Feeling butterflies when you meet someone? Why this might be a red flag
Meet Laura Humphreys, a Gold Coast based Yoga teacher who has been practicing this ancient science for 15 years.
We talk intimate connections, the word 'tantra' and the teachings of this rich knowledge that dates back more than 5000 Years.
Follow Laura on Instagram here
How did you first connect to yoga?
I'm originally from the UK, spent a number of years chasing snow and travelling and am lucky to call Australia home, which is where I found yoga. I've been practicing yoga for 15yrs and I'm deeply passionate about sharing this ancient science, helping people to become more conscious and connect to themselves on a soul level. I have been through many ups and downs in my life and among them all, yoga is the one constant and greatest wisdom I have ever received. Initially I was drawn to yoga for the physical practice but the deeper philosophy was what gave me the desire to keep sharing all these years.
The phrase “Tantric Sex” is something a lot of people may have heard, however they may not know that the word “Tantra” is a yoga term, could you tell us more about this?
This is a topic I am very passionate about because the word tantra has sadly been very misrepresented in our westernised culture.
The verbal root of tantra is tan, "to expand," followed by the suffix tra, which means "an instrument" therefore tantra means "an instrument (tra) for expansion (tan)"
Tantra is effectively one of the oldest systems of yoga and a philosophy that includes several spiritual concepts and uses the body as an instrument through asana, bandha, mudra, pranayama, mantra, meditation to manage and transform the energy available to us and expand our consciousness, becoming the most magnificent version of ourselves, tantra. it really has nothing to do with sex directly.
Nearly everyone has experience the classic dating syndrome of butterflies in your stomach? Could you explain further what this signal from your body means?
Our body has a powerful consciousness, and it’s continually using its whole system to help guide our lives and the energy in them.
The nervous system communicates through energetics, vibration, emotions and signals which acts as a conversation to guide you towards higher vibrations and not away from them.
Anxiety and excitement feel very similar and in the beginning of a developing relationship, it's understandable and expected that you would experience such feelings. However, as a relationship builds, those unnerving feelings can be indicators the relationship is not truly serving you.
As much as we have been led to believe butterflies in your stomach are a sign there is a special chemistry forming, butterflies are not a sign of higher vibrational alignment but rather a signal from your Sympathetic Nervous System(SNS) of unsteadiness and alarm.
The right people will not give you butterflies. They will allow your nervous system to be at ease, balanced and disarmed, and not sent in to “flight or fight” mode.
I had many years of living in this state and I had to learn to listen to my nervous system and now know what it’s like to be around people and choose partners that do NOT create this triggered response in the nervous system.
The right people induce the right neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) making you feel calm and relaxed in the mind and body.
This feeling can be mistaken for “boring” or “too normal” if you’re used to butterflies, chaotic, unstable, fight and flight relationships that leave you searching for the next adrenaline rush or dopamine hit that you get from this kind of neurotransmitter cocktail addiction.
As you drop into the self reflective practice that yoga offers and begin to cultivate the best relational and energetic connections for you and your nervous system, your sense of “boring/mundane” transforms in to safe, secure, calm, effortless, joyous, high vibrational relationship energy; and these types of relationships will fulfil and reward you long term in ways that no low vibrational ones ever could!
If you’re new to listening to the subtle communication of your body or unfamiliar with holding (intentional and unapologetic) space for this type of healthy and higher vibrational energy, journey with grace, and love yourself through this process of Listening to your body’s innate, intuitive wisdom. Honour the sacred communication from within as you humbly learn what and who is healthy for you and your nervous system.
A lot of people struggle with staying present through sex. As a yoga teacher is there anything simple you could recommend to people who would like to have more empowered and conscious sex?
Absolutely! I feel many people approach sex and foreplay as if they are masturbating with someone else's body or they see it as a "job with a specific goal". When they view intimacy in this way, they become disconnected from the present moment because they are focussing on the future. This creates a discord in energy and they lose connection from the person they are sharing the moment with. Instead of enjoying the process and just being present they get caught up in the destination.
An easy tool for coming back to the present moment is the breath, so simply just taking a few slow conscious breaths can help you come back to the moment and reconnect to your own body and partner or even practicing conscious synchronised breathing with your partner.
The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has taught me so much!! And can be applied to every aspect of our lives including sex and intimate connections. It has taught me about connecting to myself, dismantling outdated and self limiting beliefs and leaning into the exploration and expression of my own sexuality. It has also taught me about how our senses control and dictate our lives and the pleasure stimulus within our body that keeps us craving the next pleasurable experience and avoiding anything that brings us discomfort, like exposing our vulnerability. A necessary quality for deeper connection. I've come to understand how over-stimulated we are as a society and as a result have become highly desensitised, especially through the prolific amount of pornography available to us. Yoga has given me a deeper connection to my body and the courage to take authority over my own body and rights, especially the right to be intimate however I like. I honestly could keep going with the abundance of lessons and skills yoga has gifted me with and I wish more people to experience this for themselves.
Find Laura Humphreys on Instagram here or drop in for a class whether you live locally or are passing through the Gold Coast here.