Not only is it a posture seen in ancient tantric works of art, but it is also something you will probably quickly experience if you go to a Tantra workshop …
But what is “Yab-Yum” and what is it all about?
Yab-Yum: the symbol of divine union
Yab-Yum is the symbol of divine union. It is the position in which man and woman unite between Heaven and Earth: a classical posture of meditation. In many postures of making love, one of the couples is under the other, but in Yab-Yum, both sides are equally upright.
“Yab-Yum” is a Tibetan term that means “father-mother.”
In Tibetan tantra it is about the union of compassion and truth / wisdom. In Indian Tantra it is about the masculine as a passive meditator with the feminine as a dancing shakti in his lap … pure awareness that meets pure energy. On a metaphysical level, Yab-Yum represents the union of dualistic ways to reach transcendence.
In other words, when we bring together apparent opposites in love, we can enter a state beyond normal consciousness: a state of unity or consciousness of unity. A memory of who we are beyond name and form …
This is the ultimate goal of Tantra.
Yab yum classic – meditators have long known that sitting in an upright position is aligning the crown with the heavenly heavens and the root chakra in the land below. This gives the meditator a sense of his place between Heaven and Earth.
In Tantra, the Earth is the feminine divine force (mother earth) and the Heavens are the masculine divine force (father heaven). Any experienced meditator will tell you that meditating lying down is not the same as sitting upright. Illumination always occurs in an upright position … therefore, other statues of deities will often be seated.
So Yab-Yum, often considered as a lovemaking posture, is actually the ultimate posture for tantric meditation for a couple.
Use of Yab-Yum
A couple can sit in Yab-Yum and meditate on the flow of energy through their bodies. Not only can the Sky-Earth polarity flow, but the couples’ own energy systems are aligned. Your chakras, or energy vortices, are connected.
YAB YUM WITH OR WITHOUT CLOTHING TO MAKE LOVE IN MEDITATION
Because it is about meditating on energy, Yab-Yum can be worn with your clothes on and still be highly effective. However, some couples choose to use Yab Yum as part of making love and meditation. The root chakras can be physically connected, with the lingam inside the yoni (i.e. tantric for “the penis inside the vagina”). So, the sexual connection is there and, at the same time, the couple is open to the crown, which allows them to channel the energy of sex to the spirit.
A couple can go directly to Yab Yum and meditate there. But you can also enter this posture at the end of a lovemaking session. By using other sexual positions first, they can move more energy and then enter Yab-Yum at the end to sublimate the energies to more refined levels. The posture can be combined with other techniques, such as tantric breathing, sublimation techniques or meditation tools (learn this from a trained teacher).
The paradox of Yab-Yum
Yab-Yum is the essence of Tantra
Something that makes Yab-Yum very special is that it really combines sex and spirit. Itcombines making love with meditation … therefore, Yab-Yum is the essence of Tantra. It is a symbol, it is a practice, it is the essence. Some choose to sit in this posture, others use a statue or image to contemplate or meditate.
It can be very powerful for modern people to see Yab-Yum. With our world of sexual images, pornography and overstimulated media, witnessing the union in peace and quiet can be an instant paradox for such a conditioned mind.
If two fully dressed people sit together in YabYum, it is not explicit, nor illegal, it is not graphic or sordid … but it is surprising, it is a paradox.
People are so accustomed to sex being a shadow, that seeing it in their innocence and in a meditative light is a shock to the conditioned mind.
How to practice Yab-Yum in your life
You may want to get an attractive image of Yab-Yum to contemplate, or even a beautiful statue. Sit for 10 to 20 minutes looking at the image and observe the energy that moves through your body. Take a deep breath to let the energy flow freely. Then close your eyes and direct the energy through the column to the crown and observe how the energy accumulates in the crown.
If you have a partner, then you might suggest that you meditate on this pose. Just sit on Yab-Yum, breathe deeply with your mouth open. Breathe all the way to the genitals, otherwise the energy cannot move. Close your eyes and observe any flow of energy you may feel in your body. They can even talk to each other «I am feeling a tingling sensation behind my pubic bone», «I am noticing a warmth in my sacrum», I am noticing a pulsation on the navel «… and so on. Try not to judge or label your feelings, but describe them directly, as if describing a flower to a blind man.
Finish the meditation with your foreheads touching, looking inward at the point of the third eye.
Yab-Yum Global Challenge
What would happen if we took Yab-Yum meditation to modern urban centers? Or he sat on Yab-Yum in dazzling places of nature.
If you have ever meditated on Yab-Yum in a special place and taken a photo, feel free to share on your social networks