6 Fantastic Tantric Benefits for Older Adults
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 into one's day and a deeper, more satisfying relationship with oneself or a partner. Finally, while tantra is a very gentle lifestyle focused on fitness and sex, feel free to get a doctor's clearance first if your health issues are a concern.
1. Better Self-Esteem
Few will disagree; growing older takes to one's self-esteem like a nutcracker to a nut. Today's society is youth and beauty obsessed 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 become more frequent and if not watchful, so do injuries. Most experience a drop in strength and mobility as the years go by. Aging can mean to slow down and even abandon the more physical things we used to love doing. It's no wonder the self-esteem fractures a little. Sometimes, a lot.
When a person, no matter their age, applies tantric views to life and their 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 is basically the side of the art that 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. Yoga and meditation's benefits need no introduction. If you are looking for something that works every cell, system and synapse — from raw beginner to advanced — look no farther. Consistently practiced, yoga and meditation return flexibility, mobility, strength and tenacity to anyone. All good reasons why one's body doesn't have to be something to fear.
3. Younger Looks
Forget about looking sixteen again, 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; tantra removes stress. Inactivity and negativity also contribute to stress levels and messed up inner works such as toxins heighten vulnerability 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. In addition, like every other human being, older adults retain traumatic memories, sadness and hopelessness. Often people feel that life is over for them, 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 be already be felt by people in their mid or early thirties, let alone those in their seventies. It doesn't exactly 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 the best years are over.
Not everyone allows aging 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
- 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!
© 2018 Jana Louise Smit