Have you ever wondered how to maintain the magic in a long term relationship? Tantra has a lot of useful and down-to-earth tricks that can help us to connect consciously with someone not only physically and mentally, but also energy-wise. In this podcast episode I discover, together with Hajnalka Wray, a Yoga and Tantra teacher from South Africa, how to live a relationship full of ecstasy instead of stagnation. And it’s all about the dance between Shiva and Shakti… (Please note: It’s getting juicy and esoteric already.)
In this episode, we go into detail about
- Hajnalka’s experience after introducing Tantra into her 10 year old relationship
- What the main difference is between a normal relationship and a Tantric one
- Shiva and Shakti
- How to fight in a Tantric way
- Some hands-on solutions on how to solve arguments
- What Transfiguration is
- A useful and handy trick for boosting your relationship towards yourself and others
Links and resources mentioned
Mariah: So, you’re the founder of Thula Yoga, right?
Hajnalka:Yes, that’s right!
Mariah: A place for yoga, right now based in London. You also teach children’s Yoga but especially teaching adults a real integral way of Yoga and Tantra, right?
Hajnalka: Yes, absolutely!
Mariah: Awesome! So how are you doing right now?
Hajnalka: I’m doing good. London’s overcast as per usual but the sun is shining inside of me – abundance this morning. I’m full of life and heat.
Mariah: That’s great. I invited you into my show because you’re also married yogini and you were living in a tantric community as well, actually the same as me in Thailand and Agama yoga. You did your yoga teacher last year, right? In Agama and also a Tantra teacher this year.
Hajnalka: Yes, that’s right!
Mariah: Awesome. Tell us a little bit about what, because this show is actually about the beauty of Tantric relationships. So maybe let’s just talk a little bit about your personal experience when you discovered Tantra. What did it do to you and what especially did it to your relationship.
Hajnalka: What did it not do to my relationship. You know, it’s a long story actually. When I discovered Tantra, my husband and I were actually going through a very difficult time. Two years ago, three years ago, we’ve been married for four years but we’ve actually been together for ten years.
Hajnalka: Yeah, and when we hit that seven years, I don’t know if you know the old expression, “the seven-year itch”?
Mariah: Yeah. For sure.
Hajnalka: After seven years, you start to look around and things start to get a little bit funky in the relationship. Well, we hit some kind of a point in our relationship where we were stagnant with specific habits, that you know, routines that we were getting into. Also, at that point our sex life had gone from, we’re in the first three years of our relationship; we were basically having sex five to seven times a day every day. We couldn’t…
Hajnalka: Exactly. This is very normal in the beginning of any kind of a relationship generally.
Mariah: Well, you think it is.
Hajnalka: Okay, I think. We were having a lot of sex and then seven years later, we find ourselves having sex only once a week on a Sunday. Mainly that was me, because I was very stressed. I used to have headaches and stress and tension and anxiety. I really just didn’t want to have sex, you know. Then I got to a point where I was like, something needs to change. I had heard about Agama yoga, actually when I was studying with Shiva Nanda Yoga in 2010 in India finally enough.
Mariah: Alright. Alright.
Hajnalka: I was there in the Ashram. We were actually talking about Brahmacharya, the preservation of the sexual energy. Of course, as we know, Shiva Nanda is a Vedantic path, an Ascetic path, which does not embrace sexuality the way that Tantra embraces it. SO I was listening to this Brahmacharya lectures and I thought to myself, “No, I don’t think this is right.” I think, I definitely believe that you can use your sexual energy, because I have a lot of sexual energy.
Mariah: I can hear that.
Hajnalka: I definitely believe that you can use your sexual energy to reach highest states of consciousness and to reach a stage of enlightenment. A friend of mine taught me about Agama yoga and she said I must go there. Three years later, when I met this breaking point in my life, personally and in my relationship, I signed up for Agama yoga. In fact I had my first Tantric experience, my first Tantric orgasm, my first Tantric sexual experience before I started studying Tantra.
Mariah: Okay. Tell us maybe about that because I think many listeners of mine are not really into Tantra or maybe they’re just discovering it or they’re not quite sure what this is actually all about. Yeah, to give us an example.
Hajnalka: Well, at that time, as I was saying, we were going through a very difficult time and as the season was changing, it was around about this time of the year actually. We’re going into autumn and your body just like feels really tired. Your mind is exhausted. I just felt so weak. I had gone away to Hungary for a week so I had that separation from my husband for a week and of course as we know, they say that “distance makes the heart grow fonder” which it definitely has.
Mariah: Oh, beautiful.
Hajnalka: And definitely it spices up things in the bedroom as well.
Mariah: For sure.
