Business of Yoga

Our Business of Yoga course is taught by Patrick "Papa" James Riley. Course highlights include: creating a business plan, marketing and promotions, initiating innovative yoga programs, developing negotiation skills, creating business opportunities, accounting strategies, web page development and more.

First, let’s get on the same page in terms of what we mean by “yoga business”. Some examples of yoga businesses are:

  • Yoga studio owner
  • Co-op yoga space owner/partner
  • Online yoga teacher
  • Private yoga teacher
  • Yoga retreat leader
  • Workshop leader
  • Yoga and wellness coach
  • Contract yoga teacher (corporate yoga, yoga at schools, events, health clubs, pop-ups, festivals, etc.)
  • Specialty yoga teacher (kids, disabled populations, elderly, veterans, disenfranchised populations)
  • Yoga teacher training leader
  • Continuing yoga education provider
  • Yoga podcasting
  • Yoga writing
  • New teacher mentoring
  • Yoga school owner
  • Selling yoga products

And really, whatever ideas you can dream up!

If more than one of these sparks your interest, that’s great! I often recommend building a yoga business with multiple revenue streams.

Now, onto what you’ll want to consider before building your yoga business. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • What is your risk tolerance?  Do you have a day job that can support you as you transition into being a new business owner? If so, read why I suggest holding onto that gem! Are you the sole breadwinner with a newborn baby and a partner out of work? Or maybe you’re single with few financial responsibilities and a large amount in savings so you can handle more risk?
  • Are you ready to say goodbye to some free time? If you already have no wiggle room in your schedule for things like self-care, you might want to question the timing or scale of your vision.
  • Are you ready to change your relationship with yoga? Turning a passion or side-hustle into your bread-and-butter will change your relationship with it. Are you ready to leave the dewy-eyed honeymoon phase with yoga and enter into a committed marriage with it through sickness (hopefully less of this haha) and health?
  • Are you down to level up your yoga practice? Having a yoga business means your personal practice needs to be on point! Having a dedicated personal practice while staying up-to-date on the latest developments and trends in the yoga world will support you in your entrepreneurial journey as well as keep you on your A-game so you can better serve your clients.
  • Are you ready to face your fears and work on your money mindset? Being a successful business owner takes a bit more than the law of attraction and magical thinking. It requires getting down into the muck of your limiting beliefs in addition to learning the nitty-gritty of running a company.
  • CREATE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN! A business plan is defined as a document that describes a company’s core objectives, business activities, and how it plans to achieve its goals. The exact layout will depend on its intended use and audience (whether it’s just for you or to seek funding from potential investors for example), but basically, it’s a road map!  In order to get to where we want to go, we have to know where we’re going and have at least a rough idea of how to get there, right?That’s why behind most successful companies is a business plan—it’s KEY in turning dreams into reality.


Tantrik Bodywork

“Find ecstasy within yourself. It is not out there. It is in your innermost flowering. The one you are looking for is YOU. You are the traveler and you are the destination”  Osho

Our bodies are living Temples and deserve to be tended with loving care. Tantrik Ritual Bodywork, aka TRB combines Sacred Temple Bodywork ~ with various additional active tantrik principles. The intention of our Tantrik Ritual Bodywork sessions is to explore in a mutually dynamic & sacred interactive way. This is the Art & Beauty of Embodied Devotion. Workshop Certifications provided.

The world is hungry for more intimacy and connection. Not only with other people, but especially with themselves & their connection to Source. With Tantrik Ritual Bodywork, we provide a safe space for others to experience the type of intimacy and connection they so deeply desire. We hold space for them to cultivate a deeper relationship to themselves, other and to everything as a result.

Tantra is known for its vast number of practices, such as philosophical study, sorcery, divination, occultism, penance, taboo-breaking activities, meditation, devotion, Tantra Yoga, among others — and its Tantrik rituals and Tantrik ceremonies.

A ritual or ceremony can be described as a set of actions done in a prescribed order. Rituals and ceremonies (called Dikshas in India) are important in Tantra, notably as Tantrik initiation rites, but special ceremonial forms of worshiping or devotion are likewise practiced plenty — rituals like Linga & Yoni honoring and Maithuna(Union), or Shiva and Shakti Deity worshiping, and such. In our Temple we do things symbolically and never engage in actual sexual union. 

