TANTRIC TECHNIQUES OF TRANCES
The yoga based on the sequence of static postures, taught by masters such as Iyengar, is the one the world knows best. There are other types of yoga. One of them is tantric or bhakti yoga, developed in the Himalayas.41 One of its particularities is a way to let oneself goâ (prapatti), which allows one to free oneself from all imaginable ties that an individual might establish with what surrounds him. In this way of thinking, sexuality and emotions are those human forces that permit an individual to experience the other, to abandon oneself to the forces that surround us all, and to submit oneself (seva) to the divine forces to be able to join with it.42 This school often uses techniques in which chant, dance, and trance allow the individual to feel enlivened by divine forces and unite to them The tantric exercises sometimes utilize sexual intercourse. Men must become capable of refraining from ejaculating even during orgasm The mastery of the breath that characterizes pranayama is also part of these practices.
The fact that there are tantric schools in many parts of the world indicates that it is almost as easy to be in a trance as to be hypnotized. A trance can be induced by a series of exercises that one can learn in a few days during a course or workshop. It often suffices to approach these exercises with curiosity, without becoming irritated by what is proposed. The fact that such states can be reached so easily demystifies the impression that a trance is a bizarre phenomenon. Just as there are persons who resist hypnosis, there are some who resist a trance.