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Yab-Yum Position in Tantric yoga

To: alt.magick.tantra
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Yab-Yum Position in Tantric yoga
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 00:57:06 -0800

A query:
> When the couple finally goes to the yab yum position, does the man 
> penetrate the woman? They never say. i don't like to assume anything. 
> If they don't, what does the guy do with his erection?

The yab-yum ("father-mother") position of tantra yoga is indeed one in
which the man's penis enters the woman's vagina. However, due to the
need for both people to support themselves and to balance carefully with
the woman in the man's lap, there is not a wide range of in-and-out
motion possible and thus the man's arousal is deliberately kept to a
fairly low level. Likewise, the yab-yum position limits the woman's
grinding motions, so her arousal level is also kept at a low level. This
allows the couple to prolong intercourse as they meditate on the flow of
energy between them (provided their poor legs don't get crunched up

Although tantra yoga is one form of spiritual sexuality, there are
others, most notably karezza, in which the forms of the bodily positions
undertaken during intercourse are not part of the teachings per se. In
due time i shall be placing online some old karezza texts that are out
of print and in the public domain -- but for now, i would like to merely
mention that although karezza utilizes consciousness-altering methods
similar to those found in tantra yoga and Taoist sex-alchemy -- namely
eye-gazing, slow movements, synchronous breathing, and visualization of
the energy flow between the bodies of the participants -- it does so
without tantra's rigid dogmatism.  

Tantra yoga teachers typically prescribe certain ritual positions for
sex and also insist on breaking various ancient Indian cultural taboos
(e.g. against eating certain foods or having sex with people of another
caste). Karezza, on the other hand, is simply a method whereby "the
internal caress" (penis-in-vagina intercourse) is undertaken as a path
to spiritual bliss. You can practice karezza in the classic yab-yum
position of India and Tibet, or in any other position that is
comfortable for you. I, for instance, find that both the equally classic
woman-on-top and couple-side-by-side positions engender the same
steaming energy as the yab-yum position, with far less discomfort,
leading to longer times spent in the state of...well...of being "there." 

Since you are new to this subject, i would like to suggest that you
acquire a picture book of classic tantra yoga asanas (positions) for
maithuna (ritual intercourse). My favourite of these books by far is
"The Great Book of Tantra" which is currently in print and can be
ordered from your local bookstore or via for about $20.00. It
contains full colour reproductions of several dozen fabulous old
paintings of the most popular Indian maithuna asanas, plus some
amazingly vivid ritual images of the goddess Kali and the god Siva (kiss

catherine yronwode

Sacred Sex:
The Sacred Landscape:

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