Eva Williams is the founder of Golden Lotus; A divine online portal of meditations, movement practices, and sexual/spiritual energy education designed to cultivate spiritual awakening, sexual activation, and embodied sovereignty. This episode explores rebirth and the unfolding of the sacred feminine through preparation and activation rituals, with a deep dive into birth and pregnancy. Tahnee and Eva journey into the numinous layers of Eva’s healing work, her Golden Lotus portal, her focus on cultivating and purifying the body through ancient techniques, sexual embodiment, self-pleasure practices, and the many dimensions of birth work.
A healer and teacher with over a decade of experience in bodywork, energy work, and feminine sexual cultivation techniques, Eva carries a depth of knowledge that women need now more than ever. Currently, the way most women in society birth is within the structure of an over-medicalized patriarchal system. Sacred feminine lineages of natural birthing wisdom have been at large, replaced with time constraints, interventions, inductions, and regulations; The antithesis of a naturally unfolding feminine space. How did we end up here? With so much of her work focused on this space and where sexual embodiment falls into birth, Eva discusses the importance of birth preparation; From detoxing, orgasms, and opening the pelvis to the deep work of trusting the body and baby to do what they instinctively know how to do. This conversation is a deep weaving of energetic, sexual, and birth culture healing; For all women, past, present, and future.
"Many people come into tantra with a concept of a partner base in mind. But the way I was trained, particularly with my teachers in this more Sufi tradition, I never went into any of this work looking for my sexuality. I never thought I would only work with women; I never thought I would be working with birth. That was not my aim; My aim was to heal people. I worked on everyone. Ultimately, I wanted to find God. I wanted a very deep spiritual experience or a series of those. And over time, that guided me in that direction. But there was a level of care and sobriety cultivated within me before I was put on that path. And this level of deep devotion and sobriety to my self-development was paramount".
- Eva Williams
Tahnee and Eva discuss:
- Doula work.
- Inducing labour.
- Foetal monitoring.
- Dolphin midwives.
- Birth preparation.
- Empowered birth.
- Tantric practices.
- Devine Female Orgasm.
- Self-pleasure practices.
- Feminine embodiment.
- Female sexuality and birth.
- The pelvis is a fluid body.
- Somatics and embodiment.
- Time constraints placed on pregnancy and birthing.
Who is Eva Louise Williams?
Eva Louise Williams is a healer and teacher with over a decade of experience in bodywork, energy work, and feminine sexual cultivation techniques. She began her journey at 18 learning reiki and pranic healing, before becoming initiated into Kriya yoga (the lineage of Babaji) at 20, then went on to study Shiatsu, Japanese Acupuncture, and Taoist sexual cultivation techniques. She began teaching others at 26 and received the transmission for Golden Lotus at the age of 29. She currently has over 10,000 hours of experience as a bodyworker and teacher. Eva is also a doula, a birth educator, and an RYT 500 in tantric Hatha and kundalini lineages. Golden Lotus was founded to both serve and lead female seekers towards awakening and remembering Self-love & trust. It is a series of teachings that cultivate spiritual and sovereign embodiment; the focus lies in stabilising, purifying, and awakening through ancient techniques and spiritual secrets taught through a state of ritual and Holy full-body Prayer.
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
Hi everybody, and welcome to the SuperFeast Podcast. Today, I'm joined by Eva Williams. I'm really excited to have her here. I've been following her work online and she's really aligned with what we do at SuperFeast. She's an explorer of this wide world of Taoist medicine through the Japanese lineage, but also, she waves in, from what I can tell, you seem to bring in all these beautiful, different traditions, Sufism, Kriya yoga, different types of feminine embodiment, Pranic healing, that kind of stuff. So I'm really excited to have you here today. I'm really excited to share with our community your work.
And if you guys are interested, we'll talk about it through the podcast, but Eva has a whole lot of resources on her website, courses you can do related to different aspects of a lot of the stuff we teach at SuperFeast. So thank you for joining us here today, Eva, it's such a pleasure to have you here.
Eva Williams: (00:53)
My pleasure. Thank you so much.
Yeah, I'm so excited. I think I first came across you on Instagram and I've had a look through what you offer. I know you haven't studied with Mantak, but it really seems aligned with a lot of the work that I learned through studying with him, the feminine work around energy cultivation. Obviously, you've studied Shiatsu and Japanese acupuncture. So you speak to the meridians and all those kinds of things. Would you mind telling us a bit about your journey here? How did you get to be offering Golden Lotus to the world?
Eva Williams: (01:30)
Yeah, sure. All right. My journey's been quite interesting in terms of length because my mom is really into alternative medicine. I remember when I was six years old and I just had this incredibly bad tonsillitis, it was to the point where I was being taken out of school for days and days every week. And my mom noticed that I responded really, really well to the osteopath that she would take us to because she used to take us all three to the osteopath regularly. And so the osteopath said, "Look, this kid is responsive as hell. You should just take her to a cranial osteopath because that will help."
Eva Williams: (02:12)
So I started going to this professional cranial osteopath when I was six, and it was the only thing that assisted, it was the only thing my body would really respond to. So really, from an early age, my mom knew that, particularly me, I think my brother and sister definitely as well, but particularly me, if anything would happen, like when I was 13 and I had anxiety, my mom was like, "Oh, we could put her on anti-anxiety or we could do reflexology with Bach flower remedies." And also, I had psoriasis, I had developed psoriasis when I was 13. And psoriasis, for those of you who don't know, is a skin issue, and it's one of these just really stubborn, autoimmune things.
Eva Williams: (02:55)
Anything that's autoimmune is basically, no offence to all of the fantastic doctors and the medical community, but anything that's autoimmune is basically in the realm of, "We don't really know what the fuck is happening, so here's some steroids. That's where we're at." And so I started trying out these different things and some of them are called like bowel neurotherapies, which are where you'd have a salt bath and then UV light therapy or something like that. And there's not a lot of sun in the Netherlands where I was living at the time. So I started getting into this world where every time I'd be going to this clinic, I'd be checking out the cards on the notice board.
Eva Williams: (03:34)
And there'd always be like random things like Karma healing or like emotional Chakra clearing. And one day I found this card and I was like, "This is so good." I walked around with this card for like a week or two, and then I called the person. And I remember, as soon as I called her, she was like, "Yeah, how can I help you?" I'm like, "Look, I don't really know what you do. Do you speak English? I don't really know what you do, but I feel really like this is something that I need to try." And she was like, "Hmm, no, you need Dini." I was like, "I'm sorry, have we even met? I'm trying to book an appointment with you."
Eva Williams: (04:04)
And she was like, "No, you need Dini." I was like, "Oh, okay. I need Dini." And then this woman was this like 75-year-old woman who looked so young. And she was like, "How old do you think I am?" I'm like, "We've been through this before." She was just amazing. And she barely spoke any English. And I remember I was 15 when I first went to see her, and she did Meridian massage. She did Meridian clearing and healing. She was just a healer, so she would tell me a bunch of different things, and then she would do this work on me. She would tell me things that I look back on now, I'm like, "Dude, she was so on point."
Eva Williams: (04:44)
But at the time, I was like, "What the fuck is she talking about?" She's like, "You're taking on a lot from your father." I'm like, "Okay."
What does that mean?
Eva Williams: (04:51)
Exactly. And now, I'm like, "I'm that person." But it was quite a unique experience. And I remember when she first read my astrology chart, she just looked at me. And it was very Dutch. The Dutch are very dry, they don't beat around the bush, they're very pragmatic and straightforward. And she was like, "Wow, that's not good." I was like, "Why are you doing this to me?" So she started saying to me really early on when I was 15, 16, I didn't like high school, so I left high school when I was 15 to teach myself. She started saying to me really regularly, "You have to promise me that you will do this work." She's like, "Do you think what I do is amazing?" I'm like, "I think it's pretty out there."
Eva Williams: (05:36)
And she's like, "Okay, but what you are going to do is this, but much, much more." And she's like, "You have to promise me." And my mom taught me from when I was really young that a promise is a really strong word and you don't use it if you can't keep it. So I was like, "Far out, man, this is my life ahead of me and you want me to..., " But she sent me to some other people, liquid crystal healers and all sorts of things, so I was getting into some really bizarro stuff. And I wasn't telling my parents that much about this because it no longer had this homoeopathic application anymore. Now, it was just like, "Fuck it, I'm going to go on a journey and meet the [inaudible 00:06:07]. See you later."
