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EP62 - Connecting To Your Living Female Anatomy with Carly Beaudry

Updated: May 6





Many women feel disconnected from their bodies, especially their vulva and vagina. This disconnection can stem from societal taboos, lack of comprehensive education, or even medical experiences that prioritize diagnosis over holistic well-being.


Carly Beaudry, a womb continuum midwife and manual therapist, explains how developing a "felt sense" experience involves cultivating awareness and understanding of bodily sensations, emotions, and needs.


This practice empowers women to tune into their reproductive organs, fostering a deeper connection and promoting overall well-being.


In today’s episode, Carly Beaudry takes us through:

-The disconnection women feel in their bodies.

-How to develop a felt sense experience in their body through touch

-Her journey to specializing in female pelvic work and birth

-How she serves women's bodies by educating them on taking care of their intimate areas and internal organs.

-The rise in C-section rates and the lack of trust in women's bodies during childbirth and its significance.

-Why women should focus on their somatic, intellectual, and physical education to prepare for childbirth and tend to their physiology.


And so much more!


Carly Rae is a female physiology sage, a ceremonial bodyworker since 2005, specializing in hands-on, hands-on pelvic work. Now, half of Carly’s life has been devoted to learning hands-on hands-on in healing arts. With training in Rolfing Structural Integration, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Somatic Sex Education, Visceral Therapy, Full Spectrum Birthwork, and numerous continuing education courses in scar tissue work, trauma-informed somatic therapy, organ + pelvic specific therapy, Carly has weaved her 18 years of education and experienced into her unique expression of this work.


Carly is a guide into the depths of the female terrain, anatomy, and physiology. She walks with women from womb to tomb, exploring the layers of their flesh, feminine nature, and primal bodies. Walking with women back home to their bodies' truth.


She is the creator of FLESH + BLOOD, a community devoted to women understanding their female body, having true body literacy, embodying their cyclical nature, and being in reciprocity with their blood. NECTAR a vulva and vagina mapping practice where she has taught thousands of women their true vulva and vaginal anatomy. Carly is also the co-founder of the most comprehensive women's manual therapy school being offered by Ma School.


All of Carly’s work is devoted to the innate intelligence within every cell of our body and to the remembrance of the feminine in ourselves.


Follow her on Instagram @carlyraebeaudry


LISTEN WHILE READING!

A: Every day, there is a forgetting, and every moment, there is the possibility of remembering. Remembering who you truly are, awakening to your body, to the inner world and experience of being alive. Here is where you find the beauty, the joy. Here is where you free your Soma. 


A: Hello and welcome to Free Your Soma, Stories of Somatic Awakening, and How to Live from the Inside Out. My name is Aimee Takaya and I have a fascinating, exciting guest with me today, Carly Bodry. She is a womb continuum midwife and a manual therapist. And I gotta say, if you have a uterus, you want to hear this episode. 


We are going to be talking about the disconnection that women feel in their bodies, specifically with their vulva, their vagina, their reproductive organs even, and about how you can start developing a felt sense experience in your body that helps you understand not only what's been going on, but how to help your body to regulate and heal and feel whole as a woman in this world. So, thank you so much for being with me here today, Carly. 


C: Thank you, Aimee. I'm excited for our conversation. 


A: Yeah. Can you tell people a little bit about what it means to be a womb continuum midwife and a manual therapist? 


C: Yeah. So, my journey started with massage therapy. 18 years ago, I did my training in massage therapy and over the years have done a ton of continuing education. And that led me into doing ralphing or structural integration, which trickled down, led me into specializing in female pelvic work and training to be a traditional birth attendant. 


And so the combination of the hands-on, hands-in pelvic work that I do in the manual therapy and the birth work that I do has really blended everything together, all my passions and all my specialties, into becoming a womb continuum midwife, which is a woman who serves women from birth to death.


So, it does not matter what stage a woman is in. We can always be serving her body and serving her womb and really educating women on the importance of why they want to take care of their pelvic bull, why they want to take care of their uterus, and serving the pelvic bull through every single life stage. 


A: Wow. That's amazing because I think a lot of women, you know, we aren't taught about these things as children for the most part, but something we're totally blind to as children. In fact, a lot of people in general, but women especially, will feel a lot of shame about their vagina and about their sexual organs as children because it's kind of mysterious, and nobody talks about it. But beyond that, then we start bleeding when we're teenagers. 


And again, there's not a whole lot of guidance around that except, you know, oh, kind of it's a terrible thing that happens, but it's also exciting because now you're now a woman. And it's just the way that you're describing this in terms of connection and service. I don't think that's usually in most people's paradigm when they think about their body parts, when they think about their pelvic bull, maybe once they become pregnant, you know, and they're having a baby, that's when maybe there's an initiation into that respect for that area. 


C: And even in that circumstance, it is extremely minimal. We are seeing rates of women attending like birthing classes drop significantly, significantly over the last like 10 to 15 years. And it's really it's heartbreaking to me how much women are not taking the initiative to learn about their bodies and really just handing over our bodies and our responsibility over to a medical system that does not prioritize female health in any way or even understand female health. 


A: That's so interesting. I didn't know. I mean, I know there's been a rise in things like breastfeeding. I know that people are breastfeeding more, but I didn't know that people were seeking out less education about birth, which is surprising. Do you know, like, what's your theory on why that trend is going on? Like, what do you think it says about like the culture that we're in? 


C: Well, C-section rates are just rising significantly all over the world. And there's this and also like, especially if we look at the United States, there is no maternity leave. So a lot of women just schedule in their birth literally into their their life. Right. 


So there to me it is showing the deep level of disembodiment that we are currently living in, that we can just schedule the biggest event that a woman will ever go. As far as I'm concerned, birth is hands down the biggest event a woman will go through in her life. And we have just really, how do I want to put it? We've really drunk the Kool-Aid that the medical system has given us about our bodies, about birth, that it's just, you know, really an insignificant 


A: Medical procedure. 


C: Medical procedure. Yeah. You can just go in. You can have a surgery. You leave with your baby and, you know, you don't need any care and you just get back to life and life as normal. And that is a massive lie. Right. And unfortunately, we have really believed it. 


A: Right. It's interesting because I feel like in some ways, you know, that model, which obviously has benefits for things like capitalism, for like the, you know, the people that are, you know, commodifying birth and making money off of this system to just have that scheduled in and to have like it to be kind of regulated. And we know what's going to happen. It's predictable versus how natural childbirth can be, especially with a first birth, very unpredictable. Takes the time it takes for the woman's body to go through those processes. 


