In this video, Laurie Handlers – a sex educator, movie producer, radio show host, author, and intimacy coach discusses her journey with ISTA that fast-tracked her from experiencing the level 1 & II training in May 2014, to joining faculty and co-facilitating her first Level 1 in September 2014. She holds a Masters in Education and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology. Her career includes over thirty years as a corporate change consultant, individual empowerment coach and international seminar leader.




“Wow! What an amazing journey. All that I have experienced and all that I am brought me to this point. I honor myself for responding to my inner urge to be at the ISTA trainings in Ireland. If you are feeling a little inkling deep within, I encourage you to take the leap and jump into it! It is intense, it is challenging, it is beautiful, it is deep. It is whatever we choose it to be. My only guidance to you is to put aside all expectations, to be in the moment, to be the witness but to also participate *fully*. The more you “show up”, the more you will gain. The facilitators are simply people who are also on the path of sex & consciousness but who have undertaken to help guide the process authentically and with the truth of their souls, to provide a beautiful, safe space in which to experience. In my work as a sexologist and teacher myself I felt it important to give myself the gift of these trainings to allow myself to continue to grow and expand my own consciousness and insights so that I may be an even more authentic person in my life and in my relationships. In love and light.” –  S.H., Ireland training (2014)

“If you are still resisting taking this training, I can say only one thing. GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE. A chance to connect with the divine inside you. Balance your feminine and masculine energy, to love and be present – even if it hurts. This training CHANGED MY LIFE. I’m going into the world now free and light, and happy to be part of the great Universe.”  Anonymous, Ireland training

“The transformational opportunities of the truths that are presented in the ISTA trainings go beyond words. This was my second Level 1 and so much more powerful in terms of my understanding and integrating the tools and practices to live a richer, fuller, more empowered, extraordinary life! Thank you, ISTA. Thank you all my fellow “mirrors”. Thank you Great Spirit of the Divine…” –  Anonymous, Ireland training

“Dear future ISTA participant, Learn how to support yourself and others to a more authentic way of living. Find the tools for deep transformation, in a community of like-minded souls. Rediscover your own inner authority and free your mind, body, and soul. Learn how blockages can transform into power and life energy. Give yourself a chance to explore being more of who you really are in a supportive, loveing circle of brothers and sister. Come, come, whoever you are. – ” – Anonymous, Ireland training (2014)

“I cannot recommend it highly enough! It’s a powerful experience and a rare opportunity for folk to step into their power and address old wounds which hold us back from living with joy and freedom. There is nothing else which gives this opportunity for self-empowerment and growth. It addresses core issues around sexuality which are integral to our whole being. It’s well-structured, professionally managed, and hugely transformational” – JB

“This training supported me in coming back to the core of my being. It helped me shed away unnecessary baggage, to reconcile polarities within and empower me to walk in life in a more whole and authentic way. I was highly inspired by the level of love and integrity present during the whole training.” (Melanie Champagne – Guatemala 2013)

“The ISTA experience has been a deeply healing and transformational journey for me. Not only did we learn to honor our boundaries and creating safe spaces for healing our wounds, we were also guided to take one hundred percent responsibility for our emotional well-being by learning shamanic tools for release and renewal. The whole training aims at empowering people by giving them tools to reclaim their ease, love and power, no matter what the outer circumstances may represent. I highly recommend this training to anyone who is genuinely devoted to transformation, wholeness and healing to unfold on all levels.” – NF Ireland 2013

“I have just completed the most amazing workshop and I want to share my experience. Coming here, I imagined it would all be about sex and some techniques relating to that topic. I was amazed to find that it was more about life and how to live fully. It was about feeling empowered, about being adventurous and yet respecting my boundaries, getting to know my boundaries, getting to know my inner man and my inner woman, allowing them to dance together in harmony…and so much more. I highly recommend this workshop to anyone! THis is a life-altering workshop, helping you to live a fuller more exciting life. Do it!!” – Israel 2013