Eva Williams: (06:08)
I was getting into some really out-there stuff at like 16, 17, but it was, it was really amazing. So I followed that thread and I taught myself, I homeschooled myself. And I got into a really great university. And so I went to university, everyone told me people are more free thinking in university, etc, etc. And I thought, "Okay, great." But actually I didn't find that, I actually found that the institutionalised information had just become denser. I didn't find that people were more free thinking, I found that there were more presumptions. And especially for someone who didn't go through the IB or the international baccalaureate programme, it was really difficult for me.
Eva Williams: (06:51)
I had some really awakening moments, just some really jarring stuff happened where I was like, "I don't think I really belong here." And my dad moved to India that year, and so my brother and sister and I all went to see him in India. My dad's a geologist, so all around the house, ever since we were little, we'd had tumbled rocks, amethyst, turquoise, this or that. So he was always teaching us about all these crystals. So when my brother and I got to India, we saw the tumbled rocks, these beautiful amethyst, and we both took one. We were like, "Let's go to the Himalayas."
Eva Williams: (07:28)
He's like, "Yeah, let's learn yoga from a really old yogi." I was like, "Yeah, let's go do that." So and I was like, "Dad, I'm taking this rock with me." He's like, "If you take that, you're bringing it back. That's my rock." So I took this amethyst in my pocket and I went into the Himalayas. And I met a woman and she... I wanted to study Reiki, that was my thing. She just looked at me and she was like, "Hey, look, I'm going to give you these codes for all the different levels of Reiki, and then I need you to come back and I want you to teach my level two students." I'm like, "Lady, I just walked in here. I don't know what Reiki is yet."
I've got to learn.
Eva Williams: (08:06)
"I've got a nab at this, I had a dream on the bus. There's a lot going on right now. I don't think I'm ready to teach people something I haven't learned." But what she was picking up on was that I could touch people and feel what they were experiencing. So I came back the next day, and I was just putting my hands on people and I just explained what I could see or feel. And she's like, "You need to promise me ... " I was like, "You know what, I've heard all of this before, my friend. I have heard all of this before." So I went back to the Netherlands to university, and I was doing my 30 days. You have to do this self Reiki thing after you do Reiki.
Eva Williams: (08:45)
And during that period of time, I was like, "I'm not meant to be an architect, I'm not meant to be doing what I'm doing. And so I need to go." And so I gave away everything I owned and I said to my dad, "I'm free again." And he's like, "Yeah, great. You left high school twice and now you're leaving an international honours university. This is a great run you're having over here. I hope you put my amethyst back."
Yeah. So proud.
Eva Williams: (09:10)
He's like, "You'll face... " I'm joking. And he was like, "Okay, look, you've always been who you are, no one's stopping that. But what are you going to do? You should have a bit of a plan." And I was like, "Yeah, well, what do I have to my name?" He's laughing. He's like, "What do you have to your name? You're a broke student. You have nothing but a ticket home to New Zealand that I will give you until you're 22." So I was like, "All right, great. I'll take it." So I went to New Zealand for three weeks and I went for a Reiki session. And this woman, she did that same thing, she's like, "You don't need me, you need Barbara and you need Jan."
Eva Williams: (09:43)
And I'm like, "Okay, send me the names." So I started exploring all these different modalities of incredible light work, just incredible, incredible things while I was there. I go down to the ocean and dolphins would come and visit me, and then I'd go see the healers, and they're like, "You called those dolphins." I'm like, "Okay. All right. Let's calm down." But now I'm like, "We all call the dolphins." Now, I'm like, "Of course, I called the dolphins."
They're our people.
Eva Williams: (10:08)
My allies. They came to me in my hour of need. It was just a beautiful time. And then one day, in my heart, I just heard... I was waiting for that moment where you hear it from within, because I have a very active mind, so I can make up whatever I want to hear. But I heard Melbourne from my heart. And I was like, "Okay, that's where it's going to be." So I called my parents, I'm like, "I'm going to Melbourne." They were like, "Oh, thank God, she's got a plan." And I went there and I thought I was going to stay doing something graphic design or something design oriented, because that's a big part of my passion in life.
Eva Williams: (10:42)
And I found the Australian Shiatsu College, and I found my shakes. I found my Sufi shakes. And once I found these two things, everything else fell in line. Yes, I was initiated into Kriya yoga over when I was 21, which was amazing. When I was 20, still finding my feet, I hadn't found the college yet, I hadn't found my shakes yet. I used to lie in my bedroom listening to singing balls. And that was this one guy who I just loved, very camp, but amazing, but just incredible sound healer, just such an amazing heart and soul. And he would just put all this water in a bow and he'd be like, "These are the dolphin's ball, the dolphins are coming to sing us."
Eva Williams: (11:26)
And he would hit it and he would play it. And it was like, oh my God, this man, I don't even know where he comes from, but he's amazing." So one day I fell asleep, listening to this and I woke up and how you know YouTube just plays. And I saw this image on my screen, and I looked at it and it was this blue light and this golden man. And it just said, "The golden body of the Yogi." And I knew in that moment this is why I'm on the planet. This is why I'm on the planet. And so then I found out who that was, and that was an image of Babaji. And so then I found out about Kriya yoga.
Eva Williams: (12:00)
And it's interesting because when I had looked for yoga schools in India years before, the only ones that I had found that I wanted to go to were the Kriya yoga schools. And so I became initiated into the Kriya yoga lineage of the Babaji and then his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya, and then Sri Yukteswar, and Paramahamsa Yogananda. And that was the beginning of things unlocking for me. And then I found Shiatsu in oriental medicine, and I went on to study Japanese acupuncture. And then I also found a teacher, a female teacher, and she did a beautiful mixture of yoga and Taoist work with the Jade egg. And then through the studies that I was doing and her even teaching in the same building, I just made this place my home and we'd get all these amazing international practitioners.
Eva Williams: (12:50)
I found myself picking up exactly what I needed from that, including doula training and all sorts of things like this that were going on in the space. And then I worked at a Japanese bath house after I graduated for five years or so, I think it was, or something around that. And I really was so lucky because even if you want to rack up hours as a practitioner, it's very hard to find a place to be doing flat out work as Shiatsu practitioner just right out of school. But I was able to rack up at 10,000 hours really quickly in my first, I would say, first six or seven years of work.
Eva Williams: (13:27)
And then I went to Bali, I got married. I went to Bali for a honeymoon, and then I just decided I was going to move to Dubai because it was something I really wanted to do. And then about a year into being in Dubai, I was just lying in the bathtub and I just had this full download through my body. And these images came to me and all this stuff and I was just being told what to do like, "You need to write this down, you need to go and get these things." And I was told to build out a whole altar. So I had this massive altar. And I was just sitting in front of it like, "Okay, I now live in a church. What next?"
Eva Williams: (14:06)
My husband, he was in Iraq at the time, so he wasn't home. So I was like, "Nobody's going to know about my weird little mat?" And then when he came home, he's like, "That's a lot of candles. Do you need to light all of them at once? Are we doing a séance? What's happening here?" But as I was doing this, the spirits of these different plants I've been told to buy exactly 13 were coming to me, people were sending me things. I was finding things that I'd had in my library for a long time, I'd just never seen them with that particular glow or from that angle, that a transmission was coming through.
Eva Williams: (14:41)
And I basically just sat down and I wrote the 10 transmissions of level one of Golden Lotus, which is the eight extraordinary vessels and the 12 main meridians. Unless you do a practitioner training, I don't do Triple Warmer and Pericardium. So it's basically just the five elements. So water, wood, earth, metal as it were, and fire. And then the eight extraordinary. But we do the Chong Mai twice because it has the main vessel and then two other vessels. And for the purpose of female sexual cultivation, it's important actually to separate those two. And then from there, it just started unlocking, like level two became the three gates of orgasm and just the content was just pouring down.
Eva Williams: (15:28)
And it was a mixture between a really pure transmission I was being guided to and led to, and then a really deep weaving of just years and years. I'm very, very autodidactic because I didn't go to high school even, so my ability to sit and research and work if I have the impetus is quite high. If not, guess what?
Very low. I can relate to that.
