Study notes

Yantra Yoga and The Perfect Rhythm of Life

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This is work in progress.

The intention is to share study notes about the background of Yantra Yoga, which I personally find to be inspiring and impressive. Yantra Yoga is highly accessible and it does not require specific initiations. The teachings spread and maybe there is a local center you can go to as well?

Yantra Yoga and The Perfect Rhythm of Life

Yantra Yoga (more exactly Nyida Khajor) was taught by the great Dzogchen master Namkhai Norbu in the West starting from the 1970ies.

Naljor - Yoga - what is that? On liberation

  • the term naljor refers to primordial knowledge. Nal may denote “unchanging”, and jor “having or discovering knowledge”.

To discover our real condition, our True Nature.

Contemporary Yoga practices may transmit aspects of the control of Prana. In the Dzogchen teachings, it is about Base, Path and Fruit. It certainly may be of use to become conscious about the energies.
– But why? To discover this is the Base of the teachings, the Vision.

Yantra Yoga teaches profound means to become realized or to realize awareness of the True Nature and our true condition of the mind. Under the guidance of the teachings and the grace of the lineage, we can gain influence over the energies, within the Energy Body.

The nature of the mind means the potential of the mind. The mind has potential so that we can free for us in order to become liberated.

Liberated from what? – If we govern our potential of the nature of the mind, that means we are on the Path and we have the opportunity to become realized (the Fruit). If we remain ignorant, we act compulsively under the influence of pseudo-spirit and subjective judgment.
In this case, we need to coordinate our physical body and energy. To this end, Vairochana has taught Yantra Yoga which is a characteristic teaching of Dzogchen.

Gaining control over energies is not the goal. Neither is practicing. The goal is liberation.

Origins of Yantra Yoga

Yantra Yoga has its origins with the Anuttara[1] cycle of teachings, in the 8th century A. D. from Oddiyana (some say that is Swat valley, present-day north-east Pakistan).

The eminent Dzogchen master Vairochana[2], who was a student of Padmasambhava, brought it to Tibet.
Guru Padmasambhava received her teachings and transmissions from the Vidyahara Humkara[3], a shepherd who became one of the prominent Mahasiddhas of Nepal.

Connections to Trulkhor

Tantric practices spread from India, from the Himalaya region, to Tibet. It’s possible to name many of these Tantric practices as trulkhor (Trul’kor or similar).

Just some details

Formerly confidential trulkhor practices are being taught more openly these days. For example, the Completion Stage practices (workings with the Subtle or Energy Body) of the Kalachakra Tantra which are the Guhyasmamya Tantra[4] (working with energy winds) and the Chakrasamvara Tantra (emphasizing the Inner Fire / Tummo (or gtum mo) from the Six Yogas of Naropa) are with trulkhor practices.

There may be profound connotations between Yantra Yoga’s trulkhor the Kalachakra Tantra trulkhor and the Twelve Primordial Masters of Dzogchen (especially Ngöndzog Gyalpo).

I have not found this to be overly relevant during the Yantra Yoga practice. But I found that Yantra Yoga helped to develop the right kind of attention to receive the related blessings. From a Dzogchen perspective, this might be the Base idea and the intended Path.

Fortunate is the man
Who does not lose himself in the labyrinths of philosophy,
but goes straight to the source from which all rise.[5]

Modern comparisons

  • In modern literature comparisons to the Indian Hatha Yoga are being drawn. Yantra Yoga is a Yoga of movement and does have the static Asanas
  • initiatory forms of Yantra Yoga may feature deities, that may also be worshipped in India under different names.

108 Movements

  1. we may say A-nuttara comes before the Sanskrit letter a (अ), before the split between Shiva and Shakti. I was not aware of that until recently. ↩︎

  2. ↩︎

  3. ↩︎

  4. Robert A.F. Thurman - Kalachakra practices at Tibet House - - ↩︎

  5. Ramana Guru ↩︎