In this Tantrik Ritual Bodywork experience, the recipient is a loving participant and together we embody Shiva & Shakti, God & Goddess, unveiling and mirroring our divine essence. We will play with tantrik yoga poses ~ beginning by opening our hearts through eye-gazing and dropping into a Ujai Ocean breath (slow deep breathing where you can hear the breath as it flows through the back of your throat), while sitting together in Yab-yum (lover's yoga pose).

After dropping into the moment, we will engage in conversation about how the session will unfold and any specific tantrik principles that you may wish to experience and learn from. Here I would like to express that our Temple's Tantrik Ritual Bodywork Sessions are more experiential than conversational, unless verbal coaching is specifically requested.

We will explain in the beginning how to follow the therapist's breath & gestures. And of course, we will use words when necessary! Yet, it's so nice to dissolve into essence, to escape the mind's constructs, to follow by touch, by tenderness, by intuition, by Spirit, by Love.

Tantra helps you get out of your head and into your body. Our TRB sessions are a Sensorium, awakening the five senses allowing you to be more present, to experience a heightened field of perception & awareness . These practices allows us to move out of the left brain, into the creative self and into a space of feeling that anything is possible.

“Tantra Yoga Entrainment” will be brought in to clear out the distractions of the mind. As the senses are activated, bringing presence into the body and moment, we work to balance and re-align energy flow, enhancing mind and body wellness. We do so by simultaneously employing: attention, intention, breath, mantra, mudra, movement, bhava(feeling, emotion, mood).

We allow ourselves to flow "By Her Grace" and trust where that current is taking us... For all good things are in the flow of our Divine Way in the play.

Essentially, a ritual is simply a set of actions that often includes symbolic and elemental components used ceremonially. Most rituals are meant to either symbolically or literally bring about some type of transformation in the recipient, deepening one's connection to self & Source, while bringing about a greater awakening. A sacred ritual celebrates and activates, this inner transformation in a ceremonial way, which serves as a reminder to yourself and the universe that you are ready to let go of that which is not serving your highest good and allows the new, true you to emerge.

After the opening ritual orientation, Tantrik Meditation & intention sharing, the magic unfolds in grace by following the sacred pulse.  The practitioner’s skillful & intuitive touch guides the recipient into deep connection with self & Source, through rhythmic bodywork waves, flowing moves inspired by ancient Hawaiian Temple Bodywork styles, Swedish, and deep pressure techniques.

As channels for Holy Love, not only are we guiding a session but we are teaching as well. Through play we invite them deeper, as we dance with the energy thats alive in each moment. By being a clear channel and embodying the unique face of the Goddess that we are (or have chosen for the Ritual that day), we bless and bliss them up with our very presence! In this offering of service and granting blessings to others, we in turn are blessed. What you honor honors you. What you serve serves you. 

By being a channel for the Fountains of Bliss to pour thru you, you are in turn purified, activated & blessed. Allow this current/channel/flow to nourish you. Allow the Ritual to be a playful sacred exploration and experience. Stay with the magic of the moment, connected to your essence, allowing ease and grace to flow through you naturally. That is the most important part of all.

Every moment from beginning to end is a Sacred Prayer-Dance-Ritual-Communion. Every moment is a guided “Integrated Tantra” Massage, moving vertically and horizontally, on a massage table, using therapeutic & sensual techniques, strong & light touch, with intention & by Her Grace (following the sacred pulse), and working with various entrainments & energy practices. 

The Art of Intimate Communion requires the sensitivity of both the Dakini therapist & the client to be completely, intentionally present, the willingness to feel raw emotional vulnerability, the openness to explore the unknown, and the courage to let the genie out of the bottle. We have the powerful potential to completely transform the way we & our clients see the world and our place within it/as it. We hold up the “Mirror of the Dakini”. There is the opportunity of entering altered states of consciousness, where we may receive ecstatic visions and transmissions. 

Let the genie out of the bottle, ask for what you want to receive. The Infinite Love of the Universe wants to play with you!

Tantra is a path home to truth; truth as Love. Truth as bliss. 