Eva Williams: (16:00)
I'm like, "Let's have a show of hands." I'm pretty sure everyone's like, "Yeah, that's a... '' So I was able to just channel this, and then it just was really natural that these two modalities, the way it's structured is that the level one is really about working with the Yoni egg, so the Jade egg. It's really about clearing your own body, detoxing and recentralizing through the pelvis. So clearing trauma in the pelvis, opening the sensitivity of the pelvis, and really weaving in the whole rest of the body to a pelvic alignment. So beginning to really understand all of these different reflex zones that we have in the body that all relate to the pelvis.
Eva Williams: (16:43)
And I don't just mean the internal reflex zones of the different organ systems, I also mean really beginning to explore somatically the balance between the sacrum and the buttock and the stone and the breasts, or how there's different alignments of your pelvis and your jaw and your mouth. And there's multiple different ways that we can set up these reflexologies that allow us to have a sense that we're hinging from the pelvis. So it's very much about coming into that, and it's not supposed to be... It's supposed to basically teach you how to come into contact with your own energy, to disperse it through your whole body so that you can actually have proper tantra experiences and also to self-regulate.
Eva Williams: (17:23)
Because the level two work, it's almost like we go from a pelvic central model out to the body. And then the next level is all more explicit. So it's like self-pleasure practises. Or if we do like a retreat, we'll do some touch exchange practises. If you come to my clinic, I will do internal work at times, things like this. And so that's very triggering work. And I've seen, because I have been in many of these schools with sexual energy, the lack of self-regulation that is taught before highly activating practises come into play. And I didn't like that.
Eva Williams: (18:02)
And so while I didn't necessarily plan the way that Golden Lotus was channelled, it is a very deep reflection of the beliefs in the general that I've taken, which is that we need to prepare our body before we do all this highly sexual activating practise. Because otherwise, I think one of the big things in the tantra communities and things that's happened is, it's just become all about sex dressed up as something spiritual, you know?
Oh, I know.
Eva Williams: (18:28)
You're like, "Really? I've never come across this before."
I'm just laughing because I spent some time at Agama Yoga in Thailand I have never laughed so hard. We did a 10 day silent meditation and we were asked to abstain from sex for 10 days. And every day, someone would ask, "I really feel like I need to have sex today. Could I possibly not have... " I was like, "So you guys can't go 10 days without touching yourself or someone else." I've never seen anything like it. So if you love Agama, I found it a really toxic culture. It was almost high school. I was really shocked.
Eva Williams: (19:10)
It's infamous. It's infamous for this. My teacher went there, one of my teachers was there and she told me all about it. And then even recently, I was sitting with a friend and I was mentioning some of these things, and she was like, "Oh my gosh. One time, when I was at the very beginning of my path, I went to this place." And as soon as she said it, I knew. I was like, "I know where you were talking about. I've never been there myself, but it's infamous."
It was an experience. Yes, I hear you.
Eva Williams: (19:37)
I think that this thing is also, I think a lot of people come into tantra with a concept of partner base in mind, and the way that I was trained, particularly with my teachers in this more Sufi tradition and things like this, I never went into any of this work looking for my sexuality. I never thought I would only work with women, I never thought I would be working with birth. This was not my aim. My aim was just to heal people. I worked on everyone. And ultimately, my aim was just to find God, I just wanted to have a very deep spiritual experience or a series of those. And so that over time guided into that direction, I just saw the level of care and sobriety that was cultivated within me before putting me onto that path.
Eva Williams: (20:30)
The level of deep devotion and sobriety to my own self-development was paramount. And so there wasn't a sense of like there was a real sense that I wasn't allowed to just mess around, I wasn't allowed to just go to whatever workshop I wanted or something. I was really guided very strongly as to what is an integrity and what is not an integrity as far as transmissions go. And I'm very grateful for that. At least it worked for me within my system of integrity. So then basically it brought the birth of this beautiful work and I think that people love it when they do it, and I think people do feel that they can regulate themselves through it.
Eva Williams: (21:12)
And that work for me, very, very naturally falls into birth work. If you are learning how to move and you're learning all these different ways of detoxing and opening your body and then you're learning these three gates of orgasm, which is very specifically sent into the pelvis, so then we are really going into the semantics of the pelvis alone. If you're doing all of that work, that is the birth prep is just extraordinary. And so I developed that into a birthing programme as well, because we need more of that. I think that you're not really taught how much prep goes into birth until you're pregnant.
And it's really not a great time then to be exploring.
Eva Williams: (21:52)
No. Not at all because it's traumatic.
Because of your trauma.
Eva Williams: (21:53)
You can definitely do some work on it then, but you need some guidance and holding through that because unwinding trauma can take a really long time, the somatic body's not quick
Not fast, very slow.
Eva Williams: (22:17)
It really likes to take its time.
Oh man, it's so true. And I think what is so interesting about what you're speaking to though with coming into birth work, I know for me, I did muntuk's work and I was having internal work there and working with eggs and clearing those, that whole period of time was big for me. It was unpleasant in some ways and really beautiful and powerful in other ways. But I came to birth and I remember thinking like, "If I hadn't done that work, I wouldn't be able to hold myself through pregnancy and birth the way I've been able to, through pregnancy and birth."
And you are speaking to this sense of sobriety and this sense of strength and just the ability to hold your own energy and read your own energy and tune into it, I think that's the piece for women going in and it's like, you're going to have people try and tell you things that you have to filter through, your truth filters. You have to make decisions around your sovereignty and around your care that you probably... These are big decisions and you don't have much context for them usually. I know for me even being fairly educated, there's just stuff I was like, "Do I have to do this? What are the rules?"
And I think if you don't have that strong foundation, I think that's stuff golden lotus, it sounds like it just provides that container for women to start to build that trust in themselves so they can go and then really be open to what is honestly the most incredible experience you can have as a woman. I know woman choose not to birth, but for me, profound, but a lot of preparation too, I think in my experience.
Eva Williams: (23:58)
I think it's really underestimated how much prep it takes. And I think it's also, to understand that you've got so much content that you want to read about the spiritual, about the physiological, but also how much you've got to inform yourself around just-
Eva Williams: (24:14)
Yeah. Just random medical stuff, because we are taught to just, if someone's wearing a white coat, they know. They wouldn't suggest it if it wasn't for your best.
Is that true?
Eva Williams: (24:23)
That's not true. And it's sad. It's so sad to acknowledge that, but that's unfortunately the truth. And so I'm in the process of putting together a programme now which really takes people, basically it's like a month-by-month programme. So you can buy the modules as a month or you can buy them as a whole. And it's got workbooks and meditations. It addresses the emotional, the spiritual, how far along your baby is and where they're growing.
Eva Williams: (24:57)
And it really also, for me, there's like this very strong concept of, you have the mother, you have the child, and then you have the mother-child unit, this third that's being generated and they call it mama toto in Swahili, this concept of the mother-child. And to build a bridge between these things because one of the things that I've noticed in for example, certain modalities like APA, like the pre and perinatal psychology, people who do fantastic work is that one of the main... how do I explain this for people who don't maybe come from this context? Someone asked me recently, how can you tell if your doula is a good doula? How can you choose a good doula?
Eva Williams: (25:44)
How many stars are there in the sky, my friend? And then immediately it came to me, I know it really... And I realised that the doula that I really, we don't even call ourselves doula's anymore because we consider ourselves more birth keepers or birth workers because the work gets so close to midwifery at a certain stage that the idea that you are not advocating for a client or all these sorts of things, it doesn't have a place when you get to a certain level of birth work. And these women, all of them speak to the baby individually to the mother. And immediately I realise, "Oh, if your doula will have an individual relationship to the baby, as they do to you, but they are there for you, to me, that's a good doula."
Eva Williams: (26:38)
And I know that sounds strange, but I come very much from this concept that the baby is always the most conscious being in the room, born or unborn. And so if we can begin to actually... What I would love for more women to know is that a lot of women really get bogged down with this idea like, "It's me, it's my body. Yes, my partner's helping me, but I have to carry this. I feel heavy, this baby's relying on me." And so there becomes almost a scarcity of this really deep sense of drudgery or something related, or just a deep sense of lack of support that becomes related to birth.
Eva Williams: (27:10)
And one of the things that I think is really important for women to understand is neither on a physiological level, not spiritual level are you alone? This baby is the one that will release the hormone that will tell your body and your stomach when to dilate. This child will send stem cells to heal your body into your blood. This child is there for you, and this child is leading this labour actually. So this child is bringing you energy and bringing you protection, and bringing you gifts of healing. And this moment is actually for you, it's not happening to you, it's happening for you.
