Success Stories and Testimonials
Online Learning Testimonials, Foundation Practices 1:
I have been a student of yoga and cultivating states of awareness for many years and Tao Semko is by far the best instructor I have studied under. In teaching the KAP method, Tao teaches each practitioner to be a keen observer of their own physical, emotional and energetic fields. And he teaches how to play with and adjust these states toward the purpose of developing kundalini. Tao is teaching each student how to be the driver of their own car, so to speak. Everything is rooted in what can be directly experienced. I am shy about speaking of where I am in the process, but I can say I have benefited greatly.
I find the Q & A sessions particularly helpful and stimulating. Tao creates a warm and kind environment where it is comfortable to ask questions and share personal experience. And, Tao is extremely knowledgeable of techniques and principles from diverse areas: Taoist energy cultivation, Indian yoga, Tibetan yoga, western mysticism, and others. He is very articulate and precise in his communication. What he shares is always offered as a practical tool or perspective relevant to what the student is asking for guidance with. I recommend Tao as an instructor with highest enthusiasm and gratitude.
–Mike K, 2022
I can honestly say that Tao’s courses were life-changing for me. I pursued the Kundalini Awakening path with him, awakened my Kundalini and received expert, personal attention from him while making this change. He has a rare combination of being deeply caring and deeply knowledgeable about Kundalini and an amazingly broad understanding related to the spiritual path. He is a incredibly gifted in his ability to absorb and assimilate information and to turn around and integrate it into his teaching. I HIGHLY recommend him as a teacher and am grateful to call him my friend.
–Shaun Gilley, 2022
After years of searching and trying different practice systems, I am very thankful to have found Tao. He teaches powerful techniques without dogma; expertly blending his wide-ranging experience and knowledge of kundalini, yoga, qigong, and various esoteric traditions with a comprehensive understanding of anatomy and biology. The practices are a lot of fun, and they really work—Tao’s demonstrations are easy to follow, and I saw results quickly after beginning his classes. The format allows students to learn at home, at their own pace, while still getting the benefit of personalized instruction. Tao is also a gifted and intuitive healer who has helped me greatly with integrating kundalini experiences after a history of trauma. I’ve enjoyed every class I’ve taken, and I highly recommend him!
–Lucy Devins, 2022
I have dabbled in many currents, yet if I would have to choose the most influential teacher, it would be Tao.
I have been studying with Tao for over ten years now, and his material was what helped me to safely awaken my kundalini in 2012 and then integrate this over the years.
Tao is a living library, and integrates multiple systems into a seamless and synergistic whole. His teaching style as well as generous 1:1 work have influenced my practice for life.
Also, his generosity and compassion keep inspiring me to follow his example as a human being, and to share this with the world.
–Michael Groblewski, 2022
If you are not the religious type Tao’s Tantra courses can be clearly understood within a scientific context. Tantra techniques are scientific methods to elicit various and specific responses from the body. The transformation of the body that results could be thought of as spiritual, or not.
Sound (mantra) and touch (nyasa) are introduced early on in the course as tools to fine tune the body. It all makes sense very quickly. If you are self conscious or concerned about the more “ritualistic” aspects of Tantra, Tao begins with uncomplicated and nonsectarian principles and practice. You can progress in your comfort zone.
The key concept of mudra becomes part of your practice from the beginning. It is much more than a hand gesture. Combined with tratak and shambhavi, you are already on the path of absorption and Samadhi.
Finally, Tao makes it plain that he is not trying to produce “cookie-cut” yogis. He constantly reminds us to experiment, experiment, experiment. This is not a doctrinaire path.
–Nick, Foundations of Tantric Yoga student, Miami
Well, my expectations have been greatly exceeded, to say the least. Not only did I open kundalini, but I’m now able to direct my energy much more efficiently, expand my consciousness, and still stay grounded . My compassion and love for all beings, including myself, has really increased. I can courageously explore my own psyche without getting stuck there, as it’s all part of the big picture. Whole new worlds have been opened to me. As I said, it’s hard to convey the gratitude I feel for all of this in words. I practice regularly now, and I’ve continued on with KAP 2 and Foundation Practices of Tantric Yoga – both excellent courses and highly recommended.