And obviously, if we could just streamline that and make it, you know, less of a hassle, like there's interest in that. And then, beyond that, there's like the pain of labor that most women are completely unprepared to go through. And to have someone just say, you won't have to feel anything, you know, like, we'll just give you, you know, an epidural or we'll just give you, you know, we'll put you under, and we'll take the baby out, and you won't have to feel anything. It's almost like an exploitation of our human desire to avoid hassle and discomfort. 


C: Totally. With the Industrial Revolution, we, our whole society, our whole culture has clung onto convenience. Convenience of food, using a microwave, the convenience of living in an urban center and having everything five minutes away from you, rather than, you know, being gritty humans and doing hard work. 


We really don't want to do that anymore. And that has gotten us into the situation that we are in, which is a deeply disembodied society, right? And if little girls were taught to trust their bodies, were taught to trust their bodies, to trust their cycles, trust their emotional fluctuations, trust their menstrual bleed, trust their fertility and understand when and when they cannot get pregnant. 


If little girls were taught simply to trust their bodies, we would not have the C-section rate that we have because women would trust their bodies to birth and women do not trust their bodies to birth these days. Granted, we are seeing a surge in free birthing, which is fantastic. But, you know, across the board in mainstream society, its C-section rates are rising, and it's just another, you know, checkpoint of disembodiment in our culture. And this clinging to convenience and not wanting to feel anything, we want to avoid feeling at all costs. 


And that comes with a price, a huge price, because you cannot feel pleasure without pain. They are both two sides of the same coin. And we are on a trajectory of a society that is just flat-lined, comatose, you know? Yeah. 


A: Yeah, no, I hear you. And, you know, it's fascinating because some of these things, you know, that you're speaking on like, they only came into my consciousness like seven, eight years ago. Like, I was just, I was unaware that free birthing existed, although obviously it makes sense. Like, how was birth done, you know, before the medical industry? 


Like, women were out, you know, sometimes I've heard stories of women in the fields, you know, who suddenly had the birthing process begin and trusted their body to do it and the baby came out in the field and the mother carried the baby home, you know? Exactly. And like... That's how we got here. 


C: Yeah. That's how every mammal births, you know? But we can see it. I don't know if you've heard of Michel O'Donne. He is one of the first obstetrician doctors out there. And Michel is still alive. 


He's old, old, old. He's French, French doctor, absolute brilliant man. And he is a huge proponent of natural physiological birth. And he says, you can track it because a mammal is a mammal. Humans are mammals. 


Again, part with the Industrial Revolution, we really separated ourselves from our animalistic selves and that has done a massive disservice to our bodies. And so Michel O'Donne is tracking mammals and the way mammals give birth and putting that in line with humans. And the bulldog, a breed of dog, the bulldog cannot give birth naturally anymore. There has been too much inbreeding and changes in that breed of dog that they have to have a C-section to birth their babies. 


It is physically impossible. And he says, you track the rate of C-section in any species. Once that species gets to the point of complete C-section, extinction is coming. And that can be quite a dark thought to think about. This is the reality. The more disembodied women become, the higher our C-section rates become, the closer we're heading on a trajectory towards extinction. Because if we cannot give birth, we cannot keep procreating life. 


A: Yeah. Well, and beyond that, as my work is a Hannah Sematic educator, which is a very little known modality, but I have colleagues who work in the field of reflex integration and they talk about the reflexes that are actually required in the baby's body to move down the birth canal. And in this process, they use all these reflexes, which come from their spinal cord, which are built into the system, to navigate and twist and torque their little body down the birth canal. And when we skip that, when children don't do that, then it has the effect of having these reflexes, these twisty, squirmy reflexes, are unintegrated in the child's body. 


Exactly. And that way, it's going to take extra care in their nervous system to actually allow those to integrate. And if they don't, then there's correlation to things like ADHD, autism syndrome disorder, when the children have these unintegrated reflexes. It makes them squirmy. It makes them unable to sit still because they're still firing all these muscle patterns. 


C: Yeah, exactly. It's just been such a disservice to humanity across the world in how much birth has been denigrated and been twisted into something that is just so unimportant, just a blip in your life experience. 


You just go in and you have your baby cut out of you and you just go on with your life. And unfortunately, we are seeing the ramifications of that today. Yeah. 


A: And I have a question about that specifically, because I mean, you must work with women who've had C-section. Maybe they've had multiple C-sections. And there can be, especially if you went into it wanting a natural childbirth and then ended up in a C-section, which happens to half of all women who go into the hospital, maybe more now. 


But there can be a lot of shame. There can be a lot of feeling traumatized, feeling angry, feeling a lot of emotions. How do you navigate that with your clients when a woman comes to you and you're talking about the damage that was actually the disservice that was actually done to her in that process? You know, how do you help her navigate those feelings of shame and upset? 


C: The biggest piece is we have to feel it. We can't ignore, you know, those feelings. And becoming pregnant and birthing a child is there. We only have so much control over it, for sure. It is, especially with fertility work, it is one of the most, you just have to give it up to the universe situations. And if you are meant to bring a child into this world, you will bring a child into this world kind of situation. And the same with a birth, like all babies have a birth contract. 


And so for mummas to understand that there are babies coming into this world, whose their contract was to come through a C-section. I was a C-section baby and I'm very passionate about working with mummas post C-section because I was a C-section baby. And I don't think I would have this passion or care so much about it if I wasn't. And understanding what that C-section did to my own body, you know, and how that pattern of choosing to be a C-section has played out throughout my whole life, rather than choosing to be birthed, right? 


Someone else chose that for me. So there's that understanding of understanding that our babies are highly intelligent and they have soul contracts and those soul contracts are going to play out the way they played out. And then on the other side of it, there is also this piece that a lot of women are doing education, mind education, intellectual education on having a vaginal birth, on having a physiological birth, but they are not tending to their physiology. 


They are not touching their vulva and touching their vagina and literally physically exercising and working out and getting strong because birth is the biggest marathon of a woman's life. There is no physical feat greater than birthing a child. And like the physical preparation it takes to run a marathon is fucking massive. And women are not doing any physical preparation for their births. And this and that this is a reason why our C-section rates are so high as well. 


