Charles Muir believes that yogis can be the best lovers – especially as they age (!) The legendary instructor and author, who views love-making as an art form, is coming to town to initiate others into his Tantric tradition.
YogaCity NYC’s Jim Catapano, caught up with him to find out more about his intimate yet controversial teachings before he arrives at Reflections Yoga on April 18 to introduce them to NYC yogis.
Muir is the first to acknowledge that his position is a minority one. “In yoga, as in many religions, celibacy is the main thing you’re told to do with your sexual energy,” says Muir. “Mute it, ignore it, sublimate it, conserve it.”
Muir, a yoga practitioner and instructor since the 1960s, explains that he came to realize this didn’t make sense in the modern world. “That works fine for a forest, a cave, or an ashram,” he says. But this is yoga for people “who aren’t in retreat, but in the world. They are taught there’s a way to play with the energy, which increases the Shakti which is the fuel for enlightenment.”
In 1978 Muir founded Source of Tantra Yoga, which brings the concepts of God and source back into the equation. (As he says, “God created sex: men and women screwed it up.”)
How does it work? Initially, Muir suggests simply be totally there for the act. “At the beginning of each lovemaking ritual, you meditate and become present with your partner,
you call God into the union,” says Muir. “It’s a kind of prayer: ’Come know us through our prayer of love, and let us know You through this prayer.”
It is actually a pretty dramatic idea when you stop to think about it - and not what’s normally practiced in the West. Rather, it is a higher form of the practice, based on Tantric principles, called “Conscious Loving,” a phrase coined by Muir in his 1989 book on the subject.
“It's called lovemaking,” reminds Muir, although he points out that in our teens and early 20s we don’t usually see it that way. “When you’re young, the desire is just to get laid. It was overwhelming, and chemical in nature, as our testosterone levels were soaring, and the goal was to end it. To ejaculate, and end up empty as a man and, in that time– hopefully – give the women some pleasure.”
Muir explains that as we get older, ideally we will come to recognize that it can be so much more. “You discover it's about being the best you can in giving and receiving,” he says. Maturing in love. And you discover on that journey that there are better things to do than just ‘squirt.’ As we get into our 30s we tend to feel our drive, our libido, less than in our 20s, and it continues to fade.”
Muir says that it doesn’t have to be this way. “I'm going to be 70 on my next birthday, and I have a better love life and sex life than I've ever had, even during my single years as a tantrico when I had many lovers.”
“Lovemaking is a way to charge up your physical body and actually grow younger,” says Muir. “You don’t always have to lose that energy. For a man that means holding back from ejaculating and recirculating that energy back through the system.
A man during normal sexual practice generally loses energy through ejaculation, but Muir explains it doesn’t have to be that way. “The energy generated through the sacral center, the second chakra. It builds and we feel that need to squirt, to have a thrill, which is teeny. It’s 5 seconds is average norm. But that can be much longer, and you can actually learn and master how to have an orgasm, the movement of energy, in a pleasurable way without ejaculating. The energy moves inward and upward. This is a key component of life extension, of youthfulness.”
For women, Charles explains, it’s complementary but quite opposite. “Their quest in Tantra is to awaken the sleeping Shakti,” he says. “And as they have vaginal orgasms, the energy runs from the crown chakra and down through the sacral, increasing the energy. As the saying goes, ‘It blesses the woman, it blesses the man that serves her, it brings harmony to
the whole village and nurtures the Earth Mother herself’.”
If you're curious about concepts like “energy sex,” and “the sacred spot,” now you can become enlightened.The intro workshop $25 online or $30 at the door. And If you find yourself ready to immerse yourself in conscious loving, the full weekend course is $525, with payment plans available. All are welcome: you can come alone or bring a partner. There is no nudity or sexual touch in class, but you're free to do your own “research” for homework! Have a look and see at SourceTantra.com.