My Personal White Tantric Yoga Experience
A few months ago, my Yogi friends asked me if I have ever attended a WTY. I had no idea what it was, but somehow felt drawn to it to have the experience.
It felt like the universe is knocking on my door.
Somehow I was hoping that my friends would come too, since they praised WTY so much! Well, no! Each one of them had commitments. On top of that my friend Mitch said that he didn’t have a great experience. I found out a few days later that he got hooked up with another man, which ruined the experience for him, as by Yogi Bhajan it was intended to create a Z-shape of male-female energy.
So I just put out to the universe that I want a female partner, and someone who is committed to the practice.
It felt like the universe is knocking on my door.
The WTY day came, but I overslept and missed Sadhana at 3.40 AM. So I arrived for the official opening at 7 AM. I was dressed completely in white, with a turban that was so poorly wrapped that no one could really call it a turban.
Upon registration I only saw couples and I got a bit concerned about my partner request. I entered a hotel conference room with a stage and two huge screens showing a big version of Yogi Bhajan’s head. The floor had three white tape lines on the carpet, indicating where people would sit later, facing each other.
One of the volunteers assigned me a spot and came back a few minutes later with my partner for the day. I looked at her and felt immediately a heartfelt connection. Lisa.
She looked so familiar and also her energy felt like that. We introduced ourselves and agreed to practice together. She was the type of person one feels safe around immediately.
I was so happy and thanked the universe for fulfilling my request.
Here we were, sitting, facing each other, knees touching and eyes about 3 ft apart. Ahead of us a 10 hour day with four 62-minutes and two 31-minute meditations. After the introduction and a few warm ups we were ready for the first meditation.
62 minutes of swaying back and forward while holding on to each other’s elbows and staring in each other’s eyes. Just after a few minutes my back started hurting and I had no idea how I would make it through 62 minutes.
I could also see pain in Lisa’s eyes. We kept going as the pain in the back, neck and shoulders increased. My mind requested to get out this to protect the body but I ignored that request. I was just hoping that the next meditation would be a bit more gentle.
Well, it didn’t!
We held on to each other’s wrists, moving the arms back and forth in an alternating motion, which hurt my back even more. So I was focussed more on the eye gazing part to take my mind off the pain. Lisa kept looking left and right and could not hold a strong connection. When she got out of sync with the music, I was signaling her with my eyes to keep her shit together. It was frustrating. I tried to get her back into sync, but she was pushing against me.
So I closed my eyes to get into a meditative state when she got mad and extended the range of motion to wake me up. It turned into 62 minutes of suffering. Right afterwards I laid down and fell asleep right away. I was frustrated.
25 minutes later, Lisa woke me up for the last mediation before lunch.
I was still annoyed but was also feeling compassion and a sense of love for her, as she of course was suffering too, and had a hard time following through.
Next was a very beautiful meditation with the eyes closed, incorporating the 60 second breath. 20 seconds inhale, 20 seconds hold, 20 seconds exhale. We were holding hands and signaling each other through lightly pressing the hands when we needed to move on. That way it became a synchronized breath. I felt the warmth of her hands while listening to a beautiful version of the Kal Akal mantra - The Mantra for protection from Animosity.
I saw many faces and colors come and go. I was in ecstasy the whole time, in a state between laughing and crying. The pain and frustration from the two previous mediations was forgotten.
Of course, these 31 minutes flew by way too fast. We hugged afterwards and she said that she cheated and looked at me at some point, seeing me totally spaced out.
I must have made some funny faces during that meditation. :)
During lunch, we talked about our experiences with a group. Turns out, it wasn’t only us getting frustrated with each other. For many couples, it was about control, power, patience, expectations,and tolerance.
I learned that it helps imagining that we have to hold the asana forever. That’s it.
Trapped in holding the same posture for the rest of our lives and beyond. The idea is to give up on caring about the pain, as there is nothing we can do about it. It’s been described as dying into the posture. I have heard a similar statement before from a Zen Yogi.
I learned that it helps imagining that we have to hold the asana forever.
We returned back into the so called Tantric Shelter, with new excitement for what’s to come, taking that advice with us. Next we were asked to hold up the right arm up in a 45 degree angle for the male, the left for the female, interlacing fingers. The other hand was interlaced as well, holding it about parallel to the ground. Again, the mind demanded to get out of this, so I told it that the body will be just fine. We will do this forever!
After a few minutes it became such a big struggle internally. Again, we were gazing into each other’s eyes, but with new energy and the commitment to make it through 62 minutes. At some point, we felt that cosmic energy came in and we were supporting each other. Effortlessly. Lisa was holding my hand up, and I would hold her hand up. At that point (It must have been around 50 minutes later), the pain ceased and euphoria set in. It was so exciting, and I could see light in her eyes, being proud of this accomplishment that we made happen together - something that seemed impossible just a few hours ago.
I thought we have made it through the hardest part of the day as there were only two meditations left. The next one we were sitting back to back, interlacing hands. Again, a synced breath. Nothing else. No movement. Easy.
Not being able to move the back and therefore, not being able to adjust the legs without disturbing Lisa’s meditation. It turned out to be quite difficult and demanding.
With that, I found the version of the mantra - Ang Sang Wahe Guru - super annoying.
I realized that there was a section in each repetition where the volume would go down a bit. With each repetition I was hoping that we have reached the end of this mediation and the facilitator would turn down the volume for good and release us.
It for sure was the longest 62 minutes of all day.
For the last 31 minute exercise, we were sitting facing each other again, hands on the thighs of the partner, and foreheads touching while listening to Nirinjan Kaur Khalsa’s ‘Every Heartbeat’. A beautiful song for removing worries, heal mental pain by giving hope and a deep understanding of spiritual truth. That, in conjunction with the posture provided comfort, warmth, and a very soothing feeling. It was a very beautiful experience to let everything we went through, and created together, sink in.
When after 10 hours we finally brought closure to the class, I was tired but also energized.
I had no words for what exactly shifted.
Laying in bed, trying to grasp what had happened, my mind did not want to think and I got lost in the experience over and over again until I fell asleep.
I can say that that night I had the best sleep in a very long time. The body is capable of so much, it was so exciting to explore that. I am so stoked to experience the ripple effects in the next 40 days from this practice while practicing the Kal Akal mantra, which I chose for myself.
Have you ever done WTY? What was it like? I would love to read your experiences!
Thank you so much for reading, have a blessed day!