Jana is a student of human nature, forever seeking the truth about the complex issues that face relationships, productivity and daily life.
What Tantra Cannot Fix
Tantra can do a lot mentally, physically and spiritually. However, it's not a miracle cure for all the ailments of the body and life. It's not a permanent happy pill, a replacement for chronic medication or an excuse for promiscuous behaviour.
That being said, tantric practices can ease permanent medical conditions, bring longer stretches of joy and a deeper, more satisfying relationship with oneself or a partner. Tantra is a gentle lifestyle focused on fitness and intimacy, but feel free to get a doctor's clearance first if you have health concerns.
1. Better Self-Esteem
For most, growing older takes to one's self-esteem like a nutcracker to a nut. Today's society is obsessed with youth and beauty, and the media's version of beauty doesn't seem to stretch past age 30. As we age, we can feel left out as lovers prefer younger partners or the mirror doesn't match the glossy magazine page.
Sometimes, we just don't like aging because it sucks. Aches and injuries become more frequent. There is a drop in strength and mobility as the years go by. Ageing often means slowing down and even abandoning the physical things we loved doing. It's no wonder that self-esteem fractures a little. Sometimes, a lot.
When a person, no matter their age, applies Tantric views to their lives and bodies, a shift occurs. Tantra has a way of curbing the self-hatred and disappointment. In its place, confidence and joy blends into an acceptance that isn't defeat but a new lease.
2. Improved Health
Two of the major factors that contribute to declining health are stress and a lack of exercise. Both are dealt with effectively during the practice of something called “white Tantra”.
This side of the art moves away from the bedroom and more towards solitary care — meditation, yoga, eating wisely, mindful walking. White tantra activities should be flexible and relaxing enough to gently work on both your physical health and a sense of stillness. The benefits of yoga and meditation need no introduction. When practiced regularly, this power duo improves flexibility, mobility, strength and tenacity. All good reasons why one's body doesn't have to be something to fear.
3. Younger Looks
Forget about looking 16 again (sorry), but there's evidence that Tantra can shave off as much as a decade. Many practitioners look younger than they really are.
There's no magic, no secret lotion. It's sound science. Stress ages a person and Tantra reduces or removes stress. Inactivity and negativity also contribute to stress and toxin levels, both of which contribute to illness and a worn-out look. White Tantra can return that glow, slowly but surely. It increases blood flow, balances hormones and strengthens the immune system — all necessary to retain that healthy, fresh look.
4. Tantra Facilitates Healing
Older adults face their own set of problems. Parents suffer from the dreaded Empty Nest Syndrome when kids leave home. After decades of work and focusing on child-rearing, partners become strangers to each other. Losing a husband or wife, mid-life crisis, menopause and age-related illness can all cause suffering.
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In addition, like every other human being, older adults retain traumatic memories, sadness and hopelessness. Some feel that life is over, that it's too late to start anything new and that their past will always hurt. These are all complex issues no single thing can fix. Tantra's focus on renewal and taking pleasure from being alive come close, though.
Empty Nest couples learn to reconnect and know their partners from anew. Tantric meditation and self-care can be a successful coping mechanism during loss and bereavement, as well as illness. When done correctly and over time, Tantra can and does heal on a mental and physical level.
5. Hope for a Fruitful Future
Returning to an earlier point — how the world views people who are no longer considered young. Sometimes, we're not all that wrong in thinking that older people are being sidelined by society and the media. This snobbery can already be felt by people in their mid or early thirties, let alone those in their seventies.
It doesn't help that companies target the elderly with ads for funeral policies. Talk about what they think your future is! Maybe your adult kids have been telling you for years to slow down. A lot of people also hit a point, famously known as the midlife crisis. They stare so hard at a past that didn't go as planned, that they fear the same (or worse) for the future. Others stagnate in a routine life until they are convinced their best years are over.
Not everyone allows ageing to stand in their way, but Tantra can be a positive practice for anyone who feels otherwise. It cultivates an optimism that the best years can still happen where it matters, adding health, confidence, joy and passion. The wounded self-esteem heals and within this lightness, the mind finds better possibilities to achieve dreams.
Life Isn't Over
6. A Better Love Life
Menopause can wreak havoc with a couple's sex life. And not just because the woman is going through major hormonal changes. Men also experience something similar that can leave them feeling blue and anxious, which may lead to bedroom malfunctions. This might lead to more anxiety and a vicious circle is born.
Then there's the myth that the elderly don't need sugar in that way. Personally, to have sex is a matter of personal choice and not age. There are couples who wish to stay active, no matter the number of candles on their birthday cake.
As one grows older, hormones, injuries and illness can interfere. However, keeping one's body healthy as much as possible can allow lovemaking, no matter the obstacles. Tantric exercises can assist with:
- Hormonal balance
- Easing menopause
- To express love despite injury or sickness
- Move past any stigma against elderly sex
- Enrich a stale relationship when people have been together for decades
These are the most common issues faced by older couples that Tantra can help with. Always remember that the art is not just about regaining potency. It works best when the practitioner works, first and foremost, to heal themselves and the relationship they are in, not to force change in a partner.
Finally, there are many online and real-world communities that will readily share knowledge with newcomers. An incredible feat in these youth-obsessed times, the Tantric community doesn't care what age you are!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Jana Louise Smit