This is part three of a four part interview series examining this year’s newly launched Yoga, Sex and Feminism, Tantra Vinyasa conference.
In this series I talk with Vajra Ma, the conference’s keynote speaker, founder of Woman Mysteries of the Ancient Future Sisterhood and The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power, and Dr. Melody Moore, clinical psychologist, yoga instructor and co-founder of Embody Love Movement
In part one of the series, Vajra Ma and Dr. Melody Moore talk about coming to identify as feminists. In part two, they discuss what they see as the connection between yoga, sex and feminism. In this installment of the series, Vajra Ma discusses the teachings she shared at the conference.
Melanie: I’m so thrilled to have had the opportunity to hear both of you describe the connection between yoga, sex and feminism, especially since I think the title of the conference can be misleading and many people have different takes on exactly what “yoga” is, how they think and feel about “sex” (especially in this equation here), and a lot of people have misguided and/or stereotypical perceptions on feminism and feminists. Now I’d like to dive into what you brought to this newly pioneered conference. Vajra, let’s start with you.
Vajra: I gave four workshops in the The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power® (TDFP) which is a Womb-Sourced Yoga of Feminine Wisdom based in the serpentine energies that come so naturally to women. It does not directly reference any previously established yoga lineage or meditative practice, so it was new territory for the participants at the conference. This is a yoga that arises from and takes us directly into the original source and purpose of yoga, awakening of our dormant, yet inherent knowing of our divine nature.
Vajra: We do this through resting in the womb and gathering energy there (called spanda, the underlying tremoring vibration of the universe) deeply feeling this energy, then allowing it to expand and flow through the whole body through the underlying serpentine wave pattern. We move in a spontaneous flow of continuously changing shapes. When we fully inhabit these shapes with devotional feeling, this activates frequencies of spiritual awareness, literal, palpable frequencies that contain spiritual knowing. We absorb the knowing, we become this knowing. I guide women into their own direct experience of what is encoded in their wombs and bodies.
Melanie: Can you talk about why this is the tantric dance of “feminine” power?
Vajra: This moving yoga is quintessentially female in that it emerges from the unbroken continuum of sexuality-spirituality inherent in the female experience. No hard division between flesh and spirit, sexuality and spirituality. Ultimately, Compassion, Eros and Power synergize seamlessly and ecstatically in The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power®. We enjoy direct experience of the essence of human spirituality as evolved by women. But this yoga is for men, too! Unlike some yoga systems that have been dominated by men for centuries and are not conducive to the female body, TDFP is conducive to and very healing for the male body as well as female body.
Melanie: I’m glad you brought men up. First of all, I think many people have the misconception that men can’t be feminists and that this modality is essentialist and exclusive. While I prefer practicing the TDFP in female-only spaces, I know co-ed classes, workshops and retreats are offered. Can you briefly talk about men and the practice?
Vajra: Through this practice men cultivate their inner connection to Shakti, the life force. They imagine or let themselves feel as if they have a womb—men tell me this changes everything! They experience their own sexuality differently, more round, receptive and enclosing, (like women). That’s one reason I like to say “The Womb changes everything. And it’s time for everything to change.” Usually I teach women only classes because women need to unravel in total freedom from the male gaze. (I have also taught all men classes.) But, when a man who is in direct contact with his inner Shakti does participate in class with women—it is very healing for women to experience this in a man. In such a case it really does feel like we are still a group of women only!
Melanie: Vajra, can you talk about the origins of your work and how the TDFP developed?
Vajra: The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power is the core practice of my priestess lineage and mystery school, Woman Mysteries of the Ancient Future Sisterhood. It has evolved out of almost 28 years of my exploring and working with women in subtle movement with devotional intention.
In 2003, after 11 years of teaching the dance, as I was meditating at my altar to the goddess Kali-Ma, I “heard” these words, “This is the yoga of shakti.” The Goddess imprinted into my heart the realization that this practice which has come through me, extends beyond it’s foundational components.
Melanie: Can you expand on that?
Vajra: It includes her living matrix of powers, phenomena and transmissions and it is this living matrix that defines the TDFP as “the yoga of shakti.” My responsibility and joy is to transmit this practice in it’s fullness, undiluted, undistorted, uncodified, with the complete spectrum of powers, phenomena and transmissions that grace it.
Check back Monday, January 7, for the final installment of this series. Dr. Melody Moore shares her experiences teaching and participating in this year’s newly launched Yoga, Sex and Feminism, Tantra Vinyasa conference.
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Ed: Kate B.
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