Eva Williams: (27:49)
So the moment that that child is born is your rebirth as well, it is your moment to also let go and let something new come through. And I think that interconnection, that interplay is what allows women to not just trust their body, which is one of the thing that I wish more people could establish prior to falling pregnant, we should call it rising pregnant, "I rose pregnant."
Eva Williams: (28:16)
But also that they begin to trust not just their body, but the baby. So they're like, "Yeah, my body knows how to do this and this, baby's got this, I've got it. Our relationship got it and my body's got it. So this is what's going to happen." And just really leading from that place. And for many people, that might sound fantastical, but the more that we're going to understand birth, the more that we look at what's happening with the stem cells, the more that we look at the neurology and the physiology of labour itself and the more that if you have done that previously, you'll know that this is real, this is actually what's happening, that there is this very deep exchange of support.
Eva Williams: (28:56)
And that's what I think is the most powerful thing is when a woman trusts so innately in her body and in the child that has chosen her to take this journey, that bond is what's leading the labour. I just think that that's very powerful. So the course that I've developed is to try to assist with that, and then obviously is also bringing different movements for different trimesters because different parts of the body obviously get affected at different times, and hypnobirthing scripts and of dolphin and whale stuff going on there, because you know, our allies.
It's so funny all the stuff you're speaking about. With my daughter, she's five now, nearly five, but I had a dolphin come to me while I was pregnant with her in the water. And she had me through the whole pregnancy, guiding everything. I was doing body work at the time and I had this really strong download that I had to stop. And I remember contacting my teacher, who's the female teacher of Chi Nei Tsang from Mantak Chia. She was like, "If the baby's telling you to stop your stuff," and I had this golden thread with her and she was this little golden being, so probably about, I think around two dissolved completely. It got weaker and weaker over time. But just all of that stuff...
And I had a lot of stuff going on in my life when I was pregnant with her and she just held me like I was... I remember thinking, "I should be really stressed out right now, but I feel really safe and really held through this." And it took me a little while to realise that that was her contributing that to my experience. And I think that trust is something she gave me, which I think is a really beautiful thing. I'm halfway through my pregnancy now, I'm four months, but this pregnancies been really different for me. So it's interesting. I'm interested to see how they play out, because I haven't had that same sense of baby protection or strong baby messages.
But I'm interested in that space because I think it's hard to talk about that stuff as a woman, the midwives I had were very practical, wonderful women, but they were very grounded and of the earth. And you had a textbook pregnancy and a textbook birth, well done? And I was like, "Yeah, but what about all this cool stuff that's happening to me?" And they were like, "We don't want to talk about that stuff." I was like, "Okay."
Eva Williams: (31:33)
It's a shame actually because it's weird thing-
I'm glad you're here.
Eva Williams: (31:35)
What did you say?
That I'm glad you're here in the world.
Eva Williams: (31:41)
Dolphins are so important in birth. That's so important. People who are not getting this message, I'm like, "You guys have to... " I always tell my clients, I'm like, "Just Google." I'll be like, "Yeah, the dolphin midwives." And then everyone at the table laughed. I'm like, "Huh." Wait until you see it.
It's true, Hawaii.
Eva Williams: (31:57)
I know. And then I'm like, "Google it. You Google dolphin midwife." And people come back, "Whoa." I'm like, "Yeah, that's actually a"-
And wasn't they doing it in Russia, the Google something?
Eva Williams: (32:05)
They did, yes. Birthing to being, Alana's work was incredible.
Because Jeannine Parvati Baker talks about it a lot in her work, and some other people have talked about studying.
Eva Williams: (32:16)
I think the woman who found a birth into being, she had a centre in the Caspian sea where the dolphins would come in and people would just be freebirthing in the water, which is wild. And so we have over here, birth it's a very obstetric-run American imported system. It's pretty brutal. So we are looking at different birth centres talk of shifting some things around birth here because Dubai is like a playground in terms of, they're so open to new ideas. And people may not think of them like that from the outside, but they really are.
Eva Williams: (32:56)
They're so innovative and there's some very special, very, very, very special energy to the Emiratis to the Bedouin people, just something very special. So we were looking at working with a very beautiful woman whose work I incorporate a lot into mine, her name's Dr. Gallery. And she has some beautiful, gentle birth clinics in London and things like this. And she said, "Oh yes, I'd love to come out and do something with you guys in Dubai, but I only want to work with the dolphins." And she's a full OB/GYN. And I was like, "You and me, this is going to work so well." I was like, "Scrap all the land we've found, we're going to the ocean."
Eva Williams: (33:43)
I was like, "This is the future of it. This is the future of birth." And I think that there's a lot of beautiful places in Cairo and around Egypt as well like in Sharm El Sheikh and in the Red Sea that we might begin to also see really beautiful work with the dolphins popping up. And I know that a couple of people that I know have wanted to do things like this in the North of Ibiza, and South, but the problem is the water's very cold over there, so it's not really something that can work as well. But in these waters, when the dolphin comes to the baby, it is telling you that you are going to give birth soon. Maybe in this instance, I don't know where you were in your pregnancy.
No. I was heavily pregnant. My husband I got engaged there, and we got married there. It's this very special spot for us. And I was standing probably naval deep in water and it came, honestly, I was terrified. I was not like, "Oh my God." I was like, "Ah, I think a dolphin is coming at me." And it whooshed so close to me. My husband was out deep and he turned around and saw the dolphin and was like, "Whoa." And then there was a whole pod behind him. But it broke off and came and checked me out. And they can sonar heartbeats and stuff so I was thinking it must have been checking me out and being like, "What are you doing?"
Eva Williams: (35:00)
So what they do is when you're very heavily pregnant, if they come towards you and if they put the nose toward the belly or come very close to you, usually you're always going to give birth.
I thought it was going to scare me.
Eva Williams: (35:08)
Oh, what a lovely experience.
I was not like, "Oh my God." Seriously, I was like, "Holy crap, is this safe?"
Eva Williams: (35:18)
I know. Every time I was in New Zealand and dolphins came as well, I was swimming in the water and I just shot bowl upright and I was standing and I was like, "There's something in the water." And I'd hear these voices like, "It's okay." I'm like, "It's definitely not fucking okay." My instinct body was like, "This is not okay." And my spiritual body was like, "It's going to be okay." And every part of me was like, "That's fine, but I'm still going to stand because I can run, and those, they can swim. This is not my territory."
Eva Williams: (35:49)
It's so true. But they can activate the labour. They can do this really strongly by communicating with the child as well. It's something very, very powerful.
Super cool. And the indigenous people here where we are, they believe that they are their people. Every time I've been in any ceremony or anything they will speak to the whales and the dolphins here as being ancestors.
Eva Williams: (36:10)
Yeah. They bring children.
Yeah. It makes a lot of sense.
Eva Williams: (36:18)
I believe they bring the children because they don't just turn up when a woman's very pregnant to assist in the physiological activation of the hormonal aspects of labour, many, many women will see dolphins on the night they conceive or at the time or just before conception. And whenever a woman's like, "Yeah, we're trying to get pregnant. Oh, I saw dolphins." I'm like, "You go have baby." I had a friend and she saw porpoises. They're not even dolphins, I was like, "You go have a baby." And they did the ultrasound and they tuned it back to that time.
Perhaps they're related to a dolphin somehow.
Eva Williams: (36:51)
I'm like, "It could be a manatees, I don't care, you're having a baby." I'm joking.
An orca. Let's not get too crazy. But it's okay. Tell me about this primary thing. That's interesting, because I know if you're not aware of this, I don't know if we've spoken about this on the podcast yet, so the hormonal cascade that the baby triggers in the mother, this is all these beautiful juicy hormones like oxytocin and things that, A, make birth less painful, which is a good thing. And B, obviously also the whole cascade of uterine contractions, breast milk coming in, all of these things. So the baby actually triggers that. And one of the things that happens a lot in our culture is we induce, or if there's an obstetrician that my midwife shared with me who wants to induce everyone at 38 weeks in a hospital near us.
And this kind of thing just terrifies me, and I have friends who've waited 43 weeks plus for their babies to come.
Eva Williams: (37:48)
Especially plus babies.
My daughter was 42 weeks on the day. And I just think, can you speak a little bit to women who might have fear around, "I'm getting pressure from my OB/GYN or my midwife to induce." I know it's a real slippery topic, but at least speak to that.