Tao, your teaching style is excellent. I appreciate the way you have fully researched everything you present, and your explanation of the background and meaning of all of the material is great, especially for a person like myself who likes to know the “why” behind any subject I’m learning so I can put it all together. Your encouragement, assessment, and follow-up helps keep me going, too. You are also compassionate to the world (for example, organizing the fund raising effort for the flooding in Pakistan) and I’ve never heard you say anything unkind about anyone.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that the reason why you are so great at this is because you live it and practice it. Thank you for dedicating yourself to the practices. I don’t think I would have had these great results if I had learned this from someone who hadn’t made the journey himself.
There’s ongoing support, videos, and feedback, and the students and instructors regularly encourage one another as they evolve in their practices. I’ve met some wonderful new friends here.
The integrity level here is extremely high. I was never put under any pressure, made to feel uncomfortable in any way, or told I should recruit anyone. There’s no dogma and this works with all belief systems. As long as you’re willing to do your part and practice, you will have a life-changing experience too.
Thank you for everything.
I have been exposed to your teachings and knowledge for over 7 years now so I am probably a good source of feedback.
My truth is you have always come from a highly experienced and very thoughtful perspective, always learning, open and teachable,… always listening then thoughtfully strategizing (nearly instantly) possibly an answer to a question or where to bring closure to a newly introduced topic,…guided by experience, intellect and possibly even your “guides”.
You are different than most Teachers, possessing a combination of skills that few obtain especially in this Tantric Yoga space.
To truly teach, you must have learned well enough to know…then you must be able to articulate what you know in a manner that is adjustable depending on the audience.
You are that and more. Truth is if you taught a class on knitting (and I have no interest in knitting) I would be likely to take the class and soon enjoy crafting sweaters or whatever you do in that space. Thanks for being the valuable resource you are, have always been, and will continue to be.
Much Love and Gratitude,
–Bob J., student, Foundations of Tantric Yoga, Los Angeles, CA
Online Learning Testimonials, Foundation Practices 2:
I never considered studying yoga until I found the course on the Umaa Tantra. The only yoga I had seen before your course was fitness and relaxation oriented. I wasn’t interested in these because I wanted to learn about more of the internal aspects and definitely get this from your course.
I really like how when you teach a fundamental technique you encourage students to experience it for themselves, and journal on the results. Learning this way takes a lot of effort but when I put in the work, the result is that I feel like I really know the technique because I have experienced it. This is much better than just being able to recite and talk about the theory.
One thing that surprised me about the course is the breadth of material that is covered. Many unexpected aspects of my life have been changed for the better including sleeping better and dreaming again and understanding how food and what I eat affects my body. I am learning to listen to and understand my body in so many different ways. More and more I am realising that tantra is an all encompassing way of life.
I highly recommend this course to anybody who has done KAP1 and would like to delve deeper into some of the additional supplemental material. A lot of the course work covered in Foundations I have found really beneficial to my KAP practice. Thanks to studying the foundations course I am really breathing properly and have worked out a lot of the tension I had in my abdominal area. I have a much better awareness of the energy flows in my body and really strong feelings of energy movement. I am finally starting to see auras after struggling with this during KAP – I had given up and thought I just could not do it.
I find it really hard to put a lot of the other changes down in words, but I feel like my consciousness is changing (I have to attribute this to the KAP course as well). It’s happening slowly so I don’t notice it day to day, but when I think back a few months I can see it. I see myself, others and the world differently. More and more I can see outside of a situation and think about it critically rather than just being an actor. I don’t know what to make of a lot of it yet. I am reluctant to say but I think I am developing a bit of clairvoyance (sometimes when I see people a word or phrase about them pops into my head, like they have just told me).
All the Best,
My 2nd Trimester
In one of my journal entries I noted how through Tao Semko’s “Foundation Practices of Tantric Yoga” I was building a much surer House of Tantra. Like many others who dabbled with this and that yoga practices, I had lots of snippety information but lacked a true yogi sequence to build my practice.
Looking back on two trimesters of the curriculum, I see how Tao systematically covers all the essentials. If you go to Yoga classes (Hatha Yoga) and do this Foundations curriculum you would have a much deeper understanding of what you are doing and where you could go.