A: Especially like go a little deeper into that, like describe what you mean when you say like physical preparations and like literally exercise. 


C: What kind of exercise cardio, cardio, having good cardio and strength training. The amount of women who do a ton of yoga and are super flexible, but have zero strength is massive. And then on the other hand, we have a massive population that is extremely lethargic, that does not move their body, that sits around and spends the majority of their time indoors, completely disconnected from nature. 


And we have just a huge population of women who have zero strength, zero glute activation, zero muscular physical strength and are not lifting weights and moving heavy things around. And that again is a really big proponent into why women can't birth the way that they used to. Because back in the day women were, you know, you were doing manual labor. 


You were milking cows and feeding animals and washing laundry by hand. And convenience has again just been such a massive disservice to human physiology. We are becoming weaker and unhealthier year by year by year with the more convenience that shows up. 


A: I hear that. Okay. Yes. And then there's probably going to be like a fine balance because like when I had my baby, I was lucky enough to have a natural childbirth. I had a home birth, you know, by all sense of the imagination, when I look at my birth and compare it to stories I've heard, I'm like, wow, like I had a blessed like natural childbirth that was almost in many ways like what I really wanted. 


You know what I mean? However, my personal experience in that process, because it was my first birth was like I was totally freaked out the whole time and I didn't trust my body. You know, I didn't trust my body, even though my body was doing what it needed to do. And I think that because I had already done a lot of somatic work in my body, that my body did it, even though my brain was like fighting, even though my brain was like, I don't trust myself, I can't do this. 


It's like I just my body still did what it needed to do because I had that connection to my body, even if my mind was yacking at me, right? But the thing is like when I was preparing towards the end of my labor, there was I was doing a yoga training. I was doing like a six month yoga training during my pregnancy, like a 200 hour training. 


And I had already done extensive yoga in my life. But during the yoga training, there was this conversation about you don't want to overly tighten your groin and abdominal area, especially the last trimester, because you want that to be able to open up and expand. And so I was actually told to like stop doing planks and stop doing too much like contracting of that space towards the end of the third trimester. So I'm sure that it's different from woman to woman and maybe for my body. 


C: There is definitely a balance to it. But especially when it comes to physical strength in the body, the amount of actual physical contraction that we need in our core and abdomen is like we need them fired and be able to turn them on. But do we need to be doing like sit ups and planks and like that 24 seven know what women need to be focusing on is their posterior chain and having glutes that are fired and turned on. 


This is a big piece that is missing in the understanding of birth physiology and women's pelvic health. Because if your glutes aren't fired and turned on and strong, then your pelvic diaphragm or your pelvic floor, which most people use that terminology, your pelvic floor is going to have to compensate for the weakness of the glutes. 


Yeah. And when the pelvic floor has to compensate, it's turns into a holding muscle. So it's going to contract and hold a lot of tensile strength to create some stability in the body because the glutes aren't doing their job. 


A: That's interesting. So in my understanding, and maybe we can combine this because you're putting some pieces together that are really interesting right now and some of the content that you've written, I very much relate to, I'm sure other women will as well. We as a culture of women have been trained over centuries to contract our abdomens to keep our bellies from hanging out. Exactly. And in my understanding of physiology, when you pull your belly in and your pelvis ends up getting tucked under in that process of contracting your abdominals, you are inhibiting your gluteal muscles from working. 


Exactly. Completely inhibiting your glutes. So it's another way of saying it because it's not so much that your glutes are weak, it's that you are unconsciously contracting your stomach all the time and it's preventing your glutes from being able to do their job. 


C: Yeah. And it's creating a false sense of strength in the body because it's not tucking the pelvis under and sucking the belly in isn't true strength and proper contraction in the body. And this is a big reason why, when it comes to movement, it can be really difficult because all forms of movement, yoga, weightlifting, pilates, you name it, was originally designed around the male pelvis. And yoga was brought to the West by men. 


Yes. And it, the way yoga is taught, the way weightlifting is taught, they all teach this tuck of the pelvis and that is okay for male pelvis. Male pelvises do not give birth. The shape, the size, the circumference of the male pelvis and the female pelvis are radically different. And the female pelvis is literally physiologically designed to give birth. So the way we move the female body needs to be completely different than the male body. And yeah, it's just, it's a very different understanding. Like it takes people a long time to come out of those kinds of patterns. 


A: Yes. I mean, I know that was a big revelation for me. My first podcast episode on this podcast was actually about releasing my forgotten belly and connecting. And that I had been unconsciously squeezing and holding my stomach and probably since I was a small child, because at some point, I became conscious and aware that it was not socially acceptable for a woman to have a belly that was, you know, soft and swishy. I learned very quickly from advertising and, you know, 


C: yeah, and it becomes an unconscious habit to suck our bellies in, suck our bellies in, make ourselves smaller, you know, try to look skinnier. And then this, it's a habit and a pattern that just happens unconsciously throughout our whole lives. And still we spring a huge amount of awareness to unwind that pattern. Yeah. 


A: No, I'm still doing it off. Well, and also there's the way that, and this is interesting too, like the way that when our pelvis tucks under like that, and when our abdominals go into contraction, that is a nervous system, like a fear response. 


Yes. It's like a startle response. And it actually sets a whole chain of contraction throughout the other parts of our body as well. And so when we do that unconsciously, we suck our stomach in, we're putting ourselves, we don't realize it into a bit of a state of hypervigilance. 


Yes. Putting our bones, phoning up our nervous system, and we're making ourselves unconsciously a little bit like more afraid or more aware in the world. And so it's kind of like, it's interesting how these two patterns like end up becoming like a feedback loop, right? 


So I'll notice it in myself, especially, you know, if I'm wearing, I don't know, something that's kind of like, it doesn't even have to be tight, just something that's kind of flashy and like a look at me outfit or something. And I go out into public, I will notice repeatedly throughout the evening that I am sucking my stomach in, that I am not breathing deeply. And I will have to consciously remind myself to relax, you know, and to let myself just be in my body, which I can do now when I catch it. But that pattern, as you said, is so deeply ingrained, it's so strong, right? 


Same with this pattern of being afraid to touch ourselves. You know, and some of your some of the content that you've spoken about that, you know, I found really fascinating. And I also know that it's a little bit like controversial, maybe you're comfortable talking about it here. 


