Yoni steaming or vaginal steaming (V - steaming for short) has gotten quite a lot of attention over recent years. Since Gwyneth Paltrow's website Goop wrote about it and now the Kardashians famously doing it there is much more talk surrounding this subject.
Taking care of our bodies and our health is so important, and something so many of us are doing, but our vaginal health it seems is something women have forgotten to do. Reclaiming our feminine power and connecting to our bodies is rewarding and beneficial on many levels, and in my opinion vaginal steaming can play a key role in this. I'm going to share all you need to know about Yoni steaming in this article.
What is Yoni Steaming
Firstly 'Yoni' is a Sanskrit word describing all the female genital organs. It translates to mean home, source of origin, place of birth. It is associated with the Hindu Goddess Shakti, who is the representation of feminine power.
This old tradition has come from many ancient indigenous cultures. The medicine women of Mayan, African & Asian cultures are all known to have used this wisdom.
To put it very simply it's essentially a steam facial for your vagina. You sit or squat over a bowl of hot water filled with herbs allowing the steam to penetrate into the vagina, cervix & uterus.
The healing herbs and the warmth of the steam work to cleanse the vagina area. The ancient medicine women believed that this not only works on a physical level but an emotional level too. As women our womb area is the most sacred of spaces, but also one that is subject to so much. Childbirth, painful menstruation, menopause & traumatic events can leave its mark. Holding onto emotional trauma we can help to alleviate pain on many levels through this sacred practice. We have become so disassociated with our womb connection in the west, it has become a point of shame for many, a clinical space of embarrassment we find a taboo subject. This powerful practice can help you to reconnect with the space that is the space of all creativity and one to be cared for and loved.
How To Steam
The process begins by boiling herbs. Common herbs used for this practice are
Or there are many pre - mixed herbs available, which is what I use as its the most convenient option I find. Plus you can buy mixes that are suitable for your personal needs. I recommend using Funmi Vaginal Steaming Herbs (https://amzn.to/3afxZ5S ) who cater for a wide variety of various needs.
To make the steam, you simply place the herbs in a pan, cover with water, bring to boiling point and with a lid let the pan simmer for 10 minutes. This step is important as it helps to bring out the essential healing oils of the herbs.
You then squat or sit over the pan, with your lower body wrapped in a towel or blanket and steam for around 20 - 25 minutes.
Nowadays there are many places you can visit to do a yoni steam, but personally I like to do it from the comfort of my home, and find it easy enough to do.
My Tips For Steaming
I like to transfer my steamed water into a bowl that I specifically keep for steaming. I don't really want to be using the same pan I'll be cooking pasta in for dinner, so I just transfer the water.
There are various ways to squat over the bowl and things you can do. Shops such as Etsy and Amazon sell stools you can squat over. Or if you don't want to invest in a stool the best thing I have found is to place 2 cushions on the floor in front of a couch or bed (see picture). I then place the bowl between the 2 cushions and straddle the bowl, kneeling on the cushions for comfort. I then rest my upper body on the couch or sofa, I add another cushion here for comfort.
I put on some soothing music, set a timer and make this a meditative practice. Breathing into and connecting to the yoni space. As I breathe deeply I allow myself to let go, and release into the moment. I've learnt to make this quite a spiritual practice, but it doesn't have to be if that's not your thing.
Once you're finished, gently pat yourself dry, and drink some water. Sit still for a few minutes, allowing your body to restore.
Benefits Of Yoni Steaming
Ok, so as I said there are believed to be many benefits and these range from;
Detoxification of the womb
Overall pain relief
Whilst the sceptic's are keen to say none of this is proven, I will always be an advocate of natural remedies for our health before we reach for the pills. And I believe deeply in the connection this practice can bring to our bodies, which I also believe is something so many of us have lost the ability to do. We can learn so much from ancient traditions and indigenous cultures, and people are finding benefits from leaning into these natural holistic practises.
When Not To Steam
Like anything, precautions need to be taken from time to time. You shouldn't steam if you are pregnant, menstruating or have any open wounds. Speak to a health professional if you have any concerns.
Be mindful of the temperature of the water before you squat over a bowl, this is a soothing comforting practice, if it doesn't feel that way, stop, if you sense the steam burning, pause and let it cool.
As a woman transitioning through perimenopause & menopause I have found this treatment to be key to help me deal with dryness & frequent bouts of yeast infections. I've skipped through perimenopause, but this is one area I've struggled with. Yoni steaming has been a game changer for me. Of course as always there is controversy surrounding V - steaming, and the critics say there is no evidence of it working. For me it does work, and is another ancient tradition that has been lost on the west.