For instance, I really needed Tao to help me think clearly about the ways of breathing. The complete breath, belly breathing, “reverse” breathing, and all the variations in timing and breath retention (kumbhaka). Now I have a good idea of what breathing technique would work for a particular result.
After each lesson I experiment and test out the material to verify it for myself. Everything in Tao’s course is experiential. All movement or non-movement becomes awareness and absorption, and the opening up of the subtle body.
This is real No Fear Tantric yoga, though as Tao teaches it, there is nothing to be fearful about. Tao provides expert guidance for the Shatkarmas, purification techniques. Three of the six (shat =six): nasal and sinus clearing (neti), colon cleaning (bhasti) and stomach wash (vaman dhauti) are simplified and updated but are still genuine and powerful yogi practices to enhance health and the flow of consciousness. This yoga is about the amplification of sensuality and emotion through breath, nyasa and the Secret Smile.
Body bliss becomes mind bliss, as the senses are withdrawn into the brain through Shambhavi and inner sound. Funny, regular yoga classes don’t usually teach any of this, you just begin to intimate it, and then somehow you find your way here and are ready to sign up for Foundation Practices of Tantric Yoga.
–Nick, Foundations of Tantric Yoga online student, Miami
Thanks for everything Tao,
The Visual Yogas workshop was incredible. I am still feeling the positive effects. Every time I am in your presence I am humbled and awed by your wonderful teaching style. Your depth of clarity, knowledge, joy, and humor is truly remarkable and makes each class a healing experience. What impresses me most about the UmaaTantra system is the way you see the similarities in all mystical traditions and deliver the essence of yoga, chi gung, and tantra. In your presence mystery effortlessly becomes mastery and doubt disappears.
I would recommend your classes and workshops to all serious students of yoga, tantra, and chi gung. Please keep me informed of your upcoming events so I can pass them on to fellow yoga teachers and students in my area.
Peace to all,
IKYTA Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor
–Ganesha Michael Shapiro
Miami, FL, USA
CD, DVD, and e-book Testimonials
Dear Tao Semko,
I learn Nauli Kriya from Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the DVD I bought from Umaa Tantra.
Now I become more skillful day by day. It is really a profound tantric technique that makes
me filled with energy. I am sure that I will soon be able to master it. Your DVD provides
much practical and useful information. Thank you.
A few years ago, I had the distinct feeling that something was missing in my life. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, nonetheless, I knew that my life wasn’t complete. After describing this feeling to a friend of mine, he recommended a book called “Path Notes of an American Ninja Master” by Dr. Glenn Morris. My spiritual journey began the moment I opened that book. I quickly devoured the book, and then went on to Dr. Morris’ second book “Shadow Strategies of an American Ninja Master.” After reading those two books, I felt as if Morris’ wisdom had opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. I became totally enamored with ideas of spiritual development and possibilities of extraordinary human potential.
A few months after reading Morris’ books, by chance, I stumbled upon UmaaTantra’s website. I was amazed to learn that Santiago Dobles and Tao Semko had a personal relationship with Dr. Morris. I immediately ordered Secrets the Gurus Will Never Show You and Secrets of the Chakras (where Dr. Morris makes a guest appearance). I have been absolutely blown away not only by the extent of the esoteric knowledge possessed by Tao and Santiago, but also their generosity in giving these secrets away. They are gurus in the true sense of the word. They have made available to the world, in plain terms and without any mysticism, many of the most closely guarded secrets of the ancient spiritual traditions of the East.
I have been working with the techniques in their products for the last 8 months, and already in that short span I have noticed profound benefits in virtually every area of my life. My somatic awareness has improved exponentially — I have developed a great deal of chi through these practices, and I am now actually able to consciously direct its flow through my body (something I would not have believed a few years ago). My faculties of focus and concentration have increased tremendously, which is evidenced by my recent acceptance into one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world. My visualization abilities have increased far beyond my expectations, as has my intuition. And I’ve even noticed benefits in other, surprising areas of my life. Specifically, I’ve noticed that I’ve become much more successful with women. I now find myself naturally and effortlessly behaving in ways that women find attractive – a very pleasant side effect of these practices. I believe that I have developed spiritually to a huge extent as a result of the practices in UmaaTantra’s products. My girlfriend, as well as many of my family members, have told me that I’ve recently become more compassionate, loving, and selfless. I am more confident and composed than I ever was, and I am now totally centered and relaxed no matter what situation I’m faced with. Tao and Santiago have not only made me a happier person, they’ve made me a better one as well. For that, I am forever in their debt.