But just the way that sex toys, and not touching our bodies, but using objects to touch ourselves with is another way that we kind of dissociate from our actual flesh of our body. 100%. 


C: Yeah, it is definitely a controversial topic. People get very fired up about this. I'm not a supporter of sex toys. It's using like a glass wand or something to do cervical work, if we can't reach it, that's a different conversation, but using plastic vibrators. And for the most part, the majority of women when we are using vibrators and sex toys, we're just putting it directly on our clit, instead of touching our own flat, touching our own body and like really listening because our whole body is sentient, our whole body is intelligent, and every single tissue has something to say to us. 


And when we I, I know a lot of women who use vibrators, and they're disgusted to even put their own fingers inside their vagina. And it's like, what kind of message are you sending to your body that you will put plastic on highly sensitive, delicate tissue of your body that is extremely absorb, absorbative, but you won't even put your own fingers in your vagina. 


What message are we sending here? You know, and again, this pattern of convenience, sex toys are extremely convenient, because you can experience pleasure, you can have your orgasm, you don't actually have to be in a relationship with your vulva. You don't have to listen to her, you don't have to touch her and feel those threads of shame that all women carry. This is just part of the deal of being a human, you're going to come into this life and experience shame, you know, and feel that. 


And so, yeah, it's these sex toys are creating even deeper levels of disconnection and disassociation in women's bodies when they think they're actually serving them. But it's like, wouldn't it be, what would it be like for you to actually slow down your touch and listen rather than requiring high fast paced vibrations to experience sensation in your body? It's like, what is holding you back from your own fingers, creating some kind of pleasure and sensation in your vulva and your vagina for you? 


A: Yeah, well, I think on a certain level, you know, what you're, what you're saying, while it seems so natural and normal and like, why wouldn't you be able to do that? It is because of the way that we are, you know, programmed in our culture over generations to be disconnected from our natural state, that it actually is what you're describing that sense of touch and that sensual quality of being fully connected is something that it actually requires a certain level of sophistication. That some people don't have yet. 


And, you know, as you're speaking about it, I can really hear your passion and I completely see where you're coming from. And at the same time, I feel like there are probably tears here of like, you know, for example, if you take a woman who has like, never experienced an orgasm, doesn't know how to have pleasure on her own, only can experience pleasure from being with a partner, and that even is like limited, right? And you give her a vibrator, you can see how, you know, in some way that would be a form of liberation for her to finally have absolutely all 


C: and we can also, we can track this also to the birth control pill and how liberating the birth control pill was for women. But when we bring it back down to and like back down to the foundation, and we look at physiology of the human body is like, does birth control, is it actually liberating women? No, it is depleting women's bodies. 


It is creating a massive disconnection and dysregulation through our hormonal system. And it's, it's absolute fake sense of liberation. And I believe that sex toys are also a fake sense of liberation. 


Now, is it different for a woman who maybe is disabled in some way and her hands actually can't reach her vulva? That's a whole other conversation, you know, then, then yes, tools serve for sure. But for the everyday able bodied woman, I think we are doing a major disservice using high powered tools, because that's what they are, they're high powered tools. 


And they do create desensitization in our nerve endings, rather than like, why aren't we having more classes where women are actually being taught about their true anatomy and being guided into how to, how to touch themselves and seeing like why there, there is a reason that she can't orgasm on her own, right? And just bypassing that reason and going straight to a vibrator is ignoring the body's call. Because the body is communicating through that inability to orgasm, through that numbness. And when we bypass that numbness and go straight to high powered tools, we ignore that level, that first whisper of communication. 


And then those level, those communications are going to get louder and louder and louder. And this is a huge reason why we are seeing higher levels, not levels, higher numbers of lichen sclerosis, vulva denia, vaginismus, because we are not listening to the little whispers, the symptoms when they first show up, when it's not actually a physical issue. It's when we ignore those initial whispers that the imbalance gets worse and worse, and then it manifests into a physical thing in the body. 


A: What kind of like, when you say these whispers, like, I love, I love this because I feel like our body does whisper to us. And if we are connected to our body's intelligence, we can hear, and we can feel things before they happen, and we can intervene, and we can pivot and change the direction that we're going. But would you say a little bit more, like, give us some examples of how your body might whisper to you and how that might, if ignored, turn into a vaginal issue? 


C: Yeah, absolutely. So just basic sensations, numbness. Numbness is a whisper. Pain, especially if you get pain, like, with a certain person, or when you wear, maybe you wear a certain kind of underwear and you get itchiness in your vulva, you know, and you're just like, oh, that was just a one-off thing, and you ignore it and you continue, like, a lot of women are getting infections from wearing Lulu lemon pants, because they're full of chemicals. 


But we ignore that and we keep wearing the Lulu lemon pants because we, you know, we fucking love them, right? Or even the period panties. The period panties are full of chemicals or commercially made menstrual pads or tampons. Tampons are horrible for vaginal tissue, and I guarantee the majority who does not feel uncomfortable putting a tampon, a dry tampon inside our vulva, but we ignore that uncomfortableness for the convenience of using a tampon, right? 


Menstrual pain. That is a whisper in a communication. And when we start to really slow our lives down and listen to our body and listen to, like, when am I feeling uncomfortable in contraction? When am I sucking my belly in, you know? 


When am I doing all these things that goes against my physiology? And can we track those things, right? Right. It's a huge work. 


It's not easy by any means. It's definitely a big thing. That is the level of embodiment and awareness that I support women in coming into is like, can we actually track, like, when I drink coffee, do I really feel well? Or when I have that glass of wine at night, is that really serving my body? 


Right. Or when I have sex with that one person, and then I get a little itchy and irritated after, but I continually go back and have sex with that person. Or maybe when I use just this one type of condom, you know, I get itchy and irritated after using that certain condom brand, but I keep using it because, you know, it's like this level of awareness of really tracking our lives and tracking how our body responds. 


Every pain, discomfort, numbness, even pleasure, you know, it's like, can we track the pleasure? Can we really serve softness and openness? It's like, when do you feel really soft and open? When can your belly hang and just be totally relaxed? What are the situations and scenarios that serve that? And can we cultivate more of that in our lives? 


A: Beautifully said, yes. And I think, you know, one of the most challenging things is our relationships with others, you know, and how our relationships with other people immediately affect our body. So like, for example, many women probably were told to keep their belly sucked in by their mother, you know, or their mother maybe said things about their body, or did not encourage them to, you know, be relaxed and comfortable in their body, but encourage them to be vigilant about their body and make sure they didn't gain too much weight, or that they didn't get chubby and all that kind of stuff, right? 


