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Get Taut With Tantra: Top 14 Tantric Yoga Poses & Exercises 

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Aug 11, 2023
tantric yoga poses

If you’re seeking exercises just to tone the body, then Tantric yoga poses aren’t for you.

A consistent Tantra yoga practice shatters self-doubt around your body’s capabilities and builds stamina that benefits all areas of your life — from how you smash through your professional life to your sexual energy and prowess. 

“The householder who is content with whatever he happens to obtain, who has given up inner attachment, and who has completed all the practices becomes liberated by means of the techniques of Yoga.”  

The Shiva Samhita.

We’ll combine traditional and modern Tantra yoga positions to strengthen your whole body and create a lean, powerful physique.

What is Tantric Yoga?

Tantric yoga is an ancient practice with the ultimate goal of liberation and spiritual enlightenment through living a wholely beautiful, sensual life and following the Tantric path.

Tantra yoga tends to combine asanas (yoga poses and sequences), meditation, pranayama (breathwork), and chanting. However, living tantrically means that your life is the practice. 

Tantric yoga doesn’t aim for a taut, fit physique for the practitioner as a goal. However, body awareness, acceptance, and a higher level of fitness and stamina are undoubtedly by-products of a regular Tantra yoga practice.

What are tantric yoga poses?

Tantra yoga exercises, known as asanas, are the physical aspect of tantra called; Hatha Yoga, which means “power yoga.” It works with the subtle energy body and Kundalini, which makes it a tantric practice.

The source texts of tantric yoga asanas include Shiva Samhita (1300-1500 CE), Gheranda Samhita (1700 CE), and Hatha Yoga Pradipika (1350 CE). 

But yoga has been around for far longer in the oral tradition. The Rig Veda said 5000 years ago, and the yogic lore of the first yogi, Shiva, says 15,000 years ago.

We will dive into the asanas later and include a whole host of seated, standing, and supine postures.

From backbends, inversions, and forward folds, the practice gifts the body with movement that releases tension, increases mobility, and strengthens the major muscle groups. 

And ultimately prepares the body for meditation.

What is the goal of tantric yoga?

The goal of Tantra yoga is something that needs to be demystified. The practice isn’t just about tantric sex. In fact, sex is a drop in the ocean, which is the ancient tantric teachings.

The ultimate goal is to awaken the kundalini shakti in the Muladhara chakra and raise it up along Suhumna Nadi to meet Shiva at the Sahasrara chakra. And experience the ecstasy and liberation of the sacred union of the two.

How is tantric yoga different from regular yoga?

Tantric yoga positions follow the traditional hatha yoga practices for self-realization, while regular yoga is a modern workout invited in the 20th century and aimed at increasing flexibility and fitness.

Tantric yoga works with energy; it stirs kundalini up the central channel, while regular yoga works with the physical body to make it healthier.

What are Tantra exercises?

woman with curly hair doing yoga at home

Although Tantra poses may seem like exercises in how they exert the body, their objective also encompasses the subtle bodies.

Some poses include Tadasana (mountain pose), Adho Mukha Shvanasana (downward facing dog), and Prasarita Padottanasana (wide-legged standing forward fold).

Couples tantric meditations and tantra poses also exist, such as the yab-yum position. For these, emphasize prolonged eye contact and placing a loving hand over your partner’s heart. Also, it involves focusing on both you and them breathing in tandem.

What happens during Tantra yoga?

Unlike ashtanga or Bikram, Tantra tends not to have a set sequence. However, here is a general layout of how a class tends to flow:

  • Intention setting — consecrating the fruits of the practice to the benefit of all sentient beings and Shiva.
  • Asana — yoga sequence with a particular energetic focus.
  • Pranayama — breathwork so that the body’s prana can flow freely.
  • Mudra — meaning ‘seal’ in Sanskrit, mudras enhance the flow of energy and activates Kundalini.
  • Visualization — the body lies in Savasana or is seated in the Lotus Pose, as the mind starts to imagine particular forms, objects, or situations as vividly as possible. 
  • Ritual — using external objects in the world, such as food, a human body, incense, etc., as an offering to a certain energy form. The practitioner focuses on this process and allows the technology to transform his subtle energy body.
  • Chanting — not every Tantra practice includes chanting, but again it tends to take place at the beginning or the end, bookending the spiritual experience.

What do I need to try Tantric yoga at home? 

