Tantra is one of those things that when dropped into conversation can leave people blushing and imagining steamy scenes from the Kama Sutra.
But it's often misunderstood, and due to the intimate nature of the practice some women who visit Tantric practitioners are sexually abused.
The ancient Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist practice dates over 2500 years and combines mantras, meditation, yoga and ritual with the aim to prolong lovemaking and find deeper connections and tenderness with not just your lover, but with yourself and in all of your relationships.
It can take years to fully comprehend and often involves dedicating time with a guru (teacher) in order to unravel its intricacies by studying sexual energy and how it can be applied to achieve a higher level of consciousness.
By not denying and accepting natural human desires, it can result in a positive and life changing experience, with benefits that extend far beyond the bedroom. And it's not just for couples. Anyone wanting to live a more fully integrated life that encompasses their career, their family, and of course their sexuality can benefit.
"One of the key motives of tantra is connection and bringing about wholeness and richness into our everyday existence. For me a big aspect of this practice is about relinquishing shame, judgment, guilt, and taboo around sex and our sexuality," says Melbourne based Tantric Facilitator, Luka Tremback.
HOW DO YOU FIND A TANTRIC INSTRUCTOR YOU CAN TRUST?
If a teacher is telling you that you need to do the work yourself and that they are there to facilitate, that is a good sign! Look for someone that encourages and reminds you that you have the power to heal yourself.
Speak to practitioners and always get a really well informed opinion on a school or teacher. Call beforehand to ask questions and get a feel for who they are and what it is they are offering. This initial chat should give you a sense of whether or not it is worth going in for a face-to-face meeting or trying out one of their classes.