And so we have not only internalized that voice of whoever conditioned us, but then beyond that we have the social conditioning of life. like our culture at large that has also conditioned men to expect women to look or be a certain way to wear certain kinds of clothing and that that's sexy, lingerie and all these things that are these days, it's all made from plastic. 


C: Yeah, it's all garbage. And it's all depressing. Like any clothing that we wear that leaves a mark on us is compressing our lymphatic system. Our lymphatic system is governed by our autonomic nervous system. So that's just adding on another this compressive tight plastic clothing that is literally poisoning us is adding on a layer of nervous system dysregulation. You know, it's crazy when we start to realize all these connections and all these layers and how really all our body wants is to come back into this natural way of living and being in our bodies, not this industrialized commercialized convenient way that we've all been fed and served. Wow. 


A: Yes. And so when you are guiding women, you know, do you do this in person and you do you do this in groups or do you do it one on one with people or a mix? 


C: The majority of my work right now is online with women. So teaching women in a group setting online, they're full vulva vaginal pelvic anatomy and then I take them through a practice, a mapping practice where they touch and meet their outer labia, their inner labia, the glands of the clitoris, the shaft of the clitoris. And we really spend time touching this tissue and breathing into this tissue and allowing this tissue to start to communicate to us so that we can get to know what is held here, whether it's a memory, an emotion, a sensation, the texture, the tone of the tissue, all these things. And then in person, I work one on one with women. 


I educate women about their bodies, but then more with my one on one work, it's me doing manual therapy with their bodies and helping them unwind the layers of whatever they're holding in their tissue. Wow. 


A: That sounds really incredible. I mean, I think that, you know, the first time that I heard about something along the lines of like manual therapy, it was referred to as Yoni massage. It was in this book, Vagina by Naomi Wolf. 


Yeah. I read that book back when it came out. And yeah, it just kind of blew my mind. And then I had discovered, you know, when I was traveling that there were these kind of neotandric ways of, you know, disdism, dearmoring the vagina through, you know, pressure point, like therapy, basically inside your vagina. But most of the time it was like, you know, something that someone else does with something that, you know, like a therapist does or a lover does or someone does that for you. And it sounds in some ways with the online program is you're taking women, you know, a step further with that, which is you can do this for yourself. 


C: You can do this for yourself. Yeah. A hundred percent. And I think it is absolutely critical in this day and age that women learn how to do it for themselves because I cannot tell you how many clients before I started teaching vulva and vagina mapping online. I was only doing hands-on manual therapy with women. 


And I've had many women over the years say to me, but my husband didn't tell me that I had a prolapse. And that abdication of responsibility onto our partners or onto a physiotherapist or onto a doctor is just we can't do that. We need to take responsibility for our own bodies. And it is mind blowing to me how much change we can create in our tissues with our own hands. 


Because really, like even when women come and work with me today, it's not me healing anyone. My hands are educating tissue in a way that, you know, it can be difficult to do on our own selves, but we can create so much change with our own hands in our own tissue. And this, that's what our body is yearning for. 


Our body is yearning for us to come back home to ourselves, to trust our own bodies, to know our own bodies in this deep way, instead of reaching out for gurus outside of us all the time. Right. Yeah, for experts. 


A: I mean, even just listen to you talk, I'm sure people are going like, whoa, and there are like lots of ideas and things are flowing, just listening to an expert speak. But the ultimate expert is going to be your own body and your own experience in your body because you're going to have this first person sensual reality that literally doesn't exist in somebody else's experience. It just can't. 


C: Yeah, I get asked all the time, women ask me all the time, well, what does this mean? Like if they're they're feeling something specific in their vulva vagina and I'm like, they're like, well, what does this mean? And my answer is always, I don't know, I haven't lived in your body your whole life. So you have to touch your tissue and start open up lines of communication with that tissue. And the more you come back to your tissue and you touch your tissue and you hold it and you breathe into it, she is going to start communicating to you and telling you exactly what is being held there. Yeah, I am another. All comes down to your self relationship. 


A: I have another question. I mean, first of all, Bravo, love everything you said. And there's a lot of parallels actually between the work that I do, the somatic movement work that I do and what you're talking about. Although it sounds like with you, there's a lot more of this like physical with our hands touching versus. And I mean, I'm sure that there's also what you're guiding people through is like proprioceptive, like they're absolutely. 


Yes, and their hands are like providing that feedback for their brain to grasp even further what's happening. Right. Exactly. 


Yes. But the other questions I had are about some of these other things that are out there that I'm sure women are familiar with or know about. Kegels, you know, and that's what is what is that? What's that all about? Like, is that a valuable thing to do? Is it there are pieces of it that are valuable and other pieces that could be better? 


C: Kegels are beneficial, but we have to take this into the context of alignment and posture. If we have this sucked in belly and tucked pelvis and you're just doing Kegels, you're putting contraction on top of contraction and creating more tension in the whole pelvic ball. 


So that does not serve you in any way. The biggest aspect of Kegels that is not taught is the let down and the lengthening of the pelvic diaphragm. And I don't use the terminology pelvic floor. Floors don't exist in the human body. And to me, that's someone who who teaches on this and says pelvic floor is just showing another level of disconnection. You know, it's a pelvic diaphragm. 


It's this sentient living, breathing, moving being within the body. So with a Kegel, what they're teaching is the contraction, but we need the let down and the opening. Those muscles need to lengthen and the majority of women are living in a hypertonic pelvic ball, a contracted, shortened, tight pelvic ball. And they need to learn how to let down and open and lengthen and teach those muscles and be able to literally move those muscles through their full range of motion, because they should be moving the pelvic diaphragm should drop down and open on the inhale and lift up and contract on the exhale. That is its full range of motion. 


And it the contraction is a good thing. We want that activation same in the nervous system. You know, we don't want to be in a hypotone state all the time in this down regulated state. Right. 


A: What you're responding, what you're what you're describing to me sounds like a responsive, like responses, the other systems of our body are breathing, responsive to our environment. You know, if there is something dangerous, we want to go into fight or flight. We want to get there. We want to tighten up and scramble and make ourselves smaller. Right. 