Every day is a Ceremony.


Tantrik Tea Ritual

When having tea with a Tantrika be ready to be taken on a journey..

Tantrik Tea Ritualistic Ceremony with Chantell 

First we arrive, we slow down and ever so gently soften into presence and reverence for all is divine. Then our journey begins and as we approach each step of the way we pause and give our love and gratitude for each of the elements.

Fire; the fire used to heat the water
Water; the water used to steep the tea
Earth; the tea leaves
Air; the steam when the hot water meets the leaves
And Ether; the emptiness or stillness one may experience when fully surrendering and becoming present with the tea in their hands.

Just As a yogini arrives to her mat, grounding into presence, a Ceremonialist Tea Tantrika arrives to her sheepskin, grounding in presence, pouring herself empty to be a clear channel for spirit to move through her. Stillness becomes her and the process of serving and partaking in tea becomes an art.

When the cup arrives into your hands feel its warmth, what sensations course through your body? Gaze upon its beauty, what do you see? Sip in its aroma, what do you smell? Where do these sensations take you? Then ever so slowly bring the cup to your lips, before you take your taste close your eyes, take in one little sip at a time. Allow the tea to tickle all of your taste buds than ever so subtly feel its warms moving through your body, your entire being. Now tell me what’s more tantrik than that?

I didn’t think it could, until we added in deity yoga to the service. In the photos here we gave homage to Chinnamasta. The goddess who decapitates her own head to feed her attendants. She is the sacrifice, the sacrificer and the recipient of the sacrifice. She is the self sacrificing goddess that transcends death. She is Samadhi. She is the bright lightning of instantaneous spiritual intuition that destroys and casts away the veil of ignorance, opening up the path towards supreme spiritual freedom. She is the ultimate goal as she goes beyond death, and is undying.


Integrated Tantra

Let us bridge the ancient Tantra Yoga Temple Arts with the Modern World and our collective need for  an understanding & integration of who we are as physical, sexual, spiritual and emotional beings in Holy Love.


Enter our Integrated Tantra School of Embodied Awareness, a Sacred Temple Arts fusion of Tantra Yoga, Tantra Massage, Meditation, Bodywork, Healing, Sacred Sexuality, Shamanic exploration & Classical Tantrik studies. We are available here to the curious, the novice, the initiated and the adept. 

Integrated Tantra has you awaken to your Body as a Temple, inviting you to live your life as a ritual of devotion in motion. With deep respect for the Tantrik path, “Liberation is nothing but your natural state when you are seeing the whole truth clearly.”

Integrated Tantra is a Ritual of Remembrance. A sacred ritual celebrates and activates, this inner transformation in a ceremonial way, which serves as a catayst to deepening in Holy Love in yourself and in your relationships. Everything is a reflection of the self and the self is everything.

Integrated Tantra invites you to become intimate with raw experience and to dive deep within the body. Awareness is the agent of all experience.

Integrated Tantra is about bringing sacredness into your life, and about honoring something greater than you and I. It is about honoring the mystery, and the bringer of life in all things, from the flowers to the trees, to the birds, the tiny caterpillar glistening on a fresh leaf, or the waking sun, and the moonlight. It is about honoring your breath and all your senses that allow you to experience this Life in embodied awareness. Your senses are the Gateway home. Explore your senses and truly feel the present moment.

Couples Integrated Tantra: Discover a deeper, richer, fuller experience with your beloved, taking you to new heights of spiritual communion. Play in the Ocean of Awareness together as Shiva & Shakti, mirroring the eternal lovers dance.

The entire universe vibrates with pleasure and desire, thus, in Tantra, the experience of pleasure on a microcosmic, individual level, evokes the universal process. At peak moments, the practitioner has an opportunity to experience a state of union (or Yoga) with all that is, with the infinite creative Ocean of bliss from which we all emerged. Imagine sharing that experience with another sweet soul. Imagine flowing in waves from the depths of the Ocean Soul together, upward toward the Sun, wrapped in spirals of cosmic creative light, pulsing with divine joy.

Sacred Sexuality:  Union of bodies, hearts, souls, minds, in spirit, in the sacred dance of physical loving. In sacred sexuality, when we are deeply present, we come to know the privilege it is to caress, to pleasure, to enter and be entered by another human body, in reverence and full awareness.