Just received the DVD’s this morning..Thank you again, very much for everything and most of all your compassion..I am very surprised that alot of people have never heard of Tantra..Someday I truly hope it comes to Canada..Or at least becomes more accepted..
I truly am grateful for this gift you have given me..from your tips to the DVD’s..
British Columbia, Canada
Around two weeks after having started my training (Charanas, 5 Tibetans and Uddhiyana bandha) I had to reduce my daily doses of syhtroids (pills for hypothyroidism) because I apparently was in excess (Couldn’t sleep, feeling of being on fire etc.). Also, my body is changing so quickly that I have the peculiar sensation of inhabiting someone else’s. These simple exercises are suprising!
Just thought I’d forward you an email from a friend of mine in NY, commenting on your Umaa Tantra inner circle membership. He loves it…"
(forwarded text below)
“Hey Sensei Kerwin! …
I took your advice and started doing those Umma Tantra DVDs, and they are flat out amazing. Even the first basic lessons on complete breath have totally changed my day to day routine. I really feel the positive effects of increased oxygen flow and relaxation (I got such a headrush the first time I tried the exercises, I almost fell over. Good stuff!)
So thank you as always, for helping me on my path,
“Before enrolling in Umaa Tantra’s learning programs, my energy/focus level would go up and down uncontrollably. Sticking to a daily health program was a real chore since I had little confidence in what I was doing. I knew I could find something more complete. I was looking for methods and information that I could utilize on my own to increase my level of confidence and control I had over all aspects of my life; from strength, flexibility, socializing, meditating etc. For at least two years now I’ve been experimenting with different methods.
Since I’ve tried out other types of yoga classes I can say with confidence that nothing can compare to the onslaught of healthful information covering so many vital areas i’ve received from Santiago and Tao’s course. From fitness and sexual health on many levels to priceless secrets of meditation, and so much more! Every day I literally learn at least 3 subtle yet powerful techniques to apply in my daily practice. To summarize, the techniques I’ve learned are simple, gentle, yet with diligent practice over time become extremely powerful.
My only real concern before enrolling with Umaa Tantra was the credibility and attitude of the instructors. In my journey I’ve had my run ins with quacks. I quickly came to realize that Santiago and Tao were for real and extremely kind and helpful in answering the many questions I had.
There are so many benefits to what I’ve learned from Umaa Tantra’s curriculum. To name but a few, my flexibility/strength have improved tremendously, my days are full of love, my smile is radiant, my social interactions are so much more positive, I am much more poised, my vision of my goals in life gets much clearer everyday, as well as my physical vision, and meditation has become a blissful experience. But most importantly, Umaa Tantra has provided me with all the necesssary tools so that I may practice on my own and personally take my level of health to levels unimaginable. There is nothing more powerful than experiencing the fruits of one’s own actions and for that I thank my teachers wholeheartedly.
The methods I’ve learned have made it possible for me to raise my actual self closer to my ideal vision of myself and I don’t plan on stopping when I get there! Where before I had only glimpses of how clear and wonderful things could be, I have now learned how to systematically raise the level of how I experience ALL facets of life. The most important variables related to health in all its dimensions are explored in depth, providing the dedicated student with the foundation for attaining optimal health and spiritual development. I never knew meditation could be so electrifying and blissful! I must repeat, my favorite benefit to what I’ve learned at Umaa Tantra is the powerful feeling of knowing how to control the way I feel and experience daily life by fine tuning myself to the core. The buoyancy, clarity, and rootedness I derive from my daily practice is superior to anything else I have tried.”
high school teacher, personal trainer/yoga instructor,
Tao, About a year ago, I was approached by a very well known community “guru” who asked me if I practiced Yoga. At the time I said “no”. He then asked me if I wanted a “guru” to study with and learn saying he liked my energy. After carefully considering and observing the situation, his attitude and that of his followers, my reply was “I prefer to climb the Mountain alone, regardless of the dangerous precipes or slopes, than to follow an “Ego” up a hill”
I then found you guys.