Then when it's all over and when the danger is gone, we want to go back to that responsive state where we're responding to our inner sensations in our body and we're not locked up and frozen and fearful. And so what you're describing makes sense to me. I love that talking about the pelvic diaphragm because as a yoga teacher, someone who studied breathing makes absolute sense to me, makes it way more sense than a floor. I was always trying to figure out like what it makes it sound like there's some kind of boundary when in fact. 


C: And I think they use that terminology pelvic floor for that reason. To create even more disconnection from four humans, because a human who cannot embody, how can you embody a floor inside your pelvic bowl, man or woman? 


You know, it's impossible. And that that verbiage is used over and over and over across the world in, you know, every modality is pretty much and it's been used for a reason to keep us out of our place of power, out of the place where we connect to the earth. 


A: Right. And that we're responsive and having that ongoing communication and not, you know, like, you know, you can't go through a floor. Exactly. But floors do not move up and down. They don't. They're stable, so to speak. And our reality is not a stable reality. Our reality is in a flux, you know, all the way down to like our molecules and our body, everything is shifting and dancing and moving. Exactly. 


Static. So I agree with you. This is wonderful. The other question I have is about, and it's kind of funny because this is something that one of my somatic mentors mentioned at my training, trampolines. What impact do trampolines have on our pelvic diaphragm and what benefit or what or what issue could they further create? 


C: If we have a healthy functioning pelvic diaphragm that is responsive and is not stuck in a hypertonic state and can actually move, I think trampolines are really beneficial for the body moving limp, helping the body move limp. Again, any kind of movement is beneficial when we actually are serving our physiology and our proper physiological alignment. 


That being said, if you are a woman who has a hypertonic pelvic diaphragm or you are experiencing a lot of weakness, any kind of pain, trampolines can be, they can promote urinary incontinence, they can make a prolapse worse. So whether it's a bladder prolapse, a uterine cervical prolapse or rectal prolapse, bouncing around on a trampoline can make things worse. Yeah. So it really depends on the state of health of the pelvis and the whole body. 


Really. But like what are those little trampolines called? Rebounders, rebounding, super gentle, super beneficial when done properly, when you can have a relaxed belly, when your pelvis isn't tucked in and held in this, you know, sympathetic holding pattern, when your glutes are active and turned on. 


A: That makes sense. I mean, you know, from what I can gather in my own somatic experience, I lived most of my life with a tucked under pelvis, a very contracted stomach, you know, and my whole posture, my whole skeletal alignment was off because of those major muscles in my body being maintained in contraction, being maintained short. 


And then therefore everything that I tried to do in terms of exercise, I would end up hurting myself. I would end up over extending certain muscles. I would end up with cramps. You know, I tried being a runner when I was younger and it was, you know, you can't really run very functionally with a tucked under pelvis. You can make it happen because your body's really clever and really smart. 


And you can organize the movement to make it occur. But it's so much effort, actually. And that's what a lot of people who are inactive, who don't exercise, it's because it's physically uncomfortable and they don't know why. They don't know why it's so hard for them to run. They don't know why it's so hard for them to move their bodies. And it's because they have these, like you said, these chronically tight muscles that have been holding their body out of its natural alignment. 


But when we have this natural alignment occurring, we're designed to move. And all these things can be very beneficial for us. So I love that answer to the trampoline thing. That makes a lot of sense to me. Yeah. Yeah. What about things like yoni eggs and like this kind of work? 


C: I get asked about yoni eggs all the time. And one, the majority of women using yoni eggs, just put them in and then like walk around all day. And that is not a great way to use a yoni egg. Because for the most part, if you cannot get your pelvic diaphragm to open and lengthen and go through a full range of motion, then she's just going to be contracting even more and creating more tension on top of tension to hold that egg inside your vagina. 


And again, the majority of women, if they are doing any kind of practice with the egg is to contract around it rather than learn how can you learn how to push that egg out properly, you know, and not push it out to a place where you are going to create a prolapse, like it's a very fine, balanced, delicate practice, learning how to push down into the pelvic diaphragm and get the pelvic diaphragm to open and lengthen. 


Because I do know I do know women who have created prolapses by going too far. Right. Too much effort. Yeah, too much effort and pushing down too much. So yoni eggs aren't my favorite thing. 


I really don't recommend them ever because we also have this idea that we can put a crystal inside our vagina and everything's going to get magically healed. And that's not true. That does not happen. 


So it creates a lot of a false sense of hope for women. Right. Yeah. And every single time I'm going to be like, why don't you put your fingers inside your vagina rather than an external object? Yeah. 


In search of two fingers inside your vagina and do some diaphragmatic breath work and see what you can feel because you are going to get so much more feedback through your fingers and feeling with your fingers than a stone. 


A: Yeah, you know, it's kind of funny. I know that technically we don't think of like stones as like living beings or anything, but it's definitely more alive than plastic. 


C: Yeah, absolutely. 100 percent. Yeah. Is it going to heal all your pelvic issues? No, it's not. 


A: Yeah. Funny thing, like a woman, you know, I saw in one of these Facebook groups some conversation going on about like yoni eggs and crystal like sex toy or some kind of thing. And the woman was basically like, I got a very clear message from my crystal yoni egg the other day that I did not have the consent from that crystal to put them in my body and that it was like a violation of the crystal. 



And I thought that was like, I'm like, OK, that's like a very different way of looking at it, but it's like we do that to ourselves. We don't necessarily ask like our vagina for consent, you know, before we're going to tamp on or for putting in an object. We assume that we have it because, you know, we treat our vagina like it's an object as well, you know, and it's not going to have feedback to give us. But it absolutely does. 


C: And that's absolutely does. If you are using your fingers and holding the opening of your vagina, you're going to feel when she softens and lets you in rather than you just pushing an egg in, you know, yeah, you just feel there's so much more felt sense happening when we actually use our fingers to feel our tissue. And then on the other aspect of, you know, the whole crystal thing is like, should we really be taking all these things out of the earth? It's just an extraction all the time. 


A: You know, and a destabilization of our land. Mining. I mean, mining is an incredible destabilization of the land and how can that not be affecting other areas of our land in a dramatic way? 


And so, yeah, I totally feel you on that. I think think about that all the time because crystals are so popular within like a culture of people who claim to really respect the earth and then at the same time 


C: like you're just extracting more and more from the earth. And there is zero separation between the human body and our ecology and the earth. And we cannot not expect our bodies to heal when we keep extracting and extracting and extracting. Yeah. 


