This introduction to the history, practices and wisdom behind tantric yoga aims to show that it’s not all about sex.
Bjonnes’ debut is less a how-to manual than a series of reflections on wisdom gleaned from the practices of yoga and tantra. Dispelling the popular notion that tantra is all about sex, he instead describes it as a form of meditation that involves the physical body, the mind and the spirit, with goals of spiritual insight and self-transformation. That being said, a tantric practitioner may experience moments of ecstasy that don’t lead to wisdom. Bjonnes delves into the history of yoga and tantra, explains the terms and offers reflections on how to practice them in daily life—how to meditate, what to eat, how to be consciously engaged in life, etc. Each of the brief chapters, most about three pages long, stands on its own as an essay centered on a particular topic, such as spirituality, philosophy, diet, activism, meditation or the mind–body connection. The chapters originally appeared as columns in Elephant Journal, an online journal about yoga and spirituality, and they read like semirelated reflections that anyone could randomly dip into, despite some repetition of concepts. Spiritualists of all levels will find something to appreciate here, but before reading the early chapters on the history and meaning of tantra, anyone unfamiliar with it may want to start with the final section of the book, which focuses on “the spirit of practice.”
An insightful, balanced approach to the frequently misunderstood pursuit of spiritual growth and personal well-being.