Eva Williams: (38:06)
No, no. It's not. I don't think it's slippery at all, I think it's underdressed. And it's interesting, I remember, so here they've got DHA, the Dubai Health Authority, has a policy around a certain time. Even if your OB/GYN is more liberal, there's a certain red tape that they can't really cross. And so I remember the first hospital birth I did in Dubai, home birth is illegal here by the way. It's actually not illegal to give birth at home, it's illegal for anyone to assist, anyone who has a licence issued by the government could get it taken away if they assist you.
Eva Williams: (38:44)
So if you bring in a midwife from overseas or for me, I'm not an OB/GYN or a midwife, so I'm also not really assisting people with home births here because I don't think that's necessarily a great thing to do. But if someone were in labour and it was progressing really quickly, rather than stress them out and shove them into a car, I think I know what I'd probably end up doing. But it's an interesting thing because I remember the very first one I attended, the OB/GYN was just pressuring my clients so hard and she was outside and afterwards she was crying.
Eva Williams: (39:20)
She's like, "I don't know what to do." And so obviously, as a birth worker, I've got 117 different things to pull out of the cupboard because I'm acupuncture, Im like okay acupuncture, we've been doing Homoeopathy week, 36 or 38 at that point, let's try some different homoeopathy, maybe something that's addressing more of the fears and emotions. Let's do massage, let's do the dirty three, hot food, a glass of wine and have some sex, all of that. And then also internal work, massage the cervix, check how it phased someone is, just at that stage of pregnancy. So we did a really beautiful ceremony of her husband and her on the bed, and I did the internal work. It was very dark. We put on music.
Eva Williams: (40:10)
And we just really checked out what was happening, what the engagement was. So not a vaginal exam, but just to actually see, and definitely not a sweep or something, none of that stuff I'm trained in, but just really actually to feel how the effacement was going, how the pelvis was feeling, what was actually getting caught up in the pelvic. Was there something caught up there or was she just not ready? And for me, it was really clear that she's just not ready. It's her first baby, it's 39 weeks and the baby is just not ready. It's not coming yet.
Eva Williams: (40:38)
I think that what's difficult about getting pressure... I remember after this situation, I gave them all these techniques. I said, "We're going to make a plan. Don't worry." And they felt better, and I went to my car and I just fucking sat in my car and cried for 20 minutes. The sense of stress and pressure, and it's not even my baby, that happens in that room when a doctor strong arms you and tells you that what they know is right, when it may not feel right for you, is so intense. And I know that doctors don't fully understand that. I know that OB/GYNs, not all of them fully understand that. I have the great privilege of working with many who do.
Eva Williams: (41:17)
And I remember during this labour, I was sitting out in the hallway and I was just crying. And the doctor came to me and she's like, "Why are you crying?" I'm like, "Dude, you're pushing so hard. This is ridiculous. This is going to end really not well." And then she started tearing up and sat down next to me. And she's like, "It's just a lot of pressure." And we were just having this full heart to heart, just weeping in the hallway. Like, "What the fuck?" But it managed to buy me another 48 hours for my clients, which is amazing.
Eva Williams: (41:52)
It's so much pressure. It's so much pressure. The thing is that there's very little that actually requires induction. Things that do not require induction, your baby is too big for your pelvis, it's a big baby, your baby has passed 40 weeks, meconium has passed, the cord is around the neck. These are not reasons for induction and they're not reasons for C-sections either. It's just very intense. I think some something that people don't understand is that an OB/GYN or a medical professional on your birth is someone that you want there in an emergency situation, they have no requirement to witness physiological birth. They have none. They do not have to witness a single, natural, physiological birth as part of their training, they have to do surgery.
Eva Williams: (42:48)
So their whole frame of reference is coming that birth as an emergency. They have never had to sit. If you ask an OB/GYN what's a normal to long labour, I had an OB/GYN tell me that 10 hours was a long labour. I'm like, "Jesus Christ, what are you guys having? Have you got a slip slide set up out here." I was on a midwife tour recently in Aspen, someone's like, "How does labour take?" And the midwife's like, "It can take up to two hours." I was like, "What?" If it's your fourth baby and you're at nine centimetres. It's just ridiculous.
Eva Williams: (43:19)
Yeah, I know. I know. And I always think to myself like, "Wow, I think that 40 hours of fairly active labour is long." I think that labour from early labour onward can go on for a week. That's the sort of time I'm willing to just give a woman and her body to just dilate at its pace and do its thing, and it's just unheard of. So if people are getting pressure to induce and it's funny, because we've made this thing over here and we're not doing it yet, but it's a couple of doulas and I have this, it's kind of our joke, but I also want to do it. And it's going to be for women who for partners, 36 and 37 weeks onward, and it's going to be the induction group.
Eva Williams: (44:01)
Basically, you all come together and we watch a funny movie or a beautiful movie about birth, and you get a glass of red wine. We're not getting hammered over here, but you get a glass of red wine. We have some food, whether it's Indian or Thai, something with a little bit of spice, a little bit Mexican or something, and you just share. And you can share if it's stressful, you can share if it's funny, we share content and information. And then if you want to stay for the second part, we teach something like certain techniques, maybe not actually internal, but certain techniques like clitoral stroking or labial massage or hip massage or things like that that your partner can do that will assist in your hips getting ready and things like that.
Eva Williams: (44:42)
And just from 37 weeks on, everyone is welcome to just join, come, have that glass of wine, just get a move on. Do a bit of dancing, have a bit of laughter. Because the group, you share more pheromonal energy. Because that's something that isn't readily shared, adrenaline and cortisol inhibit oxytocin. So if you're stressed, you cannot go into natural labour, they inhibit one another. So if women are feeling stressed about being induced, the thing that they really need is they need to disconnect from the timeline of intensity, they really need the opportunity to disconnect from that.
Eva Williams: (45:17)
So if the doctor's pressuring you and says, "Okay, well take your time, but I need to see you again in two or three days." Don't go, don't go in two or three days. If they need to see you again, they can see you in a week. All they're going to do is an ultrasound and whatever, maybe a sweep. Give yourself the space that your body needs. And also, really, really, really take your homoeopathy from 36 weeks, from 36 weeks, be taking your homoeopathy and be taking just this very gentle way of beginning to release the stress on the system. Take the aconite, take the arnica.
Eva Williams: (46:00)
Another thing that's really important, and again, this all goes back to prep, because if you're doing everything at the last moment, you're going to be dealing with a lot. In the programme that I run, around third 30 to 34 weeks, in between this time before your GBS test, we explore different internal works. And not necessarily me doing that, but maybe it's related to sex with the husband, maybe it's related to self-pleasure, maybe it's just internal gaze and interception kind of meditation, but we start unblocking and unlocking anything that might be held in the pelvis.
Eva Williams: (46:37)
And then also, if you have a chiro, there's the Webster technique, or if you have a Bowen therapist who can do the sacral... There's a series of sacral releases that they can do. Anything you can do to prepare your body, to feel really good and open, speak to your cervix, ripen your cervix, yourself, speak to it, see beautiful pink light moving through it. All of these things work, they really, really work. And what doesn't work is being pressured into having a baby, it just doesn't fucking work. There's no evidence to support that it's ever worked.
Eva Williams: (47:11)
It's insane, even with the foetal monitoring, even that, there's the only proof that it actually has any benefit is it there's no proof. The only thing that it's actually done is increased C-section rates. And so, these sorts of things, we have to just be really mindful of what the outcome is. Is the outcome an alive baby or is the outcome an empowered woman who knows herself and knows her body and can recover in the postpartum process because she's actually connected to the child, because oxytocin is also a huge part of recovery. It's what's bringing the colostrum and the breast milk, it's what's actually involuting the uterus.
Eva Williams: (47:52)
So if we don't have this connection from the outside, if we're having those issues, then we also face a much longer recovery period. And that's when you really begin to see from an emotional perspective, from a body work perspective. If I see diastasis, like a herniated diastasis or something like this, for me, that's always that the woman has been opened in the birth process, but she hasn't had the closing afterwards, so she has no centre. Can you imagine what it would be doing to your back, to not have your rectus abdominis working? Basically, your back would be as stiff as a board, and that's a woman who feels that she's not supported. She hasn't been supported through that process.
