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Tantra: The Erotic Way of Living In Meditation

Naked bodies dancing in ocean

Artist: Martine Emdur

What does erotic mean to you?

Today, the concept of eroticism has been reduced to that of sex, but it is much more than that. Esther Perel talks about eroticism as an art and a practice for cultivating qualities of vitality, creativity and play in our lives. Freud talked about eros (the root word of erotic) as our life force, our will to live. The great Mexican poet Octavio Paz (1914 – 1998) referred to eroticism as "the poetry of the body, the testimony of the senses."

Tantra is the erotic way of living in meditation. It is a philosophy that recognises and celebrates the inherent sensual and erotic nature of life. For Tantric practitioners, the erotic is the vibration or pulse of life force energy – our internal spark that makes us feel alive, motivates and inspires us, makes us feel connected and in flow.

Tantric practice is essentially about cultivating our awareness of the subtle, erotic energies within our embodiment so as to get us out of our heads and into the energies of our hearts, genitals and entire bodymind. When we become attuned to this undercurrent, we start to experience the pleasure and beauty of the ordinary. We start to perceive things with our whole bodies, not just our minds so that we no longer operate on logic alone but are using all of the resources available to us within our embodiment to make more self-informed decisions.

There are many ways to cultivate and mobilise our erotic energies through embodiment practice. Here are a few simple practices you may like to explore:


Everything starts with breath; it is the gateway to our sensoriality. Prana or breath is life-force energy. The way in which we breathe has a direct impact on the circulation of life-force energy in our bodies. Learning to breathe consciously has many benefits for our overall wellbeing including stress reduction, homeostasis and grounding us in the present. Spend some time each day breathing consciously, following breath in and out of your body. Notice the feeling of the breath in your body, the subtle movement in creates, the temperature. Notice how the rhythm naturally changes. Imagine your cells being infused with fresh life each time you inhale. Without force, invite your breath deep into your pelvis. Notice what it feels like to take a complete breath. At first, do this 10-20 times a day, then gradually allow this number to grow as your awareness expands.


Moving our body, allowing it to dance freely is perhaps one of the best ways to take us out of our heads and into our sensual, erotic experience. Play your favourite music, and with your breath as your partner, bring some spontaneous movement to your body. Rocking and swaying your pelvis and undulating movements through spine help to cultivate and move erotic energy through your body. Spend some time noticing the pulsation in your body at the end of the practice.


Touch is vital for our physical and mental wellbeing, it is how we self-regulate and feel connected to ourselves and others. Massage is a fundamental Tantric practice. Touching and stimulating our skin can activate our whole sensory system and invite our erotic energy to flow throughout our whole bodies. Spend some time exploring your whole body (or your lovers) with touch, changing the pressure and quality of touch as it suits the different parts of your body. Experiment with different kinds of touch: fast, slow, soft, firm, fingertips, nails, gentle tapping/slapping, squeezing, holding. Do this with presence and intention. Listen to how your skin wants to be touched. Notice the direct sensation on your skin before taking your awareness deeper to notice where you feel the subtle vibration of your erotic energy.


Hi, I'm Ania White.

I'm a Tantric Bodywork practitioner and Somatic Sexologist passionate about supporting people to reconnect to eros – one's source of vitality, curiosity, creativity and pleasure.

I am based in Sydney, Australia.


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