pleasurable; not
Many people have become automatons rushing to
work, doing, doing, doing. But when it comes time to relax, take a
breath, we cannot seem to do it. For most people, it's a little
frightening to stop and focus on breathing.
When we look to find our pleasure, even
erotic pleasure, there seems to never be enough time. Because we’re
so disconnected, sex doesn’t live up to our expectations. Or maybe,
just maybe, all those feelings we've been holding down are likely to
come rushing up and we can’t have that, can we?
That's right, feelings, emotions, senses,
intuition, memories will often come up during sex. And then what do
we do? Who has time for that anyway? What if we go out of control?
Who wants to experience that?
Why is this so important?
You want to feel all of those feelings so you
can increase your capacity for pleasure. It's your birthright to
feel pleasure and it's an aspect of life to feel. In essence, it's
When you start this way of breathing and
sensing, you will naturally feel better, happier, passionate, more
alive. The operative word here is "naturally." It is our nature to
Okay, how? Why does this have anything to do
In Tantra we learn to breathe along with
doing Kegel exercises and making sounds. So, we learn how to breathe
properly. Then we add sphincter muscle and PC muscle contractions to
build a charge in our own body using the vital life force - sexual
energy. This enables us to feel all our feelings.
Once we feel them, we learn to release stored
toxic feelings and memories from the past. We also learn to
transmute the sexual energy into a spiritual connection with our
The result is eradication of feelings of
shame and guilt as well as any other trauma we may have experienced
earlier in our lives that's has been stored in our cellular memory.
The outcome = pleasure, permission for
unabashed life at it's fullest - body, mind and spirit connected
working in union.
Remember I began Tantra thinking it would
enhance sex. I had no idea how my life would change. Had I known, I
would have become interested in it earlier in life. Is sex hotter?
Yes. Is that all? No. It's so much more.
The Holistic Benefits of Practicing Tantra*:
1. Feel great about yourself - more
attractive, self-confident, increase your capacity for more
pleasure, experience joy and fulfillment as a way of life.
2. Empower your well-being - eliminate
toxins, eliminate stress - accept yourself for who you are & release
deep painful cellular memories; feel safe and whole.
3. Focus - set your intentions, do the
practices and watch the laws of attraction bring what you want i.e.
life partner, more $, career change
4. Uplift your relationships - see others for
who they really are, relate to their deep divine nature and trust
5. Experience the expression of your deepest
emotions. Know rapture, love, passion and beyond! Become your own
*taken from a random sample of 500 Tantra
students who have participated in Butterfly Workshops' programs.
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Laurie Handlers, MA is the President of
Butterfly Workshops, Inc., a New York based company currently
offering 3 levels of Tantra, Tantra instructor training, and
Leadership courses for corporations and individuals. Her book,
Sex and Happiness - The Tantric Laws of Intimacy is available at
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