Integrated Tantra is the Art of Intimate Communion,  a choice for you & your Beloved to intentionally open yourselves up as Universal vessels, to receive the nectar from the fountains of infinite bliss, to embody the Divine Lover's Dance as Shiva & Shakti. It is a choice to trust, reveal and be seen.

By acting impeccably in the world, we create an atmosphere within and around us which not only nurtures our own development as human beings, but also betokens our ecstatic entry into the realm of self–awakening. We will need to be brave to open to the reality of who we are, but being brave in this context is simply having the courage to wake up to who we really are, to open ourselves thoroughly and honestly to this basic expression of what it means to be alive, to look deep within the mirror, the crystal Temple of the Soul... and recognize the whole.

Integrated Tantra requires the sensitivity to be completely, intentionally present, the willingness to feel raw emotional vulnerability, the openness to explore the unknown, and the courage to let the genie out of the bottle. You have the powerful potential to completely transform the way you see the world and your place within it. There is the opportunity of entering altered states of consciousness, where you may receive ecstatic visions and transmissions. Let the genie out of the bottle, ask for what you want to receive. The Infinite Love of the Universe wants to play with you!

Celebrate with us The Art & Body of Bliss. Expand and repose in pure awareness. The cross represents the human body and the rose represents the individual's unfolding consciousness. When you open your mind, alive in your heart, you access the very source of creation within you, tapping the holy nectar of divinity, the sacred sap of the Tree of Life.

Awareness is Aliveness.

The way you think is the way you feel.

We invite you to cultivate the garden of your mind, with care, intention and attention.

“Thought and emotion are like sugarcane and it’s juice. Thought and feeling are not different, one is dry and the other is juicy, you can enjoy both.”

The goddess is the womb of wisdom. Free yourself from the hunger of preferred experiences and claim your throne of awakened awareness to your embodied bliss essence ever-present.

Integrated Tantra is a Ritual of Remembrance. We are one tree in divinity, blossoming from our global Lotus, between the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. To co-create our New Story in Integrated Tantra, we are called to unite the past with the present, the East with the West, North and South, Inwards and Outwards, Above and Below, the left-hand and right-hand of Tantra, all manner of world religions and philosophies into the Holy Love Heart Cauldron of Now.

We stand on the great evolutionary bridge of divine truth. May all beings learn to discern for themselves what is true. May all falsehood and ego be burned away in the dross, that we may do the great work of our highest alchemy. The light of a thousand suns shines its rays through each and everyone of us. No single culture, religion or philosophy owns the truth, rather, the truth owns us. Together, may we reach with all our branches toward the light of Creation's Mind, opening our hearts fully that all fear and divisiveness may be transformed by Holy Love into True Communion.

Let's get raw. Let's get real. Let's get juicy. Let's integrate and honor the Classical lineages of Tantra while celebrating our embodiment in this Goddess Play of Creation!

We hold the keys to all creation we perceive

Artwork by Mariela de la Paz

Sacred Temple Bodywork

Taught by Annette Amor

A combination of bodywork styles are blended with full body-to-body flowing strokes, moving the energy continuously around the recipient's body; deep, strong, light and soft... Sacred Temple Bodywork  is our unique loving, shamanic & holistic version of Hawaiian Temple Bodywork. It is an invitation to be embraced fully in to "the wings of the Dove"... our wings, with Love.

The receiver is encouraged to go on an inward journey to experience the healing fully and deeply, to enter into a loving shamanic trance. This is an opportunity to connect one's body-heart-mind with the Fountains of Radiant Bliss, Source Creation.

It is the human condition of separateness that has us longing to be touched, without judgment, in unconditional love and acceptance. We you to awaken to the love within the sacred temple of your own heart and being, to the Art and Body of Bliss!


Tantric Jesus


Reclaim the Divine Spirit as the Holy Mother.

Learn about the Sacred Feminine that existed in Gnostic Christianity. Learn about the Tantra of Jesus. In this deep immersive video, Raja introduces the Gnostic Christ of the Gospel of Thomas and other Gnostic Scriptures from the early days after the Crucifixion and how they relate to the Tantra of connecting to the Source Light.