Hajnalka: So, I came home with all those stress and anxiety and tension and I asked my husband to make love to me after a week of not making love. I said to him, “You know what, I just feel that very deep inside of me, there is something that just needs to break, something that just needs to come out. Please don’t stop until this comes out. If anything happens to me, if i start to speak, if I cry, if I shout, just don’t worry about it. Just keep with it until you see that this thing has been released.” We started making love and generally for me, I’m Aries, i am fiery, I have a lot of energy. I can orgasm quite quickly. At that time, for me, making love was about efficiency, it was just “Quick, quick, I’m having orgasm”, the release and that’s it.
Mariah: Yeah, sure. Release, and kind of, to be able to sleep, or whatever, or to be able to function again.
Hajnalka: Exactly, but this time, it was very different because it was taking so long. I’m very impatient as well. This bolding of the orgasm, it will bold, bold, bold, and then dissipates slightly. It’s like these curves of pleasure that we talked about on Tantra. It goes bold it, bold it, bold it, bold it and then it comes down a little bit and then up, up, up and down a little bit. And this was going on, and on and on for I don’t know for how long.
Mariah: Alright, so were sort of, at the first time, sort of you were riding the waves instead of just reaching that peak and then it just runs down, declines.
Hajnalka: Exactly, riding the wave and I started praying, I started connecting. At that time, also, I found myself connecting to God, connecting to the Divine in a way that I hadn’t done since I was a child. I started praying.
Hajnalka: Everything in my being, my eyes were looking up to Ajna Chakra to Sahasrara and I was praying profusely to Shiva to just please just take all of those, just take all of those now, everything. For the first time in my life, I surrendered completely to the Divine, to my husband. In that moment of complete surrender, I don’t know. I still get goose bumps when i think about it. I went somewhere, something happened to me, everything. I orgasmed but it was different. It was the longest, deepest strongest, most profound, meditative experience that I have ever had in my life. And I cried and cried and sobbed.
Mariah: Oh my God!
Hajnalka: It was deep. My body even, was arching up. Everything was just pointing upwards. It was really the most enlightening experience of my life.
Mariah: Maybe to give a little bit of a background, because now you talked about Shiva and surrender. There is this aspect in Tantric relationship and Tantric sex. Tantrics use the masculine and the feminine. The masculine is Shiva and the feminine is Shakti. Shiva, in that case, is the consciousness, right? The core of awareness of also void but stillness. Shakti is this energy, this orgasm itself that brings us to this awareness which is the feminine essence, sort of storm around Shiva. it is quite interesting to look into those two aspects when it comes to relationship because it’s a very strong polarity, right? Let’s just try to bring that down a little bit into what does it mean in our relationship, you know. Use those two aspects in your opinion.
Hajnalka: Well, let’s think about this. I mean, really, what we try to do in Tantric relationships is to come into these essential and natural aspects of ourselves. As the feminine, as a woman I want to come into my Shakti element. As a man, you would want to come into your Shiva element. It’s really embracing …
Mariah: You mean like, embracing the inner essence of, maybe we can look at the body itself okay. If I’m a woman, I have a feminine body. I have a female body. I have certain aspects men don’t have and I have a pussy that men don’t have, right?
Mariah: That’s a very down-to-earth explanation of Shakti. The deeper level that is also interesting to look at.
Hajnalka: Yeah. I mean Shakti is opposite to Shiva. Shakti is ever-changing. Shakti is always moving. Shakti is creating. If I think to myself when i consecrate in the morning to the divine, I ask Shakti. I ask Shakti to embody me, or for me to embody Shakti. For me, what this means is to create, to inspire, to heal in this world. For me, what that comes down to really, is living my dharma. In order for me to live out my dharma, to do what it is that I need to do in this world. I have to embrace this, an essential aspect of who I am, that is my Shakti nature. Part of that Shakti nature is to surrender, to surrender to Shiva, to surrender to the Divine. Within that surrendering, that comes also in surrendering to the Divine. That also comes to play in your relationships and surrendering to your husband or to your partner, allowing your man to lead the way. This really has something that has always been quite tricky for me really because I’m Aries, like I said. I’m very independent, I’m very controlling and this thing of surrendering, it’s a big thing for me to wrap my head around. But really, when I do that, when I humble myself, surrender myself to the Divine, to God, and I do that in my relationships, I find myself to be stronger, really.
Mariah: Interesting. One more thing I want to add about to Shiva- Shakti thing. I think all of us have both aspects in us.
Mariah: Let’s say there’s a gay couple, right? There’s always a Shakti part in a man as well and you can totally embrace that Shakti part as well as your Shiva part, right? Once you kind of decide with which one you have got to go in this life and your dharma, then you can also embrace , of course, the other person’s Shiva or Shakti part depending. This is actually quite interesting. Also, sometimes to switch roles as well, to understand also the other side.
Hajnalka: But those roles are continually switching on a daily basis. You know.
Mariah: True. Whatever our actions are.
