10 Traits of a Tantrika

When I first discovered Tantra Yoga’s cave of secrets, my world opened up and my preconception of reality came crashing down. I loved it… it was the most radical approach I could find to transform my life.

But when I find myself lost in the chaos of the world, in the midst of a personal pity party, and out of touch with my Tantrika superpowers, I remember these ten traits.

**To my male readers, please understand that the Tantrika energy lives within everyone despite your gender and sexual identity. Referring to this energy as “she” is just simply easier (and a little sexier), but anyone and everyone has the ability to possess these traits.

So let’s get to it…

1. A Tantrika is the queen of her domain.

Claiming space wherever she goes, her majesty is palpable. Walking down the street, she carries herself with grace and humility, confidence and courage. She cultivates her home as though it were a sacred dwelling, and she effortlessly holds a safe space for other people. She treats her body like a temple, and she consistently reflects on her relationship with other people and her own mind. Her presence is a gift, and she reveres the opportunity to show up and serve the world.

2. A Tantrika dances in the full spectrum of emotion.

Physical sensations and emotional rollercoasters are her playground. She perceives these experiences as gateways to the divine and manifestations of consciousness. She fully embraces her humanness, and she sees fluctuations of physical sensations and waves of emotion as doors leading to a deeper understanding of herself and the universe. She is enthralled by the mystery that is human life, and she elegantly dances between holding herself when she needs support and pushing herself when she wants to grow.

3. A Tantrika is a masterful weaver.

Skillfully blending together all of her favorite things, her life becomes a rich tapestry. She absorbs new ideas and old ways of thinking, and she combines them to create a beautiful and unique perspective. She builds compelling patterns and intricate designs by using various materials that highlight differences and make new connections. She draws from the bountiful well of resources in human culture and the natural world, weaving her life with clarity, prosperity, and powerful intention.

4. A Tantrika laughs in the face of shame.

Refusing to be confined by social norms and oppressive systems, she embodies fearlessness with each step she takes. She is boundless in nature, and she devotes each day to breaking down the cycles of human suffering. Her decisions are intuitively calculated with a commitment to authenticity, and she regularly evaluates her personal beliefs and conditioned behaviors. Attuned to the intersectionality of social justice, she understands that approval and tolerance is far more influential than denial and judgement. Intimately familiar with limitations imposed to assert power over individuals and entire populations, she delights in penetrating revelations.

5. A Tantrika is a fierce lover.

Teaming with immeasurable love, she ignites a fire of passion in the hearts of many. She glimmers with a mysterious compassion, and her piercing gaze reaches into the core of your being. Her magnetic touch and bold nakedness invites those around her to clamor out from their hiding places and stand proudly in their flawed perfection. She demands an honesty that is beyond intellect, stretching her capacity to love and encouraging her companions to do the same. Her heart pulsing with desire and fruition, she searches for union and rests in the realization of her bounty.

6. A Tantrika’s prayer is an art form.

Yoking her personal intentions with daily action, she transforms mundane activities into potent rituals. She is a natural composer, arranging structure amidst chaos and finding meaning despite endless mystery. She chooses her words as if she is performing for an attentive audience, and she attends to her movements as though she is conducting an orchestra. Unafraid to ask for what she wants, she leads from her heart and her life unfolds with ease.

7. A Tantrika is always creating something.

Captivated by her own curiosity, she is deeply connected to her creative power. She constantly pursues her passions and she plays regularly in new fields, because she knows that her expressive qualities are not an exclusive gift but a skill that she must refine. Even if she feels wildly confused and frustrated in the process, she shares her voice and sings her heart’s song, because she carries a piercing truth that must be revealed.

8. A Tantrika contains infinite knowledge.

Craving a deeper understanding of herself, humanity, and the universe, she studies the nature of existence by finding sage teachers and asking provocative questions. Her knowledge and capacity to understand comes not from a purely intellectual pursuit nor linear thought patterns. Rather, her knowing originates from a visceral and profound experience of empathy. Embracing her ability to mother herself, she elegantly navigates her role as a mother for the world, pulling from a wealth of wisdom deep within her belly.

9. A Tantrika transforms through the path of desire.

Standing with arms wide open to the waves of change, she beckons the universe to grant her wildest wishes. She feels a surge of energy coming up from the earth, compelling her to build a beautiful home, explore her sexuality, and consume delicious things. She feels a drift of energy falling down from the sky, signaling her to manifest the world of her dreams. Each time she follows the whispers of desire, she peels back another layer of awakening and she feels her feet moving further along her path.

10. A Tantrika radiates with intense joy for life.

Overflowing with sympathetic joy, she graciously wishes good will towards every person she meets. Just as a flower’s sweetness attracts a swarm of bees, her thrill for compassion summons the presence of gentle strangers, true friends and magical lovers. Her heart gushes with gratitude for her bounty, streaming forth like the waters of a young spring. She feels uplifted by the wholeness of her physical form, holding sparkles in her fingertips and fire in her eyes.

Pretty rich, isn’t she?

I haven’t always identified as a Tantrika, and a few years ago, I didn’t even know what the word meant. But the potency of Tantric practices pulled me in, and the versatility of the philosophy kept me engaged. I found a way to see the immense beauty, perfection, and endless power already existing within myself. I learned to experience infinite pleasure and meaningful connections on a daily basis.

Oftentimes, Tantra Yoga is blatantly misunderstood here in the west, misconstrued with purely sexual implications and thrown into the same pot as other social taboos. But in a country where Yoga is a multi-billion dollar industry and sexual repression and obsession are running around rampant, why are people so quick to turn their noses up at something that could potentially transform our relationship with ourselves, each other, and our own sexuality?

 

Probably because it’s fucking scary.

We are wired to be fearful of change, and deep down, we can always sense when something is going to churn up some shit and radically change our lives.

“Empowerment” through the modern lens might seem all *pretty and pink*, but it’s actually something that we have been conditioned to literally run away from – i.e. an entire human history of institutional and social oppression. Because when people are empowered, they actually hold the power… in their own hands. There is no room for finger-pointing, no space for playing the blame game. They are the ones who are fully responsible for their lives, good or bad. So when people “feel empowered,” they inherently assume MORE responsibility! Who wants that?

Without even knowing it, lots of people actually love swimming in their own misery. They love to deny their superpowers and forget about their magical abilities, because it relieves the pressure and it makes them feel safe.

But if you are still reading this, then you’re probably like me – you crave something more and you are thirsty for the sweetest nectar that this human life has to offer…

Which means that you, my friend, are a Tantrika!

You say NO to systematic shame and imposed limitations and external definitions.

You say YES to standing in the fire of radical acceptance.

You say YES to claiming your throne.

You say YES to creating your own vision of what you think reality should be…

Because it is the only way we can build a better world.

 

Maria Borghoff is an artist, yoga teacher, and curator at GROOVE Studio. She shares the practice of harmonious living with people who want to create positive change in the world, combining movement, meditation, art-making, nutrition and daily rituals. mariaborghoff.com

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