Iconography of traditional tantric practices
Art, History, and Heritage

Bodies and dance in traditional tantric iconography

Many practices involve dance as part of the , which is also reflected in iconographic .

Although sexual activity is often depicted in tantric , it is not as commonly used as an technique.

Visualization is a complementary practice to the physical and psychological effects of dance and sex, and can involve meditating on a deity in a sexual embrace, sometimes even dancing while in such an embrace.

The practice of representing genitals symbolically—such as and in , or yab yum for sexual embrace in —is a global phenomenon.

Taoists also have their own Inner Alchemy which involves replacing physical parts with symbolic activators, inner , and dynamic mechanisms.

This process includes jing, or generative energy, which is the sexual abstraction that with vital energy and mental energy. These ritual acts can be interpreted within a tantric perspective.


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