My Life Became My Prison Before Tantra

27 July Jul 2018
Tantra - when life feels like a prison
Jana Braniselj

Imprisoned. This is how I felt despite the fact that I was living the life I had personally crafted and created. It was a beautiful life – filled with all the customary things conventional human beings aspire for – and yet I was void of joy and love. How could this be? I wasn’t sure but I was determined to transform my ordinary life into something extraordinary and rediscover pure ecstatic joy, my true nature. Here is my story…

This contrast between my head and my heart is something I struggled with for many years.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time I lived the life of a good girl – I followed all the rules, obeyed social norms and abided by the recommendations that modern society deemed appropriate and in alignment with “tradition”.

You know the routine… you grow up, go to college, earn a degree, find a good job, meet your life partner, get married, buy a house, have 2.5 children, have enough money to enjoy a few family vacations each year and live happily ever after. I kept waiting for the happily ever, but it never did come.

tantra - photo of Jana
Jana considered herself a “good girl”. She followed all the rules and conformed to the usual societal standards.

It seemed the farther I went down the “rabbit hole” of cultural standards the less fulfilled I felt. The more customary I became, the less freedom I had. I felt trapped and my self identity vanished, lost in the sea of all my responsibilities and commitments.

Who am I to complain though, right? I’m highly educated, I have a well paying job, a successful career, two beautiful children, a loving husband, a nice home in middle class suburbia, two cars and allocated family vacations twice a year.

From the outside it appears I am living the dream, but on the inside I felt empty. It was a great life, so why isn’t it enough? This contrast between my head and my heart is something I struggled with for many years.

Heart Callings

I felt very alone in life. I didn’t feel comfortable talking to my friends, family or even my husband about the doubts I had and the emptiness I felt. When I did make attempts to discuss these deeper feelings and inquiries I was quickly dismissed.

It felt like I would only be truly accepted and loved if I maintained the persona those closest to me became accustomed to. If I wavered at all from the facade I felt shame and guilt – mostly because those around me became uncomfortable with this new hunger I had for something more substantial.

tantra - Jana was determined to change her life to something extraordinary
“I was determined to transform my ordinary life into something extraordinary and rediscover pure ecstatic joy!”

Life became more and more mundane and I found it challenging. The simple things that used to bring me pleasure seemed only to bring me sorrow.

Socializing with girlfriends, quiet time on the couch with my husband after a long day and even sex were no longer bringing me enjoyment. They were simply habits, customs and routine.

Is this really all that life can offer? My heart and soul told me no, but everyone around me said, “you have everything, just be happy”.

Eventually the calling and the urge became too great. I had to follow my heart.

The simple things that used to bring me pleasure seemed only to bring me sorrow.

A Pivotal Turning Point

I wasn’t sure what I was looking forward initially or where the restlessness and discontent stemmed from. Was it my marriage? My job? Myself? It wasn’t clear.

I stumbled upon a Tantra Massage course offered by Somananda Tantra School. I was keen to discover what love really is and hoping to uncover some ancient secret knowledge. My husband and I joined together, anticipating that it would deepen our bond and spice up our sex life. Little did I know this course would change my life forever.


tantra massage course

Tantra Massage Therapist Training

Part of Tantra Sexuality Module


Overtaken by Transformation

There are no words to describe all that I experienced during this course. Every aspect of my being was consumed by this bright warm white light and I felt like I discovered my true self once again.

I was overtaken with an overwhelming amount of freedom, acceptance and forgiveness. My heart underwent a massive energetic shift and opening and I could sense love all around me. The course atmosphere was impregnated with a spiritual and uplifting presence and essence. It was incredibly magical and mystical.

I learned both theoretical and practical knowledge in the massage course. I also discovered that the intense yearnings I was experiencing for all those months and even years was actually very common and had meaning according to the Tantra and Yoga systems.

I was so relieved to know that there were answers as well as a structured and guided path I could follow in order to fulfill my deepest desires and my soul callings.

I was overtaken with an overwhelming amount of freedom, acceptance and forgiveness.

Tantra: A Powerful System

Immediately after the course I committed to a personal spiritual practice and I was shocked at how quickly I began to transform and my life changed in unexpected ways. I was able to express myself more fully in ways I did not dare before.

It became apparent early on that this spiritual system, as taught by my teacher Somananda, was incredibly powerful and would propel me to unimaginable levels in love, in life and in spirituality.

For the first time I felt at home. I felt like I was on the right path and that my prayers had truly been answered.



Feeling Supported

Fast forward two years, I have completed many courses with Somananda Tantra School and became certified as a Tantra Yoga, Meditation and Tantra Massage teacher.

tantra - Jana receiving an initiation from her teacher
Jana pictured here receiving an initiation from her teacher, Somananda, certifying her as a Meditation Teacher.

Once I was able to more openly and honestly express the importance of making spirituality my life my husband made space for this in our family dynamic and together we find ways that allow me to attend courses and retreats several times throughout the year for many weeks at a time.

The company I work for valued me as an integral part of the team and also made concessions that allowed me to take additional time off throughout the year to tend to my spiritual aspirations.

It seemed the more I became aligned with and devoted to my path the more the universe conspired to support my endeavors.

The Woman I Am Today

tantra - Jana pictured here with her family
Jana and her beautiful family. She is a wife and mother of two young girls.

These days I relish in a renewed feeling of love, joy and contentment in my life and in my role as a wife and mother. I try to expose my family to a wider viewpoint of the world – a bigger broader perspective – while also providing a stable core and reliable framework.

My children will know unequivocally before they leave the safety of my nest who they truly are and what their purpose in life really is. I want them to know they have options and choices in life and that they do not have to subscribe to any standards or traditions that do not set their soul on fire and spark passion in their hearts. I will boldly and courageously pave this path for them and together we will shape the life of their dreams.

With Love and Gratitude

I extend much gratitude and love to my beloved teachers Somananda and Liisa. Without them I would still be shackled to my ordinary existence and fervently searching for the extraordinary. Thank you for bringing me back home to myself, my true nature.

Jana Braniselj


Imprisoned. This is how Jana would describe her life before she went on a spiritual pursuit and discovered authentic spiritual Tantra.

Jana Personally Recommends This Course

Guided Tantra Yoga class at a yoga retreat
Asset 1

Tantra Yoga Level 1

True Tantra Starts Here

Level 1 of the Tantra Yoga Module is a powerful initiation into our energy-based meditative Yoga. In retreat you will learn and practice profound fundamentals of the Hatha Yoga system, Laya Yoga, Karma Yoga, Nidra Yoga, Kriya Yoga (the yoga of purification), and much more. Level 1 serves as an irreplaceable stepping stone and foundation to one’s spiritual growth.
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