“This is me doing Arabic chanting when I was in the Sahara. Do you mind if we listen to it while I honour your body?” My tantric master Hanna leaps onto a red and purple silk mattress that has replaced the floor and stares intently, looking for the word yes. “Um, yes, jolly good”.
Hanna begins weaving around me and is waiting for our genders to be in harmony which hasn’t happened yet because my masculine side is “reproducing too much.” I tell my masculine side to think about the shipping forecast and lean against Hanna. We sway together as Hanna repeats “you are a GODDESS!” and gestures to parts of me that shrivel from her attentive glare.
Hanna’s workshops are designed to help her clients blossom and express their authentic selves so their karma is cleared. I nod understandingly and ignore my karma preaching that this is a hostile work environment.
Hanna tells me not to think of her as an ordinary sexy woman, but as a "tool of the divine”, helping me to be one with the light. She encourages me to let her "disappear as a personality and let her own dance with the divine take precedence."
The art of Tantra began in the 4th century as a spiritual practice with roots in Buddhism and Taoism. Although it’s largely understood as a method of delaying and intensifying orgasms, it’s also concerned with gaining greater cosmic awareness.
After five minutes the music stops and Hanna assumes the praying position. She asks me to join her and exclaims enthusiastically that our chakras have “now resonated after a turbulent start”. Although before I’m able to thank her and apologise for their behaviour she’s back on her feet and fiddling with her laptop.
Frantic New Age music starts blaring and Hannah yanks my bum against hers and then starts shaking uncontrollably on the spot. What the shit is going on in here. I suddenly realise that we’re meant to be dancing so close my eyes and focus on not doing Gangnam while Hanna shouts that we’re praising the goddess Kavida Rei. “Splendid!” I boom back and wonder whether I remembered to record Africa.
This is an introductory session but Hanna also runs sequential workshops that allow people to graduate from level 1 to “Cobra Breath” on level 8. Couples and singles are encouraged to unite their sexual and spiritual selves and achieve true enlightenment at Hanna’s Tantric temple in Wiltshire.
We take a seat after Kavida Rei gives us her blessing and Hanna explains that she’s always been able to help people realize their potential. She describes Tantra as being like “taking a very powerful potion that gets one closer to the sacred reality of oneself. Trying to describe it doesn’t actually do it proper justice.”
Hanna’s company Transcendance also offers training courses for potential shamanic practitioners. Hanna states that pupils are encouraged to “become advocates for total wellness and learn many aspects of the vocational path." The workshops are focused on presence, personal empowerment and sexual wholeness to honour the interconnectedness of all things.
We lean back on the floor and Hanna looks at me sympathetically before saying that revealing your sexual priestess can take months of practice. She recounts her spiritual journey as an author/singer-songwriter to a transformational guide.
Hanna has been in the industry for 14 years but is at ill ease with some parts of it and tells me about an unfortunate trend where “Women call themselves Tantric Goddesses but in fact they are simply giving sensual massages. Perhaps wearing a sarong or bindi on their forehead and playing Indian ragas." It pisses her off that they try to appear authentic.
As the session comes to a close Hanna encourages me to "disentangle and let your energy go back into yourself, cutting any cords that were formed." I think of the 25-year-old umbilical cord my sisters say I have and give it a quick snip.
Transcendance offers singles, couples and private workshops at Charlotte Street or at Hanna and Martin's house in Wiltshire. For more information:
Telephone: 07875 435 104 or 07973 504121.