Eva Williams: (48:37)
I don't know, this stuff is so intuitive and natural, it feels so natural to say, but we aren't there as a culture of medicine and we're not there as a culture of birth yet either, and it's difficult. And there's a way I just want to say to people, just protect kept yourself. But I actually love working with OB/GYNs and I do love working with the medical system when they get it right, and they very often, if you find the right people and places, they do get it right. I had a doula complain to me the other day about how, at this one hospital that's really great here, the midwife didn't even turn up and the baby just came out.
Eva Williams: (49:17)
And I was like, "Is this a complaint? This is a complaint that the baby just naturally came out and the mother caught her home own baby?" I'm sorry, I don't feel the same level of stress around this that you feel. It's so beautiful to hear about less managed births. And this is for those people who are being pushed toward induction, this is called active management, basically, of expectations in relationship to doctors. And another thing to understand is that 40 weeks doesn't really mean much.
Eva Williams: (49:54)
It's insane. I'm not standardised by that. Some hospitals do it from the first day of your last period, some do it from the last day of your last period? It's just ridiculous and there's no evidence that proves that. I think of 10% of children come on their due day.
Not good odds-
Eva Williams: (50:12)
I know, right. Yes. And everyone wants to be fucking Natalie Portman or Kate Moss or something. And guess what, 1%. You know what I mean? It's one of these expectations that we set up. We are lying to women when we tell them that they should be fitting that mould, and we are taking away from them the opportunity for them to make their own mould of what it looks like. So contentious. It doesn't actually feel that contentious, it feels really straightforward, but whatever.
Well, it's interesting because I think one thing for me with birth too, it felt like... I don't want to be in the feminine/masculine, for me, time when I'm in a feminine space, linear time is not a thing. It's not real, it doesn't exist and there's this just natural unfolding of things as they are. My feeling around birth was very much like we're trying to apply this very linear masculine dimension to it and it doesn't exist like that. I think this idea of 10 moons or being able to see it in this sense of it's with them and it's a flow, but it's not something that's going to happen on a day. I'm struggling with it right now, people are like, "What's your due date?"
And I'm, "Well, I don't know, sometime in April." And they want a due date. Well, I do know it's April 1st, but I don't believe my baby's going to come on April 1st.
Eva Williams: (51:44)
I can tell you what I do always is I just take the full moon of that month. And I was like, "She's not due, then she's due in the beginning of the month." I'm like, "I don't care."
That's when they come.
Eva Williams: (51:57)
The baby is now officially due on the full moon. Baby's like a full moon, that's what's happening. It doesn't mean we won't prepare and I don't necessarily calculate my weeks from that, I'll do it from that ultrasound or whatever. And the programme that we are doing is a 10-moon programme, it's 10 modules and they're 10 moons. Yeah, it's just recognising that children have a rhythm, it's not something that we can set or determine. That rhythm is related to obviously the tides of our own life. Some babies like a new moon. There's no set rules, you can't apply them one way or another, like you said.
Eva Williams: (52:33)
And I love this idea that, look, birth is very much about learning about abundance, about our own abundance, that we can actually create a whole other being. It's this radiant space that we enter into. Adding scarcity of time to that means that a woman feels a scarcity of space. And if she's feeling a scarcity of time and space, as these two things do manifest together within her own body, you're taking away the whole dimension and realm that she needs to live inside of during her birth, like you said. It's this feminine space. And that doesn't mean that we can't have a plan during pregnancy, it doesn't mean that certain practises won't be better at different times.
Eva Williams: (53:12)
It doesn't mean any of that, but it's the invasiveness of how we treat birth needs to stop. I'm working on a new project right now, and I'm very excited about it and I can't say much about it, but what I can say is that one of the main focuses of it is the removal of incredibly invasive techniques. And some of them aren't even necessarily invasive, they're just fucking disgusting like the gestational diabetes test.
Oh, that was the only fucking thing I did last time. And I was like, "This is the most sugar I've had in my entire adult life." Maybe as a kid, I gorged on Lollies, but other than that." That's the only time I was sick in my pregnancy was after that.
Eva Williams: (53:54)
Yes, so many women have said to me like, "Oh yeah, definitely, the most traumatic thing of my pregnancy was that time."
I was like, "Fucking hell, guys." It's like nine Coca-Colas or something. I'm like, "Great."
Eva Williams: (54:07)
And it's not necessary. It's not necessary because there's so many other ways to remediate or even to tell. And what was so funny is, I was with a client recently and she had to shift OB/GYNs because on her due date, the original OB/GYN is not going to be there. And so we had just gone to that OB/GYN and said, "Look, we're opting out of this." And she was ready to fight. She's like, "I don't want this person." I was like, "Just chill. I'm sure they'll be fine with it." Don't go in for a battle, that's one thing. All birth workers, everyone, just don't go in for a battle. If you have to put your armour on, do it, but don't go in for a battle. And the doctor was like, "Huh. I've been in birth for a long time and I've seen a lot of incredible advancements and devices and ultrasound and all sorts of things really. And yet they still haven't managed to make something less disgusting than that drink. That's okay. Don't worry about it."
Eva Williams: (55:01)
Even an OB/GYN was like, "Yeah, you'd think we'd gotten to this level, but really it's just Lucozade, sugar." And then we had to go to this other one and really communicate once again like, "Hey, the preference is for this off the table." And she just was like, "That's the most disgusting drink in the world, I wouldn't push that test on anyone." I was like, "Wow."
Amazing. That's a good change in culture. [crosstalk 00:55:22]. What's your rate on ultrasounds in general? I haven't spoken about this much on the podcast either, but I do get asked about it a lot, and there's the one side of it where people are like, "It's good to know and it gives you that reassurance." And then there's the other side, which is probably more of the side I'm on where it's like, "What would it tell me that actually... What benefit would that information actually give me?" So I'm curious as to your take on that as a birth keeper.
Eva Williams: (55:53)
Well, it's a great topic. One thing I can definitely say is, you know your body, you've done a lot of work with your body. I have also clients who are just super on it, and yet sometimes, and I'm thinking of one person specific, that if a woman, for example, has a miscarriage or something like this, even if she isn't someone who would naturally or usually lean toward wanting ultrasound or something like that in that early part of the next pregnancy, it brings an enormous amount of relief to know that everything's going healthy.
Eva Williams: (56:38)
Exactly. If you have chromosomal issues in your life, those 12 week tests, in your family, for example, or even the 20-week morphology exams, they can bring a lot of knowledge. So from my perspective, what I usually say to women when they say, "What do you think is necessary, blah, blah." I said, "The first thing that's necessary is anything that will bring you comfort. If your level of comfort and certainty and anxiety will drop with each or any of those visits, then those are the ones that are necessary, because your emotional and mental wellbeing is more important to the baby's health and growth than anything that an ultrasound is going to do to your body. That's my perspective.
Eva Williams: (57:25)
And then usually, they just say that the main tests that are important are your morphology, your 20, 21-week scan, and that's really just to see if there's any... For those of you who don't know, that's not really an ultrasound, it's a full building out of, they check all of the different organs.
It's pretty cool. I was like, "Whoa. There's a kidney and there's a... "
Eva Williams: (57:53)
They go in, they check all the tissues, they check the formation of the organs. This is technology that I'm grateful that we have because it can put a lot of decision making power into people's hands. And simultaneously, I know a lot of people who aren't down for it, they're like, "No way, that's even worse than an ultrasound. That's super intense for the baby, blah, blah, blah." For me, it's all about comfort. And I have had a couple birth workers recently and clients saying, they're like, "Well, I know you're very pro natural birth and this is not."
Eva Williams: (58:26)
I'm like, "Hang on a minute. I'm not really for or against anything, I just don't really have a role to play. If you're planning a C-section... " I know what the body is capable of, and those are personal experiences that I've had. You can't take that away from me or I cannot pretend that I don't know what the physical body can do and what we may need to train for, but can actually get what this experience can be. So I can't take that out of my being that if you know that that's available, that you gravitate toward it, but it doesn't necessarily mean that I am anti anything."
Eva Williams: (59:03)
I've had my time being anti epidural, and then I saw a series of Pilates teachers and yoga teachers who had super tight pelvic floors get an epidural after like 36 hours of labour, and just one hour, boom, baby was out. Really incredible experiences. Legs were still working, everything. So I can't go through the level of experience that I've had, I can't afford to fight anyone. I hate it in the birth world, I hate this, the fight that happens when people are... I believe in advocating that there's a point where if you can change that inside of yourself, you stop attracting moments to have those conversations. That's what I have found in my personal experience.
