Exciting: De Bewustzijnschool starts with classes in Tantric Awakening and OneFitters are welcome. In the context of expectation management, we’ve asked instructor Karlijn Kouwenhoven about all prejudices about tantra. Here are 5 reassurances. And just so you know: yes, you can keep your sports clothes on.
Relief 1: the teacher is not the typical dreamcatcher type
Teacher Karlijn Kouwenhoven (30) has a master degree in psychology, was a consultant in change management and leadership at a big corporate and did a hatha yoga and tantra yoga training. Since age 17, she gives workshops and travels around the world for tantra retreats and festivals. Karlijn: “Because of tantra I’ve got the feeling that the choices I make are right and that life has become much easier and lighter. I want everyone to experience this.”
Relief 2: tantra is just another form of yoga and mindfulness
“Tantra is very similar to yoga and mindfulness: you’ll be working with breathing, movement and living in the moment. Only, it’s freer than yoga because you won’t only be laying on your mat and you’ll do some exercises in contact with others. Also, it’s broader than mindfulness because we integrate sound, movement, and visualisation. The goal is to feel more free, from a connection with your mind, heart and emotions.”
Relief 3: it’s down to earth
“Tantra is – just like yoga – a spiritual movement, which can easily be integrated into your daily life. You’ll be learning how you can be true to yourself in your busy life while connecting with family, friends and work.” That’s why the classes are always about core themes of tantra, like ‘acceptance with gratitude’, ‘honesty’, and ‘surrendering’.
Relief 4: tantra’s link with sexuality is different than we think
Tantra is not: sex with strangers in a circle to reach an ecstatic state. “In tantra, we welcome sexual energy; it’s what we call life energy or Kundalini. It’s the energy that makes us feel alive, in a flow and happy. Sexuality and sensuality are sometimes blended in, for example in the form of breathing deeply towards your pelvic floor, in dance or as a conversation topic. But it will never be more sexual than this!”
Relief 5: you’ll be taken out of your comfort zone in a nice way
Even though the class is called Tantric Awakening, the class is very practical. One of the exercises you can expect is making eye contact for 5 minutes. “Our mind will tell us it’s uncomfortable and it will think many things about the other. Though, if you breathe through it, you’ll get rid of shame and the contact will be much more sincere.” Other exercises that might pass are: shaking with your body or breath exercises to release emotions, learning to say yes or no, and speaking about your wishes or feelings of shame. “For many people, it’s a barrier at first, but after, it feels like coming home to yourself because you actually start listening to yourself.”
As of May 17th, the classes will be given in English on Thursdays between 18.30 and 20.30 o’clock.