Interested in incorporating tantric meditation exercises into your workout routine?

Tantra yoga can be practiced from the comfort of your own home – with minimal equipment. However, you will need the following:

Comfortable clothing

It’s best to practice with as few loose-fitting clothes as possible. Underwear only is an option, while a traditional Dhoti is optimal.

Yoga mat and props

A yoga mat isn’t actually essential. If you’re stuck, a rug or even a beach towel will do just fine. Outdoors on the grass enhance the grounding element of a Tantra or kundalini yoga practice. 

As for props for Tantric yoga exercises, use whatever you need to make poses accessible for your body. This could be a yoga bolster, meditation cushion, yoga block, or straps. If you have knee trouble, a blanket can be helpful for support. 

A relaxing space

Many won’t have space in a house for a dedicated yoga room! So, get creative with soothing candles and music to create an intentional yoga space at home for relaxation. 

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How can I set aside time in my schedule for Tantric Yoga?

One of the biggest excuses we give ourselves why we don’t exercise, or indeed Tantric yoga positions, is centered around the idea that we do not have time. However, this is not the case, as a short yoga session can be incredibly effective.

As a result, start small and start noticing the time spent numbing (scrolling, TV) and make the decision to change and start connecting.

Top 6 Tantric Yoga Poses For Weight Loss & Exercise

There are hundreds of tantric yoga poses that you might want to try out. However, if you are trying to lose weight, you may find the following Tantric yoga exercises to be the most effective. 

1. Kumbhakasana

Kumbhakasana

 The plank position may already be part of your workout routine – and while its difficulty means that you won’t enjoy it, it’s a great way to strengthen the core and arms. 

2. Uttasana

Uttasana

For chair pose, bend the knees, taking the weight into the heels while lengthening through the spine. Tone your leg, arm, and back muscles with chair pose by sinking back in your heels. Raise the arms overhead on an inhale so that the upper arms come in line with the ears. Exhale slowly, lengthening through the upper body. 

Focus the gaze, and feel the floor supporting you as you take 5-6 breaths.

3. Virabhadrasana II

Virabhadrasana II

For Virabhadrasana II (warrior pose), take the right leg in front, with the know bent. Then, take the left leg straight and reach the hands out, taking the gaze over the right fingers. Breathe for 10- 15 breaths before you switch sides. This asana builds strength in the legs, glutes, hips, core, chest, shoulders, and arms.

4. Navasana

Navasana yoga

Navasana, known as boat pose, requires strength all along the torso, the quads and hip flexors to draw up the legs and keep them lifted. Feel free to bend the knees if the body is not yet ready for full boat pose.

5. Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana yoga

For the downward-facing dog, begin in a tabletop position, take the feet shoulder-width distance apart, and then lift the hips up and back. Not only does this pose stretch the whole back body, but it also requires all the major muscle groups to engage and support the asana.

6. Parsva Bakasana

Parsva Bakasana

For the side crow, ground each hand into the floor and twist the lower abdomen so that the right knee pins into the left tricep. Then, lean forward and find a focus point to steady the balance, keeping the muscles of the feet active.

Other forms of this Tantra yoga pose include Bakasana (crow pose).

The four poses of the Shiva Samhita 

The Shiva Samhita is one of three major surviving classical treatises on hatha yoga. It recommends that all householders- people who don’t choose to devote their entire lives to spiritual awareness- can benefit from yoga. 

The modern poses explored above hold physical and energetic benefits, whereas the poses outlined here will deepen your journey inwards. 

7. Siddhasana

Siddhasana
Image courtesy of Mallinson, James. The Shiva Samhita

Siddhasana is a pose to settle into during pranayama and is designed to be a relatively comfortable seated position.

Place both feet, soles upward, on the thighs. 

Place the hands on the middle of the thighs with the palms facing upwards. If this is uncomfortable on the knees or hips, place a block or meditation cushion under the sitting bones. As a rule of thumb, the knees are best suited to resting at the level of the hips or below.

Combine this seated posture with bhastrika pranayama. Also known as bellows breath, it involves expanding the abdomen and taking strong, forceful inhales. 

And likewise, exhale forcefully while drawing the navel firmly towards the spine. This breathing exercise is highly beneficial for healing the digestive system and increasing metabolic rate and overall energy levels.


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8. Padmasana

Padmasana
Image courtesy of Mallinson, James. The Shiva Samhita

Many people will find that no matter what diet they take or how much they exercise, they feel sluggish. This could signify that the prana in the body isn’t moving freely. 