–Carol Rockman, Realtor, Healer,
“Looking to relieve stress from sixty-hour workweeks and wanting to get back in shape, I discovered Umaa Tantra less than a year ago. To my pleasant surprise, I found much more than what I was looking for.
With a combination of different yoga practices, conditioning exercises and meditation I find myself on a very different place today than I was only a year ago. Within a month, the effects on my body became apparent – I am in better shape, feel better and have more energy than I did in my twenties. I feel more focused, and my stress is all but gone – due to a great extent to a much better understanding of my mind and body and an improved ability to recognize what is really important in my life. I am at the beginning of a long journey, and from what I have seen in these first few months, I am looking forward to what I will continue to learn from my practice. I consider myself fortunate to have found Tao and Santiago as my guides…”
Miami Beach, FL
“I`ve been reading all the e-mails and i`ve been feeling really good while im practicing the technics u talk about, specially with the one about transfiguration.
Thanks a lot my friend!!!”
“Thank you Tao. I always enjoy getting your mail, I find it very crystal clear and this invariably fills me with a lot of satisfaction and trust, besides the fact that these are actually useful lessons.
Looking forward to the news on Friday and also are very interested in
the course you, Laura and Santiago are working on- I suspect it might
all be one and the same?
warm regards, Maria Jose”
“I lived in India for 18 months – sometimes sleeping in caves- studying and practicing several kinds of Buddhist meditation and Hindu yoga and looking for the most effective techniques to reach spiritual ecstasy and self-realization. When I returned to the US, I ended up in Miami almost by chance.
After one weekend of practicing with Santiago and Tao I relocated to Miami. I knew that I had finally found the spiritual system I had been looking for my whole life. In my travels I found many systems that produce results and lead to profound spiritual states. But all of them were dogmatic and gave teachings from a closed fist, while UMAA Tantra is an open-handed system. These systems were often isolated from one another while UMAA Tantra combines the wisdom of multiple traditions- principally Hindu, Tibetan, and Taoist- into a comprehensive and highly efficient methodology that leads invariably to the development of paranormal faculties and enlightenment. I owe a tremendous debt to Santiago and Tao. Under their guidance over the past year, I have grown tremendously as a person and made great strides in my personal and spiritual development.”
Esly Caldwell, III, A.P.
Tao, I just wanted you to know,
I LOVE your tantra “newsletters”! I get so tickled reading them, and I wish we could borrow your columns for our mailing list. This is the kind of practical, daily tantra fu people need in their lives.
Keep up the wonderful words of wisdom!
In love and light,
Yoga School Administrator,
“I’ve been taking classes for 3 months — I have less pain in my back, more flexibility, and I’m calmer! These yoga classes are fantastic, fun, and make a body feel better. There is so much variety – no two classes have been the same!”
–Cheryl Ann Eades
Fiscal Assistant, Office of the Bursar,
Florida International University
I have gained great control over my body and mind. I can say that I know how to take care of myself and fix any imbalances that I feel in myself. I enjoy the particular way in which Santiago gives a practical approach to Yoga. It is not “watered-down” or “mainstream;” it is intense and very real.
I recommend this class to anyone who wants to improve the quality of their health. In turn, the quality of their life. And I recommend this class to anyone who wants to begin to understand their own energy body or who wants to understand the metaphysical… I recommend this class to friends because you learn things that are essential to disease prevention and the overall self-control of the body and mind, and you begin to locate and make a real connection with spirit.
I owe a great debt to Santiago because of the great improvement that I have had mentally, physically, and spiritually ever since my first yoga class. I have begun to understand the sacred rituals of all traditions and even been able to see where some fall short. I’ve been taking classes with Santiago for 3 or 4 years, and Santiago and Tao did a great job with this seminar…
“I started in July, and I’ve been a regular ever since! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my seminar and class experiences. I feel that the material is presented wonderfully; all aspects that I can think of are explored – from martial arts, to schooling, to everyday life!! I would definitely recommend this to all my friends! I apply what I learn in class — I feel that it has done many things. This sort of thing yields growth on all levels: spiritual, emotional, etc.”