Eva Williams: (59:45)
And so I try to just be very, very open, and the reason is because I don't necessarily need to specify what I will and won't work with, because I really only attract people that I really will be the right person for. But I would say, if someone is just like, "I don't know what to get and when." I would just say, "Look, the most standard thing is that you have a 12-week ultrasound, you have your 21 week morphology. That puts a lot of power in your hands. Look it up, do a little bit of research." And then usually, there'll be something as a bare minimum right before your birth, like a 36-week thing, and then we'll do a GBS swab."
Eva Williams: (01:00:21)
And you don't have to do your GBS swab, you don't have to get that scan. You can just wait and go into labour naturally as well. But those are some of the options. And I don't believe that you need anything more than that, but I've been with women who are going every third day in the end of their pregnancy just to sit in a room for 20 minutes just to hear if the baby's safe and good. If that's what makes them feel safe or if it means that they have to do that, then that's cool. We can do that. What's needed? Well, somehow we've managed to put this many people... Let's not forget for a second that we are overpopulated on this planet. However, dangerous birth is, we've somehow managed to get too many people on this small blue earth. You know what I mean?
Eva Williams: (01:01:13)
Let's have a little bit of perspective. For centuries, we did manage to survive. And I think it's about your confidence in your own body. Don't lie about where you're at. Do you need some additional bolstering? Will it assist you in your emotional journey? Will it make you feel happy to have that up on the fridge? Is that what's going to help you connect more if you're someone who hasn't done a lot of somatic work or meditated with your body? It's really about understanding your own needs, but as far as excessive ultrasounding goes, I think it's when they want to do cartography or something this, that's okay just to check, ideally not continuously, but to check the baby and things like that.
Eva Williams: (01:01:56)
But ultrasounding, just be aware that ultrasounding does stress the baby a little bit, just the same way it stresses your tummy a little bit, and there's no need to go wild. I don't feel that there's any need to have more than two or three ultrasounds in your whole pregnancy, but standard would be somewhere between four and six probably, depending on what's going on.
Really? Because I had one with my daughter just morphology, which was the minimum I was allowed to have for a home birth. There was a hospital based home birth system here, which is an incredible privilege to have. So I was happy to do that. And they made us have a morphology and they wanted me to have 36 weeks, but my midwife was comfortable that she could palpate where my daughter was located, so we didn't have that. And my husband I opted not to have the 12 or 14 week one because we decided if there were clamps and abnormalities, we would continue anyway.
But again, you need to understand from my perspective was like, "Well, what is it for? What's the risk and the benefit?" And then from actually like you're saying, feeling any sense of value or comfort or need for this thing to happen. And I haven't felt the need yet, so we'll see how this pregnancy goes.
Eva Williams: (01:03:15)
How long till your course is ready for all of us? I know that's probably... The world's gone upside down. How long is the piece of string?
Eva Williams: (01:03:28)
No. I'm working pretty avidly on it. I was actually hoping that it would be born before the New Year, but then these new projects rolled in and they're almost all fertility and birth related, which really should make me get a giddy up on rather than slow down, but sometimes admin gets heavy. So I'm hoping that this content will be birthed around December or the New Year. I'm also part of a really beautiful, beautiful doula mentorship, which is a 13-moon programme instead of just a short doula class, it's a mentorship over 13 moons, and that in March we'll do our next round.
Eva Williams: (01:04:15)
So I'm thinking that between December and March to make sure that I can launch it, again, hoping early in the year, hoping January time, because I think that it will be also a really great resource for people who are learning to be birth workers to use because doulas standardly have three prenatal one. They're at your birth, and then one antenatal visit. That's a pretty standard package, one post-partum and visit. And I don't work like that at all. If you hire me, I am really like you're really working with me all the time.
Eva Williams: (01:04:55)
And so what I found is that that's what's getting results, but that's also the people who can afford to see somebody at least once a fortnight for body work, meditation, explanation talking about what you're going to do with your placenta, let's speak about sexual trauma, this and that, is not that high. Not that many people have that level of income to spend. So I tried to keep my prices quite low, but at the same time, I also need to be reimbursed for my time. So I realise that we just don't have really, really comprehensive step by step. We don't have a lot of stuff out there where you can get all of these beautiful resources and have basically someone by your side without spending a lot.
Eva Williams: (01:05:38)
And so that's the premise behind wanting to put something like this online where people can buy it moon by moon or they can buy the whole package. And so, I think the beginning of the year will be a nice time to do that. And I'm hoping that it will be a resource that can assist pregnant mothers as well as birth workers who are like, "Look, I'd love to try to offer you a bit more way of resources, but we only have these three sessions. So here are some of these resources that I think could be really great to the interim." And I'm hoping that that's one of those things that will go onto some people's list that it's really thorough and very practical as well as really beautiful.
Amazing. And I wanted to quickly touch back on golden notice as it exists now. So you've mentioned you've got level one and two, so that's covering that entry level, Meridian, there's movement meditations. I've had a look through that. So it's quite a comprehensive offering as well. And then you go into practitioner training. Is that what you're saying before? Because we do have a lot of practitioners listen to these podcast, so what does that look like?
Eva Williams: (01:06:47)
We have a temple training, we do the actual work. So it's like as if you were coming to the class. That's level one and two, and then the practitioner training is we've decided to standardise as a yoga teacher training. So previously it was like, if you have any form of body work, your craniosacral, or you're a yoga teacher, whatever, you can come because I couldn't offer something that would allow people to get insurance. So you could come and I would assist, we'd have a lot of mentoring and upskilling in your specific field as well as the group work so that you could teach that group work and you could still be insured through whatever insurance you have.
Eva Williams: (01:07:24)
So it was like a mentorship and practitioner training, but now we've shifted it over, we've become registered with Yoga Alliance, and that way we can really give people from the ground up a basis of the way that I see and teach in anatomy physiology. And then we will do a 300 hour of that. And then a 100 hour pre and postnatal, a 100-hour vinyasa and a 50-hour yin, just to explore a little bit deeper, the long holds because you already learn a lot of yin in the 200 hour because it's got this Meridian basis. And then it will be more like a body work training.
Eva Williams: (01:07:58)
So I'm finishing my doctor of osteopathy, so that I'm hoping that I can actually really give a beautiful somatic training that may include internal work at some stage in the coming years, but I'm not at that point yet. My first training I ever did, this practitioner training was both teaching movement as well as basic body work. And it was so hard for people to finish and so big, and I did it over less than a year or something. And then when I started using Yoga Alliances, the way that they ask you to put things together, I was like-
Yeah. I feel their progress.
Eva Williams: (01:08:29)
Yeah. I was like, "What did I do to these poor people?" It's like a full-time job. I think all of them were like, "Oh my God." So now I realise that that level of information needs to be staggered. So it'll probably end up being a two-year body work diploma that I put out, but until then, we do the movement, the practitioner, I know it's a 200-hour and a lot of people already have done yoga teacher training, but it's not going to be like anything. I'm so excited. I'm teaching other teachers right now to help assist in teaching it. And these are people who have more experience in traditional yoga than me because that's not my whole background.
Eva Williams: (01:09:09)
One of them is like 16 years, my [inaudible 01:09:10] yogi. And she's like, "Holy shit, you're teaching this in a 200?" I'm like, "Get on board." So it's really beautiful, really slow content. And what I love about what we are teaching, what I love the most about it is that my favourite modules are anatomy and physiology because there's so much background from body-mind centering, from embodied movement, from somatics, just from osteopathy, from craniosacral, from all of these things that I've really learned that the best way to learn in anatomy and physiology is to feel it in your own body.
Eva Williams: (01:09:40)
So all of the anatomy and physiology modules are like these really deep embodiment explorations of how your own body and fascial trains and mitochondria and internal passioning works. Now, my favourite part, I think, a lot of people's favourite part of the training is to be anatomy and physiology, instead of grabbing your textbook and your glasses, you're going to be putting on your sweats and just lying down on a mat. And obviously we'll do some mental stuff, but I just think it's going to be a really unique training. I think that, especially in the world of yoga.
Eva Williams: (01:10:13)
Not so much in Chinese medicine, because in Chinese medicine, they have such a complete cosmology that when you are learning about the organs and the body, you learn it a different way anyway. You learn it as a series of patterns and meridians, but in yoga, Ayurveda has this extraordinary background. The whole Veda system has this amazing background with the Nadis, and all these different bodies, and Koshas, all this stuff, but yet anatomy and physiology is still taught in a very dry Western, like you are training to be a physiotherapist.