Hajnalka: There are certain times where I need to take the lead in some things. Maybe I’m better at something or I’m in a stronger position, healthier position, happier position and I lead the way. I mean, other times, my husband leads the way. This is very common. Really, the point of Tantra is to balance this polarity of the Yin and the Yang, the positive and the minus, the Shiva-Shakti element within ourselves. As you said, we have this. This is very prevalent. This is prevalent in all of us and the purpose is to balance it within us.
Mariah: Exactly. To kind of form, understand that more. What do you think is the main difference to a normal relationship and a Tantric relationship?
Hajnalka: Consciousness, lucidity, awareness. You can’t say. I can’t say all normal relationships are not conscious and lucid, and lack awareness. But for me, this Tantric relationship is about bringing out a greater awareness. It’s about loving consciously. It’s about not just falling into patterns and routines and habit. It’s about bringing awareness of who am I, who are you. It’s about embracing the Divine, not only in you, my partner, but also in myself. It’s a constant transfiguration. Transfiguration really is a very important crux of Tantric relationships. This transfiguration means that, when I am looking at you, my husband, I can see Shiva. I can see the Divine in you. When you are looking at me, you can see Shakti, the Divine in me. Therefore this is: we are here, Glenn and Hajnalka, but really what’s going on is this is the eternal dance of Shiva and Shakti, just in a different form. When you start to look at each other in this kind of a way in a relationship, it really does change a lot. It really opens up your eyes. It wakes you up, it brings a greater awareness, really.
Mariah: Especially, as often in Agama, also they talk about that a lot, not to look at someone in a negative way because they didn’t put down the toilet seat, right? But to look at them because they are that beautiful essence, right? They are that beautiful soul deep within and really looking also through the body, through the layers.
Mariah: And trying to really look at the essence there. Yeah.
Hajnalka: Exactly and there is really this important, what you’re saying. Because often we in normal relationships we fall into these generic patterns. Me, as the woman, I get very irritated with a husband because he’s not taking out the trash and leaves the toilet seat up and he’s squeezing the toothpaste in the wrong kind of a way and for goodness sake, how long is this going to go on, I can’t tolerate it anymore and I have children and everything is just a mess.
Mariah: Exactly. Which brings me to a really good point, how to fight in a Tantric way. There are so many arguments, there are so many things, we feel disturbed. What’s the best way to do that right?
Hajnalka: This is one of the things that you will learn in the workshops that I teach and definitely on Valentine’s retreat that I’m hosting in South Africa. The kama sutra actually gives us some very good ideas of how to deal with tension and problems in our marriage or in a relationship. A very good trick that I can suggest is role playing, play fighting. Before all of those tensions bold up where it’s going to explode, you can play with it. Joke about it. If you feel that your husband really is just mocking about, come on now, you have also, ten times this week “Please take out the recycling or trash or whatever”, and he still isn’t doing. Instead of you having a littler hissy fit and throwing your panties out of the drawer, you can really…You know, when he comes home in the evening, you can pretend that you’re, but give him a little sign, give him a wink that he really knows, This is a game we’re playing now. And you say to him, “Hey, listen here, Mister, how many times have I told you?” Play with that. Have a play fight or a very classic example that they like to use in the Agama workshops, Muktananda, my favorite teacher says: why don’t you just give him a little bit of something that he would enjoy, for goodness sake, instead of the nagging. He doesn’t like the nagging but what does he like? He gets to get ahead I’m sure.
Mariah: For sure.
Hajnalka: When he comes into the house, go up to him, pull his pants down, suck his business for a bit, and then say, “That’s it. No more, until you’ve taken the trash out.”
Mariah: Great one, yes. I sort of forgot about it.
Hajnalka: There really are different and creative ways that you can deal with these problems before they get too big and explode.
Mariah: I also have the feeling, once it is already in the explosive mode, right. Remember that it’s not about competition, it’s a dance, as you said before, between Shiva and Shakti. You can sort of dance the dance, maybe a little bit more passionate and a little bit stronger and flown with fire. You can dance it more sexually, more like fluidly and in different element kind of types.
Hajnalka: Yeah. That’s exactly it. One thing that I found to help me and my relationship since I found Tantra, it’s really this transfiguration. It’s not only the transfiguration, it’s making eye contact, just making eye contact. You know, Mariah, I can’t tell you how shocked I was when I got to Agama and I started playing around with transfiguration and these kinds of things. I realized that, Oh my goodness, I’ve been with my husband for almost ten years now and I’m not looking at him. I’m not engaging with him when we make love. I’m not looking at him in the eyes when I’m speaking to him. I’m not looking at him when I’m angry with him and fighting with him. When I’m dissatisfied, I am not able to make eye contact. And what is that about? The minute I can make eye contact with him, it changes everything. It brings me back to the present. When we’re running away with our emotions and there’s fighting and getting agitated and irritated because you did this and you didn’t do this and how long is this going to go on, we’re not in the present moment anymore. We’re running away to the future and to the past, we’re not in the present. In that moment where you can take a deep breath, just look at your partner in the eyes. It changes everything. It changes everything.