“I was in two minds about coming to this ISTA training. Would I be cared for? Would the team behave ‘professionally’? I am so glad I did. I have discovered new tools for pleasure, health and healing that I will take away and share with my lovers. I have shed shame and envy. I have experienced brotherhood, grief, and ecstasy. I have reclaimed myself from my damaged masculine and celebrated my as yet incomplete feminine. They are not in conflict. I have healed in ecstasy and wept with grief. I have come to celebrate love and enjoy all that people are, even when it hurts. I have learned to ask for what I want and to say No. The facilitators were excellent – caring but not care-taking. W.S., Ireland training 2014

“I allowed my intuition to guide me to this course, to a place of sincerity, to a profound exploration into the depths of my emotions, my fears, my “wiring” – all with safety, openness and support. The facilitators give each person a space to be and to transform. No need to judge or analyse – just be, feel and face what lies within you. Connect to a divine power, emanating through each cell of your body. Ready for life – ready for your Self!” (KP – Guatemala 2013 Training)

“I am sitting in a closing circle of an amazing week journey into the pain, joy, rage, sadness and love. Now, at the last moments tougher, a man is weeping with tears next to me. For 7 days we were here in a temple, a group of people feeling and uncovering ourselves from our masks around sexuality. Deep wounds and great pain came – and gently with a lot of love, we let these rise up and then let them go. We reminded and healed each others fathers and mothers and other images. We remembered what is a brotherhood and sisterhood. We experienced healthy boundaries and looked at where our boundaries were respected and when not. A great and healing time.” – Michael Israel 2013
“Love, respect, presence, authenticity, relationship with myself and my body- that’s what it is about. Thanks a lot to everybody for holding the space, in order for me to find my true self. Im happy to be part of that family. I definitely recommend this training and those beautiful teachers.” –  (O.K, Guatemala, 2013)

“I want you to know what you will find here. You will enter a container with others, people who share your desire to wake up, to heal and to be whole. You will feel safe to take off your masks, because all are welcome here and all are here to be authentic too. You will be challenged at every turn and it will bring up fear and sadness but it will also bring you answers. It will bring you truth. If you surrender to the experience, life with creep back into your beating heart, you will learn to dance the ecstatic dance, stand in  your power among  your people and reclaim that which is  your birthright; your authentic expression of Being. So give yourself this gift, the gift of a second chance, the gift of bliss, connection and meaning to your life. We haven’t met yet, but I know you. You are a part of me and I honour you and I wait for you to join me amongst the ranks of space holders and beings of love and light. ” – Sarvaan Israel 2013

“I thank source for guiding me to this life changing event. I have found keys to doors that I have wished to open my whole life.” – (Anon, Guatemala, 2013)

“For me, this training is the deepest experience I have ever undertaken, and by far the most value. There is so much that could be said to describe the impact of this training on the individual level. Perhaps putting it simply is best. If you want to really show up for yourself, for your precious life, this training is a must. ” A.F., Ireland training

“Dont underestimate yourself and your ability to truly integrate your whole being into a beautiful possibility. You’re worth the time. And certainly deserving of the effort.” (Guatemala, 2014)

“An incredible opportunity. It was a deeply, powerfully transformational week for me… both personally and professionally. This second time just went deeper into Love. Again I met so many beautiful souls, some of which are very dear friends now. It’s not just what get from a week like this; it’s what you take to it too, and the gift of seeing that reflected back to you is priceless.” – LP

“I feel very blessed in my life in that I live and work at a holistic healing center and I get to work with many amazing practitioners in various healing modalities. Because of this, my bar is raised high as to what I expect and look for in practitioners and facilitators I go to for my own healing. In my own transformational healing journey I knew that the time had come to turn and face what stalked me..the 1000 pound gorilla in the room that I could no longer deny. Although I “hid” it well and had done a lot of “personal work” around this issue, I had refused to take myself to the edge I needed to go to. I needed to really go deep into my shame of my body, my extreme discomfort to be naked, to be seen and touched and the core shame. rage and despair around my childhood sexual abuse. This topic was my “no fly zone” area that was taboo to go too deep into beyond the old paradigm talk therapies. Finally, my resistance to letting this issue heal and go was so painful that is was literally killing the flow of my life force/sexual/creative energy. It was interfering with my connections to my authentic self, my relationship with by beloved, my sacred purpose as a teacher, and most importantly, my connection with the Divine. I did not want to die not having experienced freedom from this energy that was draining me. I enrolled in the ISTA SSPT training to start my healing process. ISTA’s reputation of being on the cutting edge of this type of transformational work and the skilled and renown facilitators that are part of the ISTA team is why I chose this training over another. The entire week long experience took me to edges within myself that I didn’t know I had. Yet I always knew in the entire process that I was in sacred space and very safe. All of my facilitators were outstanding. However, one in particular was at the core of my own transformational healing process Araminta Barbour embodies the strength, wisdom and compassion of a true healer and guide. I was able to let my physical, emotional and energetic defenses down with her which allowed the most profound releases and shifts within me to occur that I have ever experienced. She is not only skilled in practices which allow for deep body/enrergy/heart trauma to release, her presence, love and intuitive awareness at every moment is something I have never experienced with another practitioner. Araminta not only walks her talk, she lives and embodies the healing that she is able to hold space and guide others to find within themselves.” (KA, USA)

