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99: Todd Norian on Tantra Yoga and Spiritual Awakening

interview tantra yoga philosophy

It's always an honor to meet and learn from experienced yogis. This week I got to meet with Todd Norian, international teacher of 40+ years and author of Tantra Yoga, and the interview is live now on the Yoga Teacher Training Podcast

Todd Norian is an international yoga teacher with 40+ years of experience. By steadfastly following his heart, Todd has lived an uncommon life: living like a monk for 13 years at the then-ashram Kripalu in Massachusetts; having an intense spiritual awakening that landed him for a brief stay in a psychiatric hospital; and overcoming the heartbreak of being spiritually betrayed by beloved teachers -- not once, but twice.

We talk about the symbolism and philosphy of Tantra yoga and how to apply these powerful teachings to your life. Here are some of the topics we covered:

- The deep symbolism of the Shiva Naturaja dance and those dancing Shiva statues we see so commonly in yoga and spiritual communities
- The renunciate path and how it differs from the non-dual Shiva Shakta Tantra path.
- The differences between classical yoga and Tantra,
- How Tantra teaches to embrace life and see nature as an extension of spirit.
- The paradox of non-duality and duality in the Advaita and Tantra traditions.
- Todd shares about his spiritual awakening while living at an ashram.
- Todd shares what it was like to experience scandal and betrayal, leading him to develop his own form of yoga that integrates body, mind, and heart. - - The importance of recognizing limitations as a path to liberation
- The role of desire in Tantra, and how to discover what the heart most deeply desires.
- How to integrate both the light and dark aspects of life through spiritual practice.

To learn more about Todd and work with him, visit
To purchase his book, Tantra Yoga : Journey to Unbreakable Wholeness, go to:

I've been really enjoying these recent episodes in the interview format, bringing more voices and perspectives to the podcast. I will continue to do both solo and interview podcasts and whatever I think can most support you in your practices and studies.

What topics would you like to see next on the Yoga Teacher Training podcast?

Have a great week!



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Keywords: yoga philosophy, asana practice, meditation techniques, anatomy and physiology, pranayama (breathing techniques), teaching methodology, yoga history, adjustments and modifications, Sanskrit, chakras and energy centers, Ayurveda and yoga, ethics and professionalism, sequencing and class planning, business of yoga, and self-care and self-study, equity, yoga therapy, community, yoga teacher training, ytt.

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