Whole Life Magazine

January/February 2015

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Page 24 of 43

STOKE THE FIRE WITHIN N eglecting to prioritize time for self is a top cause of losing that lovin' feeling. e body needs to rest and recharge or the nervous system gets taxed and adrenals get blocked. Charu Morgan, founder of Embody Tantra in Culver City, uses a down-to-earth approach that makes it easy and safe to explore sex and spirit. e tantra practice includes movement, sound and guided visualization. "Our ultimate goal when we are engaging in any kind of tantric practice is to open the body to what is actually its natural state and allow the power of our sexual energy (the life force) to activate," explained Charu. " e number one way to revive your sexuality is to nd and prioritize time and space for yourself." is is not to minimize the role of orgasm, which releases ben- e cial chemicals in the body, but, "It's an awakening process as well. One must give the nervous system and body the chance to recalibrate. It helps to get the body into a beta brain wave state and deep relaxation." Once the body so ens, simple tantra practices can activate our sexuality. is process progresses quickly because we are asking our bodies to do something based on nature. Our bodies must return to an "organic state," Charu said, in or- der to reach natural arousal. is simple 10-minute exercise (see box below) is about awakening the body, breaking out of patterns, boosting energy and blood ow, and bringing in more oxygen. ELEVATE YOUR EMOTIONS S ometimes the self-love seeker's path is littered with the detritus of previous experience, in which case Chinese Medicine o ers surprising bene t in healing the emotional self. What causes a person to fall into depression or even just numb- ness? "Sometimes people get stuck in unhappiness when they are not being honest with themselves or are trying to mask things over (with drugs, food or other substances)," said acupuncturist Sandy Lee of Elements Total Health Center in Pasadena, "or they are not grounded, getting sleep or working from self awareness. en they are not facing their emotions. is is a running theme; pain with the root cause of fear. e level of pain the patient is manifesting has to do with suppression." Lee works to remedy this with a combination of needles and medicinal natural herbs, roots or owers to help elevate the patient to optimum health and happiness. "For the ancient Chinese," Lee explained, "sex was not employed only for its procreative aspect, but as a means of phys- ical and spiritual cultivation. e act of pleasure was used to har- monize one's energy, conjoining the masculine and feminine as- pects in the pursuit of physical revitalization and longevity, along with the concept of immortality." In Chinese Medicine kidney energy is related to sexual energy, so Lee recommended epimedium plant, ginseng root, polygonum root, rehmannia root, cordyceps fungus, schizandra berry and gingko leaf to strengthen the kidney. In matters of love and sex, aside from causing the freeing of opi- oids, acupuncture potentially promotes the release of oxytocin. It activates blood ow, moves stagnant energy, restores optimal homeostasis and encourages the production of endorphins—feel- good opioid substances—thereby mitigating pain, reducing stress, boosting immune function, reducing in ammation and allowing for deep rest and recovery. ese are all signi cant factors that can in uence the maintenance and restoration of sexual energy and a vital, healthy sex life. One of the loveliest things about the journey back to self-love is that it is a pleasant journey. ere's no reason not to begin. S tart by standing with both feet on the ground. Keeping your feet still, bounce your knees and allow the top part of your body to resemble a rag doll. You may sway your hips side to side. "Let yourself feel like a child," she said. "Let there be a sense of play and innocence. Tremble and shake parts of your body that don't move often." The shaking releases ten- sion. Do this movement for at least fi ve minutes. Then lie down in a fi ve-minute shavasana pose. Bring one hand to your belly and with the other, lightly cup your genitals. Inhale through your mouth and let the belly rise. Exhale, again through your mouth, and let the belly go toward the spine. Re- lax the jaw. This reminds the body how to relax so it is ready to be aroused. Now bring both feet to the ground and point your knees up, spaced about six inches apart. Begin to inhale and pull up through the tightened pelvic fl oor, comparable to a kegel exercise. Exhale and release. Synchronize with the breath. Experiment with using only 20 percent of your strength. This makes it a more subtle movement, but will keep your buttocks relaxed. Women, focus on the vaginal wall. Men, focus on the inside of the penis. Continue for two minutes. Next, rock the pelvis gently for one minute. Push your rear into the ground and lift your lower back off the ground. Then curl your rear under and bring your lower back to the ground. On each inhale, your rear goes back into the ground. On each exhale, the lower back gently curls under and goes down. Finally, rock the pelvis back and forth. Synchronize the breath and be conscious with the movement. Relax again with hands over heart and genitals. Intro to Tantra february/march 2015 25

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