Tantric Jesus: The Erotic Heart of Early Christianity

A guide to the history and modern practice of transformative Christianity

• Reveals the original tantric wisdom of Jesus and the early Church and its resonance with the tantric yogas of India and Tibet

• Explains how tantric Christianity views the human body as the primary “temple” of the Holy and erotic energy as the signature of indwelling Divine Presence

• Provides step-by-step instructions for a series of Christian tantric practices, including a partnered sexual practice, mantra and energy work, eye gazing, and work with icons

Unbeknownst to many, the original Christian spirituality as practiced in the early church and by Jesus himself was a tantric spirituality. In the West, Tantra often evokes images of arcane rituals or acrobatic sexual positions, while in reality Tantra is a holistic transformative path of life, love, and being--grounded in practice.

Offering a new understanding of Jesus as guru and master of left-handed Tantra, James Reho, an Episcopal priest and tantric initiate, reframes the Christian story and restores to modern Christianity the tantric wisdom practices that were edited out of church tradition and forgotten over the centuries. He explains how tantric Christianity views the human body as the primary “temple” of the Holy, with erotic energy as the signature of Divine Presence within. Rev. Reho reveals the similarities of the earliest Christian practices to the tantric yogas of India and Tibet and explores the role of Kundalini and the chakras. He details how to work with mantras, icons, and pranayama breathing exercises, as well as with gazing as a spiritual practice. Informed by the insights of ancient texts and early masters of Christian spirituality, the author provides step-by-step instructions on how to practice Christian tantric sex with a life-partner of the opposite or same sex.

Rev. Reho reveals how these heart-opening practices are rooted in eros, the life of deep desire, expressive of God’s grace within us, and are still alive in monastic practices in the Christian East. Integrating his personal spiritual experiences, years of study of ancient Christian mysticism, and an expertise in yoga and tantra, the author shows how we can re-engage the original truths of the early church to affirm the body as a holy vehicle and to utilize the energy of the erotic to achieve ecstatic union with the Divine.

Awaken to the Universal Tantra of Truth, Holy Love.  

We are one tree in divinity, blossoming from our global Lotus, between the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge.  To co-create our New Story, we are called to unite the past with the present, the East with the West, North and South, Inwards and Outwards, Above and Below, the left-hand and right-hand of Tantra, Shamanic-Classical-Neo-Tantra, all manner of world religions and philosophies into the Holy Love Heart Cauldron of Now.

Matrikas & Yoginis

A Yogini, in some contexts, is the sacred feminine force made incarnate, as an aspect of Parvati, and revered in yogini temples of India as the Eight Matrikas or the Sixty-four Yoginis.

Neo-Tantra as a Bridge

There is so much debate out in the world about Neo-Tantra, along with Sacred Sexuality, where many claim that such teachings are not about "Tantra". Many Classical Lineage-based Tantra Teachers frown upon Neo-Tantra and are quick to criticize.

I would like to offer a more inclusive and non-shaming perspective about Neo-Tantra, that instead of polarizing, outcasting  or trying to lop off this entire new branch on the Tree, we instead choose to view Neo-Tantra as a Bridge to the deeper understandings and the bigger journey of Tantra.

Consider this, many in the western world start off on a yoga mat in a yoga class as merely another form of exercise. Yet, the more they show up on the mat for these practices, the more the actual yoga is working through them and opening their bodies/minds/hearts and they often are fueled to go deeper and learn more about yoga and meditation, to include all that it means and entails.

Similarly, the quest to awaken and heal in these physical bodies, unifying sexuality and spirituality to blossom into our full fragrant wholeness is what brings most people into Neo-Tantra and Sacred Sexuality pursuits. As one continues down this path of learning and awakening, a desire fire gets lit to discover/uncover more of what "Tantra" truly is, which in turn leads them to seek out more advanced teachers who have both the scholarly studies combined with the devotional practices from one or more lineages. Thus, Neo-Tantra can be a bridge to Tantra, as one climbs from the outer branch down the Tree of Yoga, to the many treasures of understanding. Tantra is on the Tree of Yoga, Neo-Tantra is on the Tree of Yoga. Your journey  of discovery, embodiment, remembrance, awakening and liberation are all found in this Tree.