“The power and depth of this training continues to unfold in myself profoundly…presence has finally dawned here and this presence shows me how to hold all of myself through the various inner and outer manifestations. I feel steady and grounded, life has begun to flow as a continuous self-nourishment. Big love and deeply heartfelt thank you to all of the trainers, in whom I feel absolute trust. I very much look forward to my next training” AM

“ISTA level 1 Round 3 was no less amazing, humbling and profound than my first two forays into the spiritual sexual shamanic practitioners training/ experience. I continue to be surprised at the brave souls who show up to explore themselves and the concept of their own freedom and self expression. The beautiful mix of all ages, backgrounds, cultures, professions and beliefs make for a unique experience every time. Every human being should gift themselves this space for openness and acceptance. There is nothing to fear in this space, except your fear itself. There is nothing to be lost and everything to be gained. The container created by the facilitators is always safe and strong .. while allowing any chaos that needs to or wants to emerge. The participants in turn are open, accepting and loving towards one another while learning the lessons to be had from the powerful mirrors they meet. Level 1 offers the opportunity to examine your life relationships to family, lovers and yourself. It invites an examination of our inner shadow and beauty. It shines a light up to say ‘come back to yourself remember and be whole’. Embrace your inner child, your sexual self, your joyful self, your sadness, your grief and your shadow. Question your programming, conditioning and your ego. All you need to bring is your presence and willingness.” Elaine London

“ISTA provides a space where each person has the opportunity of coming home to themselves, deep within. It’s a space of welcoming – surrendering to all that is, within yourself and others. A space of no judgement, deep enquiry, presence, and observation – a space of authentic love and compassion. A process that supports each person’s journey in meeting their own masculine and feminine, allowing them to reach that place of acceptance, knowing the wholeness within themselves. It’s a process that totally supports each person to connect with their love, truth, and unique gifts. A process which empowers people to be authentic, free, and to take action in the world from a place of love, courage, and integrity. Definitely a journey I recommend to anyone truthsfully willing to dive within, reclaiming their truths, power, honouring all that they are.”  S., Ireland training

“A large magnetic attraction pulled me to the first Irish ISTA, and I don’t mean soley sexual; more like the kind of pull the moon has on me when I’m trying to sleep but feel drawn to howl outside instead. I had been resisting it with all my rational might. ‘I don’t need it, I’m doing the work already, I can’t afford it’ but all the time my belly was screaming at me to go, my intuition was telling me I was just meant to be there. Logic and reason sulked. It didn’t make any sense and my indecision was draining. I had been split for two months or more, caught between a rock and a feather-bed. The night before the training was due to start, at the Bliss festival, I finally caved. I’m borrowing the money. I have to be there. Some things you just can’t fight.
So what happened? Was there any fibre of my being that came home after the week wishing that I had stayed home? No. Not a cell in my body, not a whisper of breath regrets flying into this particular flame. It was a flame it transpires, of rebirth, renewal, restoration and revival, of retrieval, re-membering, reverence and overall incredible relief. In the opening circle I had spoken of searching for a missing piece in the jigsaw of my life. I found not only the missing piece, but a whole new portal that opened up through it. My expectations were surpassed, you might say, a hundred fold throughout the Training. And I’m so grateful I was part of that circle. If I’m not mistaken the combined Alchemy we created as a group with the lovingly held container and guidance of Dez, Araminta and Bruce, has actually achieved nothing short of a miracle; it has irrevocably induced the return of the Snakes to Irish soil. Brace yerself Sheila. From this point onwards nothing can ever be the same. And I’m not joking, which is somewhat unnerving. This is my Church, my body, my home. I pray that I can relax in the discipline of the practice enough to finally offer myself back out to the world, to surf that orgasmic edge of Bliss, to manifest that which I came here to do. Everything else is just an excuse.” TM