A: Yeah, removing resources, you know, and yeah, that's that's a really wonderful point. You know, with regards to this. Being able to sense into our bodies and the pleasure, pain kind of access here. When women start exploring with their own hands, their tissue, you mentioned that they're going to come in contact with some of their feelings that they would normally label as negative. Can you talk a little bit about that? 


C: Yeah, it's impossible to touch literally the most sacred area of our body and not feel things that we've been shutting down, not feel feelings that we've wanted to ignore is I view the pelvis, the female pelvis as the last frontier. Like our body is so intelligent and our ego is so intelligent that it will start to move things in the body and store them in the pelvis until we are actually ready to go there and meet what is held in that tissue. And a big piece of meeting these parts of ourselves is really reparenting work, reparenting those fractured parts of ourselves, those fractured memories and calling them back home. 


And can we the work is like, can we actually be with these parts? Can we be with these scared, these shameful, these grief-stricken parts of ourselves and feel everything that they have to feel and listen to these these tissues and these memories and these emotions because there is no. There is no healing without feeling, you know, as cheesy as that saying is, it's it's 100 percent true. 


A: Yeah, yeah. And it's interesting too, because in my own experience, and I'm sure you can speak to this, there's when we actually allow ourselves to be in that vulnerable place to feel what has been going on underneath the surface and allow that to move and circulate through our system, our bodies actually start, you know, while we're having the negative experience, so to speak, our bodies are also producing positive chemicals to support. 


Absolutely. Yeah. And so it can turn into this very, you know, tender, beautiful experience to go through that shadow work on a physical level, because I think a lot of people try to navigate it mentally. Yeah. And what you're describing is a much more like bodily based, like you're literally touching yourself and having this experience of being supported by something bigger than you. Yeah, exactly. 


C: Yeah. And I firmly, firmly believe in the body's intelligence and the body is not going to bring any experience, any memory, any emotion to the surface for you to feel and be with if you are not actually mature enough and ready to feel that. 


Yes. You know, your body is so much smarter than your mind is and your body will is like working with you to heal. We have this idea that our bodies are at war with us and that has been, you know, that's a conditioning from this culture that we grew up in. Our body is never at war with us. Our body is always working towards bringing us back into healing and equilibrium. 


And yeah, body is only going to bring those memories and those instances that you are actually ready to be with up to the surface, because there is there's always a lot of fear that especially when it comes to vulva and vagina work, that it's just going to be horrendous and the most painful, terrifying experience ever. And a lot of the time it's really just normalizing and beautiful and enjoyable. You know, right? 


Yeah, it doesn't. It's we have this idea that going into the depths of our pelvic tissue just has to be hard and everything doesn't have to be hard. Sometimes some things can be just really gentle and simple and enjoyable. It's like, can we allow ourselves to have that kind of experience with our bodies, especially in this day and age where, you know, we do live in a time where we're in the trauma Olympics and it's like, can we actually just allow things to be simple? 


Yeah, don't for ourselves and not make big stories up about things sometimes or not, you know, feed ourselves up into this big cathartic experience. I'm not a huge proponent of big cathartic experiences. I'm into this simple, gentle, unwinding that is digestible and integratable, where you actually see change. 


A: Oh, yeah, something that is a practice that over time makes huge changes in bodily and brain structure versus like, let's just, you know, rip this out. You know, a lot of people are very attracted to that idea because once again, it's more convenient in a way to just have one big crappy weekend of crying and going crazy and then you just, you're done now and you can just go on with life versus like slowly, you know, 15, 20 minutes a day, practicing something.

Right. That is actually more rigorous than just having some big tantrum, you know, and it goes back to this idea of reparenting, of creating rhythm in our bodies and rhythm in our lives that maybe we didn't get as children. We didn't get that rhythm from our parents. 


We didn't get that space. We were go, go, go, eight hours of school sitting at a desk, you know, with all the demands of life placed on us as children instead of being given. 


C: And this reparenting piece is just so critical and it's a big reason why my work is so physiological. Like I stay in the anatomy. I stay in the sensation. I do educate on pleasure because pleasure is an important aspect for our adult selves. But when it comes to reparenting and working through any sexual abuse, any sexual trauma, especially as children that we have not worked through, that part of ourselves and that memory held in those tissues does not need pleasure. That needs to be held gently and caressed and cared for. And just going into pleasure is bypassing, totally bypassing. Right. 


A: Yeah, that makes sense to me. I think about that because I do a lot of work with like food healing, you know, and there can be this way that we soothe ourselves with food. And I don't think that that's a wrong bad thing to do at all. I want to feel shame about that. You know, when you eat a whole bag of potato chips or chocolate chip cookies or whatever you did to like soothe yourself in that moment with food. But can we connect to like what is actually soothing and supportive to our bodies? And can we reorient that like that response to seek for pleasure to something that's supportive? You know what I mean? 


And that like what you're describing sounds like it's like, OK, yes, we will experience pleasure. We don't but we're not going to jump ahead to that. We're going to stay with what is needed now. And there's some need in our body that's not being met. How can we truly meet that need rather than just covering it up with a feel good sensation, you know, covering it up with the chocolate chip cookies rather than sitting there and asking myself, what is it I really need right now? What need is not getting met in me that I'm trying to meet it with those cookies? 


You know what I mean? Not that the cookies is wrong or anything bad about that, right? But that what's more important is that I meet those needs so that I'm not out of control and so that I'm not out of my body that I'm here and present when I eat the cookie, because the cookie tastes good. The pleasure is going to feel good. 


We want to actually present in our body for that and not jump ahead. Exactly. Yeah. Totally. 


Yeah. Well, it's been such a pleasure to talk to you. You are just a wealth of information. Do you have any other things that are coming up for you that you'd really like to share with our listeners today? 


C: I think one of the biggest this has been a really beautiful conversation. Thank you very much for asking me on. I've really enjoyed it. And one of the biggest things that is just alive for me in my body right now is the slowness, how important it is that we slow down every step of the way, especially in male and female bodies. If we look at the way the body has evolved over the years, one thing that we have not evolved out of is the hierarchy of importance inside the human body. If we are living in a state of fight, flight, freeze, any kind of, you know, sympathetic overdrive, we are our body prioritizes living. Our body does not prioritize fertility. 