From the roots of Stone-age Shamanism, up through the ages and stages, to now. At Holy Love Institute of Tantra Yoga, we receive you where you are in your sacred journey, and bring you home to the truth of yourself.

"Integrated Tantra" is our fusion of Classical Tantra, Neo-Tantra, Shamanism, Mediumship & Magick for Modern Humans  opening us up to our divine insight and wisdom channels: Mahasiddhas, Mahayoginis, MahaTeachers, MahaHealers, Guides, Gurus, angels, ascended Masters... May we open to crystal clear transmissions, by Her Grace. We integrate Classical Tantra teachings, rituals & practices with the whole human being's needs and desires of today. We each have a fundamental desire for an embodied sensory & cognitive experience of all that we are, have been, are to be, as it is our basic "drive" to connect to the "Maha Bliss", the gateway from which we emerged. Bliss is Life. Awakening is your birthright, as inevitable as the sunrise.

"Shamana Ma leads us in engaging with the immediate urgency of being alive. Her Tigress gait leads us thru the jungles of sensual abundance, by a masterful prowess to hunt for love in all of its glitter and fur, to jump and bite thru into the tender fire source of juice and joy. Again & again, leading thru the ancient gateways of the eternal lesson: to hunt and ravish our hearts desire until we have finally found our greatest belonging - ourselves, lying naked and delicately alive on the fertile ground of truth."


The ultimate purpose of the Ashtanga practice is purification of the body and mind. By moving so quickly and powerfully, you will get a lot of tapas and everything extra, physical and mental, will have to get out the way. This practice has a strong sense of purpose and you are forced to focus and grow. Ashtanga can be considered a very "yang" style of yoga.

Ashtanga yoga involves syncing up a continuous and structured series of postures with the ujai breath. It features multiple asana series and each one must be mastered before moving to the next series.

The Ashtanga Vinyasa lineage, like any living lineage, is a hybrid of yoga methodologies and philosophies, which converge clearly in the teachings of the early Upanishads and blossom later in the practices of Hatha yoga and Tantra. The internal forms of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga—using bandha, mudra, drishti, and ujjai breathing—are the pinnacle of Tantric technique, which are also brought to light in the broad clarifying context of Patanjali’s yoga philosophy and the nondualism of the Upanishads. This traditional approach is recognizable in Hindu and Buddhist contemplative traditions as well as in the direct experience the practice uncovers.

The Ashtanga Vinyasa lineage of practice, as taught today, comes to us directly through the teachings of T. Krishnamacharaya and K. Pattabhi Jois who collaborated in the 1930’s as teacher and student to develop the flowing form and series of postures we call Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Their work, derived in part from the internal principles of vinyasa found in the ancient Indian text, the Yoga Kurunta, draws together the potent threads of yoga asana with traditional Indian philosophy, pranayama, and meditation, so that integrated movement, form, and awareness invite the student into the present moment.

Ashtanga yoga literally means "eight-limbed yoga," as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. According to Patanjali, the path of internal purification for revealing the Universal Self consists of the following eight spiritual practices:

Yama [moral codes]
Niyama [self-purification and study]
Asana [posture]
Pranayama [breath control]
Pratyahara [sense control]
Dharana [concentration]
Dhyana [meditation]
Samadhi [absorption into the Universal]

Ashtanga yoga is meant to calm your mind while improving circulation and strength in thebody. It also detoxifies the organs and muscles by creating a lot of heat and sweat through the intense poses. It is an intense practice best for more experienced yogis or individuals who aren’t afraid of a challenge—and who like structure—during their practice.

Michelle Scarbrough 500 E-RYT Yoga Teacher has a 12-week online program which has one learn and master how to teach a beginning Ashtanga class. Her Ashtanga Teaching Videos are included in the Shivakti Tantra Yoga Teacher Online Training, while her training also stands alone for those only wanting to learn Ashtanga. Michelle’s background is in Ashtanga Vinyasa is where she has led many past 200-hr Teacher Trainings.

Workshops and classes led and taught by Michelle Scarbrough.

