The body needs a certain amount of movement to stay balanced. The mind needs a certain amount of stillness to achieve this.
While the goal of YOGA is Self-realization, a balanced yoga practice can help facilitate this.
Historically, Tantrik Yoga developed as a spiritual practice for those who were not renunciates or ascetics. Modern yoga is not fully renunciate, nor is it fully in the world. Instead, it falls between both, in a state of limbo, not fully existing in either.
I'm sure you are familiar with this if you practice some form of modern yoga. You may have transcended your pain somewhat through your spiritual practice, but you did not transcend the world. And because the world causes pain, you end up using yoga as a means to cope. Nothing wrong with that, of course. I did it myself for years. But you probably have stayed where the pain was, and is, formed - in the world. You may experience release from your pain on a yoga mat or in meditation class, but once you leave, you're back in the 'real world' again. It helps, of course, but it is not a fully awakened state of being. It's only partial.
Tantra, on the other hand, is not about denying anything, even if it's painful. No spiritual bypassing here. It's about using - whatever - to awaken to our true nature. And no, tantra is not about sex, although nothing is off the table. It's not about the activity, it's about using whatever activity to awaken.
Tantra is about cultivating energy, which gets incorporated into a modern yoga practice in the form of practices which make us feel more alive. But herein lies the problem with modern yoga: When we approach our yoga practice from a Classical Yoga perspective, a path which is actually about renunciation, we end up feeling better due to a practice that was traditionally about renouncing the world. We are basically attempting to renounce what we are simultaneously making better. We feel better, in our body, and our mental state, but in a body-mind that we are also attempting to transcend.
For years, I struggled with this dilemma, not knowing that it was only a dilemma because I didn't understand the distinction. Once you figure it out, your practice will become a sublime relaxing into your unique being, into the moment, without struggling with the contradictory paths often mixed up in a modern yoga practice.
You don't have to change what you are doing, just the way you approach it. Tantra is not about trying to remove something, improve something or become something else, although these will naturally occur in their own good time through the practice.
Tantra will actually make your practice, and your life, a much richer experience, because you won't end up struggling to keep a balance between both; an imbalance most people observe when they first begin a yoga practice.
If you decide you are not going to renounce the world, you allow the world to exist in you, as you, and awaken to your divinity.
Learn how to connect with your divinity with Tantrik Yoga, including practices to cultivate your energy.
Yoga practice emphasizes breathing through the nose. If you are breathing through your mouth you are likely to be over-breathing. For newcomers to yoga practice, it is necessary to initially create an awareness of breathing patterns, the benefit of placing the body in various postures to open and expand the breath, and the containment of the breath by introducing particular energetic and muscular locks in the body.
Sometimes you may use the intercostal muscles (muscles between the ribs) more when breathing, expanding the ribs forcibly as you inhale, particularly in back extensions. Sometimes, you may be using your abdomen more, keeping the chest relatively still, expanding the abdomen as you inhale, drawing the pelvic floor up slightly to keep control, and then strongly engaging the pelvic floor upon exhalation. Some exhalations in some postures will naturally encourage you to pull the upper abdomen in and up as you exhale fully, particularly inverted postures such as 'downward-facing dog'.
Eventually, you may find that you can remove all force and control of the breath and let the body's position dictate how you breathe. The breath is not forced, in that case, but is a natural result of the position of the body and the type of movement it is put through.
Slowing down the breath, with a natural pause between breaths, could be described as the ultimate breath retention, without force or strain, building up tolerance of carbon dioxide levels, making you a more efficient breather and a fitter, healthier and happier person.