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Our guest this week Michelle Young, is a Certified Yoga Therapist and founder of My Vinyasa Practice specializing in Eating Recovery, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and Behavioral Health. She writes curriculum for yoga teacher training, yoga therapy training, meditation and esoteric training in addition to continuing education.

Michelle's passion is helping people awaken into the truth of who they are as Beings in a Human experience. When we realize that our lived experiences are not universally true, and that they form both our positive perception of the world and others as well as our negative perceptions of the world and others, and that ultimately those belief systems are limiting us and holding us back, we begin to awaken. This process is similar for all humans because we are awakening to our natural Enlightened state of being where we KNOW that we are an embodiment of Sat Chit Ananda, True Universal Conscious Bliss. This is the first step to Self Realization.

The History & Philosophy Of Tantra Yoga

In this workshop we will identify the foundational principles of Tantra as a system of yoga intended to lead to illumination and absorption. These principles include:

  • The history and philosophy of Tantra Yoga
  • The human condition & the importance of integrative practice
  • Understanding our Why
  • Transcending & manifesting through Self-Realization

Tantra Yoga is an integrative system that weaves the many schools of yoga together to create a tapestry of integrative practices to support our life.

Tantra explores the duality or polarity that we experience as humans through the lens of different yogic philosophies and practices. These practices are influenced by Samkhya Philosophy, which is a dualized philosophy identifying purusha and prakriti as the essence of manifestation.

Schools Of Tantra

Hatha Yoga

The Hatha Pradipika is one of the primary sources on Hatha Yoga that we can refer back to better understand the historical relevance of Hatha Yoga. We often hear that Hatha means union of the solar and the lunar parts of ourselves, and although there is some validity in that there is another side that needs to be explored. In the Hatha Pradipika Hatha Yoga is described as the ability to persist in something with effort, specifically with strength. Yes, Hatha Yoga implies Union, and it is important to understand that all Yoga implies Union. Hatha Yoga is specifically union of all aspects of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual bodies to purify and strengthen.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of devotion, and it represents the creative expression of love and devotion for the Divine. Bhakti is rich in poetry, painting, shloka, kirtan, and expression of dance and trance.

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga is the yoga of selfless service, and it is viewed slightly differently depending on whether you’re talking to someone who is in the Kashmir Shaivism camp or the Avada Vedanta camp. What seem like subtle differences between the two perspectives are actually larger areas of comparison. Karma Yoga through the lens of Kashmir Shaivism is coming clean, free of projection, free of agenda, and free of perception (and story). Where, Karma Yoga through the lens of Avada Vedanta is action that is selfless, that is not rewarded, and that is unacknowledged.

Jnana Yoga

Jnana Yoga is the knowledge of the Self. It’s important to note that Jnana yoga is not knowledge for the sake of knowledge. It’s knowledge of who and what you are; it’s knowledge of who and what we are as beings in a lived experience. When we think we “know” something we are likely in avidya, ignorance (remember the kleshas), but when we are in Jnana Yoga we know the only thing that is true is we are Beings in a lived experience. Everything else is a perception or a verbilization (a story).

Rajas Yoga

Rajas Yoga is Yoga reserved for royalty. Rajas Yoga includes studying the scriptures, cleansing practices (kriyas), asana (seated), pranayama, pratyahara, and states of meditation which are considered Andaragna Yoga. Many people look at the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as Rajas Yoga, which is appropriate. Rajas Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga are not synonymous as Ashtanga Yoga is a more modern, post colonization practice.

Laya Yoga

Laya Yoga is traditional Kundalini Yoga, not the Kundalini practiced under the lineage of Yogi Bhajan, which is a modern adaptation. True Laya Yoga is secreted, and only available to those initiated into a cult of practitioners who still adhere to the ancient techniques. Kundalini energy is said to be potential energy that must be married with Adi Shakti, or Universal Energy, through practices and states of consciousness. Agni is also a large part of the practice of drawing the Kundalini energy upward as it is required to eradicate impurities and limiting beliefs blocking the flow of energy towards Adi Shakti.

Laya Yoga

Laya Yoga is traditional Kundalini Yoga, not the Kundalini practiced under the lineage of Yogi Bhajan, which is a modern adaptation. True Laya Yoga is secreted, and only available to those initiated into a cult of practitioners who still adhere to the ancient techniques. Kundalini energy is said to be potential energy that must be married with Adi Shakti, or Universal Energy, through practices and states of consciousness. Agni is also a large part of the practice of drawing the Kundalini energy upward as it is required to eradicate impurities and limiting beliefs blocking the flow of energy towards Adi Shakti.

Why An Integrative Approach?

When we look at our lives through the lens of integration we see that our experiences have shaped our perception of reality. In fact, each of us are living in an altered state of reality based on our perspective. Although our perspective is valid because it is based on our lived experiences, it is certainly not universal for everyone, and therefore cannot be applied to everyone as Truth.

When we experience trauma, hurt, pain, or loss we heal almost instantly, just like our skin would or our flesh, but that healing comes with adhesions, attachments, and conditions that again are based on our lived experience. When we can integrate our mind and body on a physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level we can align the physical and metaphysical fibers of our being in congruence. This allows our energy to flow unobstructed, and we can manifest our deepest desires.

Tantra Yoga Teacher Training

If you are interested in taking the next step to deepen your understanding of Tantra Yoga, Michelle’s studio, My Vinyasa Practice, is offering 50% off their 200HR Tantra teacher training when you pay in full. You'll learn traditional techniques that elevate conscious connection to yourself, others, and your experience.


Lizzy Prindle
Lizzy Prindle
Lizzy has been practicing yoga for over four years. She found her practice as her collegiate swimming career was ending; looking for a new hobby she began taking yoga classes and never looked back. She has carried her yogi mindset into her role as beYogi’s brand manager. Working alongside many teachers, studio owners, and yoga brands she has helped expand beYogi’s all-inclusive yoga insurance policy into an education-based membership offering much more than coverage.