Right? Fertility is one of the very first functions in the body to go to be ignored. And so creating safety in the body is absolutely paramount to healing the pelvic bowl, because if there is no safety and that slowness is required for safety, right? When it comes to touching ourselves and when it comes to the way we pleasure ourselves, when it comes to the way we move our bodies, the way we breathe, the way we allow our pelvic diaphragm to drop down and open, these are all slow qualities in the body that require safety, that is absolutely required to heal the pelvic bowl. You cannot, cannot heal anything sexual, sexual tissue, sexual anatomy, anything without that. 


A: Yes. Yeah. I think about that a lot just like the, you know, one of my clients yesterday was even saying that she realized the connection between her body and her ability to learn, cannot learn when we are in this sympathetic state. 


Totally. Why would our brain prioritize like sitting down and reading a book when there's a frickin tiger about to chew our heads off? We would not prioritize sitting down and reading a book and taking in complex information. So we have to actually be in a state of rest in order to digest and metabolize information just the same way we have to be in that state of rest and metabolize food. 


C: Yeah, exactly. And that's a big reason why understanding our physiology is so important and why we all deserve to understand the way our body works. It's not just for doctors and medical professionals to understand. It's for every single human to understand the way their body functions and works. 


A: Yes, I love this. And, you know, I want to ask one more question here, and I want to just touch on the subject because obviously you have extensive knowledge about women's bodies. You know, I think that men probably have something going on, you know, because of the things that I've learned from like Neo-Tantra and I don't know how much of that is like, you know, related to more like religious, you know, kind of scripts of like, you know, tantric work throughout India and stuff like this. I don't know the background of it so much, but there was dearmoring process that men would do annually. 


Yeah. And there was there's a way that men can start interacting with their sexual organs in a more empowered way rather than kind of treating them like objects, which I think a lot of men do, or having a lot of taboo around their rectum. I know this isn't your wheelhouse, but do you have anything to say about like work that you know that's being done for men in this area? 


C: Yeah, absolutely. And pelvic work, penis work, testicle work, anal work is just as important for men as men experience sexual trauma, sexual abuse as well. Men have pelvic. Well, any man who's been circumcised has genital trauma and it has scar tissue around their penis that needs to be worked with. So there's this is a whole there's, you know, many practitioners out there who specialize in working with men. And I do think it's important for men to receive this work from men, you know, not always receiving this work from women. It's there is some deep, deep healing to be had for men who can receive this kind of touch and be held in this way by another man and not have it be sexual. It's the same thing that I view this work like when I'm working with a woman and touching her vulva vagina, it's not sexual. 


This is deep care for human to human contact, you know. And yeah, so there is back to men. Urinary incontinence, pain, why are prostate cancer rates so high? The amount of tension inside and to massage the prostate, you go in through the anus and you can massage and milk the prostate. Why are prostate is prostate cancer so high now? 


And the rates just keep rising and rising. What is happening in men's pelvic balls? And it's the same thing that is happening in women's pelvic balls. There's so much tension, there's so much congestion, there's so much unprocessed emotion and experiences held in our pelvises that is being ignored. Right. 


A: Wow. Yes. Yes. And like especially the, you know, we think about like the shame that women carry about their vagina and these things like this. But there's plenty of shame that men are carrying. 


C: Plenty of shame that men carry about the size, the shape, their sexual performance. It is absolutely men go through the same thing that women go through about their genitals, 100 percent. And men deserve to be tended to and to have the same kind of care that female pelvises have, you know, 100 percent. 


And yeah, I've been in many workshops with men where they're terrified to have their genitals worked on because they don't want to be judged by the way their penis looks, you know, and women think, women do, we think that men, oh, they have it so easy. And that is a lie.  


A: Right. Right. And the amount of, you know, physical, because men's genitals are sort of like hanging out there, you know, they're not in their bodies. 


C: The amount of trauma, like men in the balls is major trauma to those, to those organs and their deeply delicate tissue, you know. And then circumcision is another highly taboo topic, but it's trauma. Whether no matter what your beliefs are around it, anytime we cut tissue, we create trauma. It's the same thing with surgery, same thing with tattoos. We are creating trauma in the body. Right. And for that to be a baby's one of their first experiences is to have their foreskin cut off that creates a whole neurological rewiring that needs to be addressed. 


A: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I've definitely looked into this topic and I chose, you know, even though my husband had, you know, most like most men had been circumcised, I chose not to circumcise my son, you know, and I had to do research and read about like, you know, how to like help him with that when the time comes, because like, you don't want to overstretch it. There's all these things, you know, that you don't want to do that people don't know about because they simply cut off that tissue and so they just don't have to deal with it. They don't have to deal with each and a boy how to care for himself down there. 


C: Exactly. 


A: Yeah. This is so fascinating. I mean, this theme that we've been speaking about today of just the way that our modern world has created all these shortcuts and things that are supposedly liberating that end up kind of shooting us in the foot and not really being the good deal that we think that they are. 


C: Exactly.


A: And coming back to ourselves. And this is maybe part of like, you know, philosophically part of the journey is that we have to forget in order to remember. And in remembering, we really see the value of it. We really understand like how precious it really is and we have gratitude and more maybe more connection to it than if it was just there the whole time and we hadn't forgotten about it. 


C: Yeah, exactly. 


A: Yeah. Well, this is such incredibly beautiful work you're doing. 


C: I'm so happy that we got to connect today. I'm so happy we got to connect. 


A: Yeah. And I would love to have you come back maybe later in the season or next, you know, season and talk more even about like the work you're doing with women online and share more about your offerings. If people are interested in connecting with you or learning about what you do, where can they find more information? 


C: The best place to connect with me is Instagram. Carly Ray Bodry is my Instagram handle. Yeah. And all my links are connected through there. 


A: Perfect. Okay, everybody, look her up. Like I said at the beginning, if you have a uterus, if you have, you know, a female body, you want to hear this episode, you want to do this work. I have had, you know, my own little forays into this work, but you are taking it to a whole nother level, Carly, and it's really exciting. Thank you so much for the work that you're doing in the world. 


C: Thank you, Amy. 


A: Yeah, absolutely. 


Outro: You've been listening to the Free Your Soma podcast. To find out more information about today's guest, check the show notes. And, to find out more information about me, Aimee Takaya, and the radiance program, visit www.freeyoursoma.com



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