Taking time to create a flow in your energetic being might seem like a waste of time if you’re goal is to become lean and taut.

However, your body may be holding on to tension, fat, fear, or anything else, and until you address and heal yourself — it’s going to be much harder to change your physique if that’s what you’re after. 

Fortunately, padmasana immediately improves the flow of prana. And when it is practiced repeatedly, the practitioner’s prana finds its natural current. 

Here’s how to take the padmasana pose: extend the legs and take the opposite hand to foot, then bend the knees and draw them onto the thighs. Note that this pose requires significant external rotation in the hips.

9. Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana
Image courtesy of Mallinson, James. The Shiva Samhita

Before I get into this pose, let’s de-bust some myths around yoga poses and targeting fat loss.

You’ll often hear that this is a wonderful pose to get rid of belly fat. However, if we take a more physiological, scientific view of this, the truth is that your body stores fat throughout the body.

And the only way that you can lose weight in one region is to lose fat overall. Poses that target muscles will strengthen those muscles. It won’t help to “target” the fat stored around those muscles.

So what are the benefits of paschimottanasana?

This forward fold stimulates the metabolism and digestive fire. In Sanskrit, we call this Agni. This fire boosts energy.

Begin in dandasana, a seated position with the legs extended. 

Focus on length throughout the spine and keeping the shoulder blades in abduction, so they draw close along the back body. Next is your fold, allowing the hand to rest along the leg or binding around the feet. 

It also helps boost energy while toning the muscles around the spine.

10. Svastikasana

Svastikasana
Image courtesy of Mallinson, James. The Shiva Samhita

Svastikasana in English translates to auspicious. Its powers lie in soothing and calming the body. Spend time focusing on self-love and building an intimate connection with yourself.  

Bend the left knee and draw the sole of the left foot, so it rests on the inner right thigh. Next, bend the right knee and place the foot in between the thigh and the calf of the left leg.

Feel a lift through the front body and breathe deeply for 10 minutes. 

Poses from the Gheranda Samhita

The Gheranda Samhita is one of the most encyclopedic treatises in yoga. Here are selected poses from this text to build a serious level of physical strength.

11. Shalabasana

Shalabasana
Image courtesy of Mallinson, James. The Gheranda Samhita

Lie prone, taking the hands under the shoulders and drawing the elbows tight into the ribs. Use the back muscles to lift the legs off the ground, reaching the crown of the head forward.

12. Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana
Image courtesy of Mallinson, James. The Gheranda Samhita

Take the hands under the lower ribs, knitting the elbows tight, and slowly raise the upper body, taking the back bend through the entire spine. Feel the kundalini energy rise from the base of the spine towards the seventh chakra.

13. Vajrolimudra

Vajrolimudra
Image courtesy of Mallinson, James. The Gheranda Samhita

Use your arms to support yourself on the mat, and raise your head and feet into the air. 

If this pose places too much strain on the body, try a half-boat pose variation by bending the knees in this pose.

14. Mahamudra

Mahamudra
Image courtesy of Mallinson, James. The Gheranda Samhita

Press the left heel into the perineum while extending the right foot. Hold the toes with the hands, take jala mudra, and gaze between the eyebrows. Fill yourself completely with air on each inhale. After 3-5 minutes, switch sides.

Conclusion

Exploring the Tantra poses for strength and toning is a wonderful start to this tradition. If you’re looking to develop as a man mentally, physically, and spiritually, Tantra is a magnificent and powerful practice. 

These simple Tantric yoga exercises are a great way to tone your body, but having the support of a guide has always been the way of Tantra. 

I’m Steffo, a Tantra yoga and men’s relationship expert. My expertise lies in empowering men to realize their full masculine confidence and depth of connection to themselves and their partners.

Explore my free training here to reignite your maximum potential. 


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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

I am the founder of The Tantric Man Experience™, a pioneering transformational coaching program for men. With over 1500 hours of certified tantra training in India and Thailand and 7 years of experience helping hundreds of men worldwide save their marriages and reignite passion in their love lives.

I have over 8 million views on YouTube and have been featured on VICE and Newstalk Radio for my life’s work - helping men unleash their full masculine potential.

My holistic FLT method seamlessly integrates ancient tantric philosophy with my modern expertise in relationships, sexuality, dating, and men’s health.

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