“Imagine the conduit to connect with the part of yourself that you’ve never been allowed to touch. Whole, warm, soft, dance. Touch your passion for real. Talk about generosity. Live shame-free.” (Krystalyn- Guatemala, 2013))

“I signed up for the level 1 training within an hour of hearing about it as I just felt it was the right thing at the right time. I can say it turned out to be perfect for my healing and the connection within the group in unparalleled in its heart felt energy and transformation.
The integrity of the facilitators was second to none and the level of trust that was generated allowed for my total giving to the healing process. Please do this training for yourself and the rest of the world. S.A” (Guatemala, 2015)


“As I emerge from the Level 1 training in Ireland, I am in deep reverence of and gratitude for the sheer magnitude of transformation that has taken place. I have metamorphosised into a greater version of my being – the divinity of my truth. For so long in my life I was unable to tap into the grace and beauty of my self. ISTA gave me the safe container I needed to dive deep and uncover the gems that were lying deep within, allowing me to see the truth of my wholeness – embracing the light, the dark, my masculine and feminine, my passion, my purpose, my joy, my sexuality, humour, a magnitude of self-love. Blessings.”  Anonymous, Ireland training 2014

“There are boundless lessons to take with me from this experience, but perhaps the most precious for me in this moment was to witness the creation of Sacred Space; space where all is held sacred and safe; space without judgement; space made from love. I truly feel that I can carry this with me and recreate it anywhere I want or need. Thank you!” – Anon (Guatemala 2015)

“My journey began the day I signed up for the course. I began to feel a subtle change in my day to day feeling. I began to do the Chi gun practice which I had given up years ago. I came to the course to find the missing piece to make my life tick. I really could not have believed how extraordinary this journey would become. Seeing the real, authentic beings that were the teachers broke down a lifetime of barriers and beliefs. Sometimes in life you can only learn from people who walk the talk. And I believe from my sould these teachers walk the talk in a way I have never seen human beings do. The realness, the rawness, the absolute being was like a natural transfusion into myself. I am truly grateful for this experience of love, life and everything in-between. The wholeness of the experience will live with and in me forever. Thank you. ” T., Ireland training (2014)

I’m so grateful I listened to the call of spirit to come to the Guatemala training. It’s my second training with ISTA and I am blown away at how powerful and transformational of an experience this has been. I literally observed years, even centuries of ‘Old Paradigm’ based programming dissolve right before my eyes. With these patterns gone there is so much more room for love, presence, power, and freedom in me. YES!!!!

(Steve, Tantric Decks, Guatemala 2015)


“Me siento una persona diferente de como llegue a este curso. Hoy me siento mucho mas seguro de mi mismo, siento haber conocido y liberado miedos y eventos ocultos que me impedian sentirme libre. Siento haber recorzado mi poder interior. Tome este curso con la intension de recatar al hambre que hay en mi y encontre que mi parte femenina es la que mas disfruto solo que no me atrevia a mostrarla y vivirla con mas intensidad, la parte masculina esta tambien conmigo y ahora despierta. Intento lograr un balance para sentire mas en armonia con migo y con el Universo. Mi nino interio sano con los diferented ejercision practicados, solto sus miedos, abrio un espacio para sentirse amado, reconocido, perdonado y presente. Me voy muy agradecido por la oportunidad que me han briandado y que decidi tomar. Com una mayor satifaccion por haber recorrido este camino con mi amada.” (Arturo, Guatemala 2015)

!Vaya viaje! Esto es vida! Entrenamienta para experiemntar mayor plenitud, mayor verdad en ti, para expandir el amor. Vaye de liberacion, de SER, de estar, de conexion. Gracias por compartir! Tantrik Love. Nos amo. (Bere Mercado, Guatemala 2015)