“It’s a passion and a purpose,” said Sean Ramsay. “This is not a sexual weekend. It’s not about sex. This is about yourself.”
Blissful Lotus Erotic Boutique on Orange Avenue is sponsoring the event, known as the Ipsalu Tantra Weekend Intensive, and subtitled “Better Relationships for Life.”
The weekend retreat will be held on April 15-17 at Yoga Shala in Winter Park. Nayano Burdine, a certified Ipsalu Tantriko instructor, will lead the classes, which run on Friday from 7:30-10:30 p.m., Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ramsay, who operates Blissful Lotus with his wife, Stacey Murphy, said Tantra is an intimate way for couples to learn more about themselves.
“Tantra is a mix of sexual and spiritual energies,” Ramsay said. “Spiritual not as a religion, but as a greater power and practice, a unity of male and female, with high energy. It’s a lot of physical exercises and energy points, and a lot of it is very focused.”
Ispalu Tantra Yoga is billed as the practice of couples uniting their bodies, minds and spirits to bring them to a place of balance and wholeness. It’s a way to heal emotional wounds, to expand their consciousness, and to learn how to accept and cherish their bodies.
Ramsay said he and Murphy discovered Tantra during an intensive weekend in Fort Lauderdale a few years ago, and after opening Blissful Lotus, they decided to host a similar event.
“The weekend Tantra intensive is using the actual teacher we had,” he said. “That was before Blissful Lotus. Our experience with it was very positive. It was a good way of tapping into your own authentic self.”
Whereas yoga is associated with a healthy body, Tantra is more often associated with a healthy mind.
“When talking about sex, it’s not the act of sex that’s important,” Ramsay said. “It’s being in a union with someone on a deeper level.”
The weekend will touch on a wide variety of topics, including living in true intimacy, releasing emotional blocks, rediscovering your original innocence, transcending inhibitions that are blocking people from being happy, deepening relationships, utilizing techniques to prolong and deepen lovemaking, and learning to be more present and less critical.
The weekend is open to couples or singles, and they’re encouraged to wear comfortable Yoga clothing suitable for plenty of movement, and to bring along a comforter and Yoga mat, a meditation pillow or chair, blanket and towels, and water and snacks.
“Tantra is a practice that goes back thousands of years,” Ramsay said. “Tantra is more of a practice and a philosophy. On a more modern level, Tantra is about ‘no goal’ lovemaking. Tantra is about incorporating the entire body. A lot of the Tantra stuff is creating an experience incorporating all of the senses. You have to push your comfort zones.”
By sponsoring this event, Ramsay said, “We want to be a resource to women and couples who want to expand their relationships. We’re amazed at how little people know about themselves.”
Their boutique already serves that purpose, he said. A lot of what they sell is aimed at helping couples find ways to strengthen their relationship, and not just in the bedroom. Sometimes it’s as simple as learning how to communicate with one another.
“We want to provide a space for people who want to engage in a conversation that a lot of society says ‘Oh, no, you can’t talk about that,’ “ he said. “We want to be a destination, a place people can go to get these questions answered.”
What they’re not, he stressed, is an adult book store.
“We don’t have porn in here,” Ramsay said. “We do have some erotica, because erotica stirs the mind. As soon as people walk in the door, we get, ‘Oh, you’re not such-and-such.’ This business is changing, because the days of the sleazy bookstore are over. We really tried to create a space that’s welcoming and chill. I think we’ve brought something very positive for the area.“
The cost of the weekend is $275 for singles, $500 for couples, and $200 for repeaters. To learn more, log on to http://theblissfullotus.blogspot.com/2011/01/ipsalu-tantra-weekend-retreat-learning.html.
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