Mariah: It’s so simple isn’t it? So profound. I had the same experience with that. Once I started doing transfiguration, meditations with my partner, and also integrating that looking into each other’s eyes. During the day, just taking the moment, really holding that moment of looking at each other. Such a beautiful practice that is so needed. I actually found some research on women, actually many, many women, naturally urge the eye gaze. For example, they found in rats that every female rat looks at her male partner just before engaging sexually, into his eyes really deeply. Even animals do that.
Mariah: It is something that happens with our hormones that we just built its trust and we can relax, which is of course, helping us in our Shakti energy to surrender , to let go, to sort of flow into that space that is needed for great sexuality.
Hajnalka: Exactly. I can agree with that because, definitely, the ability to gaze into my husband’s eyes when we are making love has transformed our lovemaking.
Mariah: Interestingly, I also found that men, generally have problems with eye gazing because through nature and through their instinct. What it tells them is more like rival thing and sort of like, actually a danger. If someone looks too long into their eyes, something happens in their body that they have these danger sensations. It’s something where man actually have to reprogram and relearn that it is about trust and being present with the other person, holding the space and all that.
Mariah: It is a challenge for both genders. Thank you for sharing that. Great! I love that and all of you out there, if you are listening right now, seriously take a look into this. Do your transfiguration, even on a daily basis if needed, because that really fixes a lot of trouble in your relationships.
Hajnalka: It does. Can I just add…
Mariah: Yeah, sure.
Hajnalka: I have been, over the past few months… I have been doing self-transfiguration in the mornings
Mariah: with the mirror or…
Hajnalka: No, Not at all. Actually I’m just doing it mainly as a part of a meditation in the mornings and I’m really invoking the Shakti, the Divine feminine aspect within me. For me, personally I have found that it’s changing a lot of things. It’s changing a lot of things in my own confidence, changing the way I think and feel about myself. I’ve noticed this difference in a way that I am engaging with people and the way that people are engaging with me, the way that they are perceiving me and experiencing me as well. For my husband as well, I have suggested that he does this self-transfiguration and he’s just started with this now as a Tapas. We’ll see how he gets along with it.
Mariah:Great! Right. Beautiful. I would love to hear the results. Lovely. Yeah you were teasing before a little bit about your offering next year in February, was it?
Hajnalka:Yes. It’s a Valentine’s retreat.
Mariah: Beautiful. Tell us more.
Hajnalka: It’s being held in South Africa, just outside a lovely little town called Knysna, along the Garden Route in South Africa in the Cape region. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s one of my favorite places in the world to go. It’s perfect. It got Indian Ocean, you’ve got dolphins, whales, all kind of sea life. You also have lagoons and rivers. You’ve got mountains, you’ve got natural forest and in fact, in this natural forests are the Knysna elephants, the elusive Knysna elephants which have been missing for years, and years, and years. They have been spotted again.
Mariah: Oh my God.
Hajnalka: It really is a magical, magical, it’s the most magical place that you will ever go to in your life. This retreat is being held in a vegetarian, ecological piece of Eden. It’s a ten-day retreat for couples and for singles. It’s a Valentine’s retreat. Whether you’re a couple or whether you’re a single it’s good to love each other and love yourself.
Hajnalka: Come along! Basically what we’ll be doing is a combination of the Agama yoga, first level intensive, which is a month-long in Thailand. I’m condensing it for you in ten days. Also, I’m combining the Tantra 1 and Tantra 2 workshops held at Agama yoga in Thailand. Really you’re getting about a month and a half worth of knowledge and experience within ten days.
Mariah: So, also on self-practice but also practice as a couple?
Hajnalka: Self-practice, practice as a couple, yeah.
Mariah: Beautiful! Sounds great! Where can we find more information on that.
Hajnalka: If you go on to thulayoga.com. Thula yoga is spelled thula yoga, thula yoga.com. You will find all the information under the Retreats page. Also, you can check out my Facebook page, Thula Yoga on Facebook. Get in touch that way.
Hajnalka: Email address is in forward to thulayoga.com
Mariah: Beautiful. I will a.so just tag the links in my show notes which you find on Orgasmic Discourses.com. Thank you so much, Hajnalka. It was really interesting listening to your experience, your very ecstatic experiences as well. Yes, seeing the beauty of Tantric relationship is definitely something everyone should look into, has such a potential, right?
Hajnalka: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Mariah: Thanks so much again and everyone have a great day and thanks so much for listening to this show.
Hajnalka: Thank you so much for having me.
Thank you for listening to my show
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