How To Use Tantra To Strengthen Your Love Life
After participating in one of relationship guru Londin Angel Winters' sacred snake ceremonies and learning her philosophies on sex, gender, and love, I had to read her and her partner Justin Patrick Pierce's book, The Awakened Woman's Guide to Everlasting Love. In it, they give advice on strengthening your passion and love through principals based on tantra. The book describes not only the philosophy behind tantra but also some exercises you and your partner can do to connect in a whole new way.
“To be able to share a side-splitting laugh with Justin years into loving each other, to have the sex grow hotter, not cooler inside of almost a decade of monogamous commitment, to have a partner who grows right alongside me through thick and thin and have each challenge we face draw us closer, not farther apart, is a luxury I cannot imagine living without," Winters tells Bustle. “I wrote the book so that each and every person who craves this kind of love could have it.”
And who doesn't want that? Here are some tantra-based tips from the book that could help you and your partner connect on a deeper level emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
You often hear people complain about their loved ones being absent, but what exactly does it mean to be present? Winters and Piece write that being present means "to be willing to feel the moment without putting up your defenses." To be present, you have to express difficult emotions, deal with disappointment, and stick with your partner when they're not at their best.
Being fully present in your relationship starts with being fully present with yourself. To cultivate presence, the book suggests the "yes" exercise: Figure out some physical sensation that could feel pleasurable to you, like stretching your neck, then do it and say "yes." Keeping looking for pleasant sensations, like the breeze or a deep breath, and say "yes" to it.
To do this more formally, you can block out time to ask yourself: "What needs to move? What needs to soften? What needs to adjust so this moment would become even slightly more pleasurable for you?" Winters and Piece write. Then, move your body accordingly and say "yes" to the yummy sensations you feel. The more pleasure you can cultivate in your own body, the more you'll be able to share with your partner.
Some mistake polarity to mean romanticizing differences between men and women, but polarity isn't about performing gender roles. Winters and Pierce call the universe's two opposing energies "alpha and omega" rather than "masculine and feminine," and anyone can inhabit each. Alpha means "purpose-driven, penetrative, trustworthy — the embodiment of consciousness," while omega is "love-driven, receptive, radiant — the embodiment of love-light." The person embodying alpha takes the lead, and the person embodying omega surrenders and feels as deeply as possible. Maintaining a dynamic where you get to embody opposite roles, even if you switch which roles you embody, allows you to keep the spark alive.
To practice stepping into your alpha and omega energies, the book recommends an activity where each person tells the other how to turn them on in 90 seconds. Go over what you'd each like the other to wear, how you'd each like to be touched, and how you'd like the other person to move. Then, practice these moves on each other. Block out 10 minutes for each person, and after each person's turn, the other says one thing they loved about it and what could be done better. Repeat this until the 10 minutes are up, then switch.
"To live as a devotional being, we make a profound shift — we stop looking for someone to give us love and instead we embrace living as love," Winters and Pierce write. Instead of looking for love elsewhere, we embody it and provide it by living with open hearts wherever we go, including with our partners. This means staying devoted to your partner even when their behavior infuriates you. When maintaining your devotion is the last thing you want, give yourself some space until your desire to be with them returns, and follow it back to them.
The exercise the book offers to practice devotion is a journaling exercise. Reflect on how you used to love as a child, how you learned to hold back, how you see your partner holding back, and where you do the same. Then, ask yourself how you would love if you would die in 30 days, and commit to spending 30 days practicing this. It's also important to do things on your own that can prepare you to devote yourself to another person. Set aside time each week for something like tea, baths, or anything else that will help you "soften into the love that lives at your core," as Winters and Pierce put it.
To learn more about strengthening your love and sex life using Winters and Pierce's twist on tantra principles, you can buy The Awakened Woman's Guide to Everlasting Love.