Kaula Tantra

Kaula Tantra: The Feminine Side of Shamanism, led by women...

and the later synthesis of the Trika by Abhinavagupta:

"Abhinavagupta was initiated into the Kaula ultimately by the wife of his Kaula Teacher in a sexual union ritual, which brought him to his full kundalini awakening. All the other philosohical schools which he had been inititated into were great - but it was a woman & thru the sexual act which brought him to his full awakening. This Kaula is what we know in the west today as Tantra, because of the sexual act. He later talked about more philosophical types of Trika, yet he got his initial awakening through his Kaula sexual initiation."

Kaula is mantra Marga, meditating on the Sri Yantra: Ka E I La Hrim, Ha Sa Ka Ha La Hrim, Sa Ka La Hrim, Shreem.

Kundalini is sexual energy converted into spiritual energy.

We find in Kashmir, the higher esoteric Tantric traditions were more confined to the lineages established by enlightened Gurus. The secret traditions that issued into the mighty synthesis of Trika Śaivism forged by Abhinavagupta were largely of this sort.

Kaula Tantra is external Tantra that focuses on concrete practices and rituals. The left-handed Tantrics perform their worships with the use of meat, fish, intoxicants, mudras (certain gestures), and sexual contact. The right-handed Tantrics perform these rituals only symbolically.

Kaula Tantra focuses its practice on the Muladhara chakra, the first chakra, at the base of the spine. The Kaula Tantra practices are training for having control over the lower desires and physical needs of the body. The energy of the kundalini awakening is considered the divine feminine force, and is to be revered rather than used for mere sensual gratification.

Some right-handed Kaula Tantrics explain that their practice is higher than the left-handed, by virtue of the right-handed practices being only symbolic. Some of the practitioners of left-handed Tantrics explain that their practices are higher than the right-handed by virtue of their secrecy, pointing out that it is harder to find a teacher of these processes.

Much has been written about Kaula Tantra practices (though much more is not written). The Sanskrit scholars have access to many thousands of hand-written manuscripts about the mantras and rituals that go along with these practices.

For the student seeking this path, there appears to be many choices of places to go, people to learn from, books and manuscripts to read, and rituals to perform. It is no wonder that Kaula Tantra is the Tantra that has become so well known in these modern times.

However, the student would do well to be wary when choosing a teacher, as there seems to be a great deal of less than authentic guidance available. Some of the modern behaviors that have been labeled Tantra are only hedonism given a spiritual name, and are taught by people with little knowledge or experience of authentic Kaula Tantra or the higher schools of Tantra.  - by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

Kaula Trika (pictured here are Parā, Parā Parā & Aparā) puts a special emphasis on the physical body in spiritual practice "as a vessel of the Supreme".

Parā: I am Shiva, ultimate reality. Non-dual.  Parā Parā: I sense that I am Shiva. The self - Jeeva. Dual Non-dual.  Aparā: Shiva and I are separate. Matter - the body. Dual.

Kaula encompasses both daily life and mystical practices. Similarly to other tantric schools, it chooses a positive (affirmative) approach: instead of prescribing self-limitations and condemning various actions, it embraces such actions in a spiritual light. Thus, sexuality, love, social life and artistic pursuits are considered vectors of spiritual evolution. The main focus in Kaula is on practical methods for attaining enlightenment,  rather than engaging in complex philosophical debate. Whatever is pleasant and positive can be integrated in its practice.

The principal means employed in the Kaula practice are: the spiritual family, the practice of initiation rituals, the couple/the Yamala (sexual rituals such as maithuna), the body (spiritual alchemy inside one's own body), the energy (shakti) (controlled especially through the use of mantras and mystical phonemes) and the consciousness (seen as the epitome of one's whole being and of the universe itself).

The first phase of development is linked to the attainment of a state of non-duality described as an "absorption into the spiritual heart," nirvikalpa samadhi or experiencing the "uncreated light" of consciousness (prakāśa). 

The secret nondualist traditions – Krama and Trika – that prevailed in Kashmir sponsored the possibility that, to those who were prepared to receive it, their consciousness could be liberated by a direct transmission of the power of grace (śaktipāta) mediated by the Guru. The importance attributed to yogic practice as exemplified by the Vijñānabhairava further supplemented this tendency.