Eva Williams: (01:10:44)
It's so bizarre. And obviously, it's great, but it's weird. And so I'm like, "Can we do something a little bit more interesting with an embodied movement practise?"
I did my 200 hour over 10 years ago and I remember thinking the anatomy and physiology was the worst part. And then I met Paul Grilley, who was my teacher. And he used to make us dance and sing to learn anatomy and do all these movements. And he just taught in this way where it just all landed for me because it was all connected like you're saying. If you think about Chinese medicine, you don't learn these isolated parts, you learn the whole and you learn through the whole how all of these things co-create and co-relate.
And when he started to teach me that, I was like, "Oh, that just all makes so much sense." And I became an anatomy teacher because I had this amazing person ignite it for me. Because I think people to even understand anatomy, about birth, to about being a woman. It's so empowering, I think, to have that relationship with what can be quite a mental pursuit, I think so.
Eva Williams: (01:11:58)
You must know her work, it's just gorgeous work, but when I teach the practitioner training, I use a lot of Debra Kaatz, the Characters of Wisdom in the explanation because in Chinese medicine what's so unique is that they use the body's native landmarks, it's made of hills and creeks, and valleys.
Meridians like the rivers.
Eva Williams: (01:12:17)
Yeah. And so I think to be able to begin to impart a little bit to people that body is poetry and if you begin to learn a little bit, and I'm obsessed with embryology, I'm such an embryology freak. So whenever I'm talking about all things, I'm like, "Well, it's like this because when it forms... "
Like an origami machine.
Eva Williams: (01:12:38)
Yeah. And so when you begin to learn that a lot of spiral dynamics and a lot of the way that a bone forms and these different forces are built from water, they're built from pressures-
Eva Williams: (01:12:49)
Yeah. Then you begin to go, "Holy shit, this is extraordinary." And when you can begin to see the body in that, living, breathing way, and I always liken bone to coral, because when we see coral, we think of it as this dry dead thing on someone's mouthpiece or on the table or whatever.
Washed up on the beach or something.
Eva Williams: (01:13:10)
Yeah. And when it's underwater, it's living. If you get cut by coral, you'll get infected. It's a living, breathing thing. And so I always try to communicate to people your bone is like glass. It may seem like a physical thing, but it's actually like a liquid, it's a matrix, it's living and breathing. And just because we think of bone as this... And we internalise that, we internalise that and we begin to relate to our body in that way. And I think that's one of the most detrimental things for female sexuality in birth is to not be able to see the pelvis as a fluid body that can open.
Eva Williams: (01:13:43)
Just that one concept alone can change so much about birth, to understand that that synthesis it's cartilage, can expand, that there's power in that opening. These things, they're such simple techniques and they're more effective than hypnobirthing in some instances for some women, because it's giving a lot of power back into her own knowledge, her own ability to say like, "Oh, this is what's happening," or, "This feels awful or up or down." Anatomy is amazing once it's been awakened in you, once you've really had a good experience with it, it's like, "Oh, I'm hooked for life."
You definitely need to get away from the textbooks.
Eva Williams: (01:14:22)
And also I think it's also important for people to understand how simple, the names can be really scary, but they're once you start decoding the names, so the people understand like, "Oh wow, this was all just following a really simple system. I could probably even figure out what the name of that bone is based on just understanding what this all means in Latin." And I was lucky because I grew up in England, so we learned Latin. And so it has this way of completely unravelling once you connect into its beauty. And I think that's the thing I would love to impart to more people, is it's the keystone of deep empowerment, deep self-visualisation. When you can visualise correctly in your body, your practise goes somewhere else, your whole practise goes somewhere else, when you can really feel and internally see landmarks. It's like your channel's clear, something becomes very, very lucid within you.
How is that rolling out in terms of COVID and stuff? Are you able to do live events where you are or the great cringe?
Eva Williams: (01:15:29)
A lot of fasting. Well, we were going to do our first training in Morocco in May and I was really excited, but now two of my co-teachers can't leave where they are and they won't know if they'll get back in because not everyone is down with being vaccinated obviously.
We're in a colony, if you will. It's starting to feel like a prison and colony again.
Eva Williams: (01:15:57)
Yeah. And even in Indonesia and places like this, it's really difficult. I don't even know if I'm going to be able to get back home to see my little niece during this period of time, but we'll see. But in Dubai, we definitely can. it's expo right now. So we've got 3.1 million people coming in and out of Dubai. I don't know why we're not in some trauma emergency situation, but we're not. Most of Dubai is vaccinated. They were one of the first countries really flying far ahead than in Israel I think, 99% of people have it vaccinated really early on. They never mandated it. They have never mandated it.
Eva Williams: (01:16:39)
If you want to do things that require you to be around a lot of people, you just have to do a PCR test. They have them outside of the expo and outside of the Opera and stuff like this. They've just kept it really open, it's not mandated either for people who aren't the Emirati people, they've just kept it really open, and they've just been really careful. Everyone still wears a mask, you still get your temperature checked in different places, whether you're vaxxed or not vaxxed, we all do that. And it seems to, I'm guessing along with the weather, it seems to have just really kept things fairly under control, which is pretty amazing and unique to have this level of thoroughfare.
Eva Williams: (01:17:16)
I teach classes right now. I'm teaching classes every week, but I think in terms of a practitioner training, I think will probably end up doing online first, which is a shame because those are like 22 immersing with women, a somatic field was something I really was looking forward to.
Eva Williams: (01:17:33)
Yeah. And we thought to move it back to August, let's do it in Bali, or Thailand, or somewhere, but there's not a foreseeable opening.
No. It's hard to plan.
Eva Williams: (01:17:45)
Yeah. I think it's probably going to roll out online, which is, I don't know exactly how I feel about it yet, but I'm just going to do it step by step and see how it unwinds. And it may end up that we can do little immersions for people locally or something like that, but better to get it out there, I think. And a lot of people have really appreciated all this online content during COVID and have gotten more used to consuming content in their own way like that. But I think when it comes to somatics and embodiment work, nothing can beat being in the field of it, nothing can beat that.
I know. Look, I was really snobby about online prior to COVID and I was like, "You can't have the experience." And then Paul did this meditation, I got off at 2:00 in the morning to tune into it. And I remember I could feel the field and I was like, "Wow, you can actually, if you get out of your head and just be in it, you can connect." But I do think it's definitely harder and it's not the same. And I was taught some Zoom classes last year and I remember you can feel the people there, but it's hard, it's a distance.
Eva Williams: (01:18:57)
I think COVID has taught us a lot of that as well, it's been asking us to stretch our energetic awareness versus it's not like it's just a digital landscape anymore, it's really asking us to use our extra sensory capacity to connect because otherwise, right now, it's the highest numbers that the suicide hotline has ever had in Australia and things like this. So people are being asked to stretch a little bit into that feeling of being connected. But I think what I've noticed, and I also did some amazing online stuff during COVID and I also previously was like, "Yeah, you just can't replicate that online."
Eva Williams: (01:19:32)
But what's amazing is you can, but then what happens is that when you're in a retreat or something like that, it stays with you. It stays with you when you go to bed, it stays with you in the morning. And that's the thing is that it dissipates quicker. So you can feel it online and you can charge it up, but then it tends to dissipate within a short term amount of time, and I think the thickness of the field, but I'm sure that if there was a way to do an online intensive, you could generate that consistency, but it's easy, I think when you can regulate the environment and whatever, I'm very experimental, I'm happy to-
We've all learned a bit this year. Okay, let's see how we can do. Eva, I feel like I can talk to you for hours, but I will invite you if you want to share with people where they can find your work. You've obviously got your website, your Instagram. Is there anywhere else people can connect with you?
Eva Williams: (01:20:27)
No, that's pretty much it, just my website and my Instagram.
Okay. Amazing. Well, we'll put those in the show notes and as you can tell, it was just amazing. So I think it'd be an incredible journey. Gosh, baby's permitting. Maybe I'll get to go to Morocco one day, lie down with you in a field. But I'm just really grateful for your time and for being with us today. So thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.
Eva Williams: (01:20:53)
Thank you so much to be able to connect.
It's such a pleasure.
Eva Williams: (01:20:54)
I'm wishing you all the best for your next adventures into the realms.
Eva Williams: (01:21:02)
Thank you. I'm wishing you the best for your birth.