Maryam Lopes of Ashira Tantra in Ithaca

Maryam Lopes of Ashira Tantra in Ithaca  

Today’s fast-paced, stress heavy world has produced a counter-focus on relaxation, as more and more people are looking for a break from feeling a constant push toward productivity. 

One way locals have sought that out is through tantrahypnosis and its local purveyors. Maryam Lopes, one of those purveyors, practices out of a location at 615 N. Cayuga Street. 

“It’s fair to say that people today are really stressed out,” she said, emphasizing that getting people to relax is paramount to the experience. “The massage, the body work, it’s almost like a gateway. The practice itself is not a massage, but it helps people to relax.”

Though tantra does normally have a sexual connotation, Lopes said that’s a result of a gradual bastardization of the term over the years. As she describes it, it’s more of an exercise in empowerment, which has made it rewarding for her to watch her long-term clients reap their rewards from her sessions. Massage serves as an initiation of sorts into the more full experience. Lopes is pursuing her tantra license and secured an apprenticeship in hypnotherapy, which she also wants to practice. As explained on her website, tantra is “an ancient technology to awaken our power and bring the fruits of your awakening to the greater service of humanity,” taking the form of a type of yoga and meditation blend as she teaches it. 

“It’s been really fulfilling for me to see the transformation that’s happening,” Lopes said. “I’ve had a bunch of people who have been coming every week since I opened this practice a couple years ago. To witness their growth and transformation has been amazing. It’s able to address physical issues, but also emotional situations that people are facing.”

At first, Lopes said, she was uncomfortable with handling some of the more emotional issues that would arise during sessions with her patients, but she has gradually grown more confident in her abilities to properly help them through her work. Like most practicers of alternative medicine, Lopes has personal experiences that inform her adherence to tantra: her troubles sleeping in college deeply impacted her life then, after which she turned to meditation and tantra to help her cope; Lopes also watched her mother suffer through debilitating circumstances as well. Plus, after moving to Ithaca, she had a near-death experience after stumbling upon a wasp’s hive and getting stung (Lopes is allergic to wasps). 

More than anything, Lopes emphasizes to her patients that it is possible to concentrate on oneself while not taking focus away from life or daily activities. While the practice might seem strange at first, which Lopes acknowledges, there could be advantages in the end if the fit is right. 

“You don’t need to renounce life in order to grow on your spiritual path,” Lopes said.

(1) comment

SaMoon Pal

Environmental stressors can be minimized by continual practice of self care. This is what Maryam offers, a break from the ever growing concerns of daily life. She is an amazing person, has a kind heart, a creative personality, and a radiant soul. She brings her everyday life experiences into her sessions to connect, understand, and offer suggestions :D

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