Yoni Steaming . . . ?!!!!
Yoni steaming is an old wise woman way of healing yourself directly through your yoni. An herbal blend is made for you; herbs will be specific to your condition. The herbs are brewed in a steam pot, and the pot is placed under your open seated chair. Blankets and sheets are wrapped around your torso to create a kind of sweat lodge for your lower torso. You sit and receive the moist warmth of the healing steam. It enters your body directly through your yoni and penetrates to your uterus, pelvis, and even up through a deep central channel connecting to your heart.
Yoni steams, or V steams, or vaginal steams, are an old womanly healing art and they are becoming popular again. They are certainly part of the Maya healing lineage, and used mainly to cleanse the uterus when there are menstrual difficulties, after birth, and with menopause to completely clean the womb when finished bleeding. They are popular in Central America, India, eastern Europe, and in Korea where women use them regularly as part of their hygiene.
I took a class with a healer from eastern Europe who uses them with women to treat any ailment from the uterus to the heart, i.e. the whole torso, wherein lies many of our vital organs. Some fertility clinics are using vaginal steams with IVF before transferring embryos to a woman's uterus to soften the cervix and uterine lining. Some women's health spas offer V steams as part of their menu. Our understanding of this modality is increasing!
The way I use the steams in my practice is to provide you with a chair and herbs and instructions to take home so that you can do the steams in your own personal private space. It is best to stay warm and rest after a steam so it is nice to be home in that regard. It is possible to do the steam in my office as well.
Yoni steams will help prolapsed organs, will help cleanse or lavage the uterus when done before the menses, can help bring deep warmth and moisture and healing to the "pelvic bowl" which may be cold, dry and congested. Yoni steams can help conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis, prolapse of ligaments and organs, chronic infections and chronic pain. They are a wonderful adjunct therapy to massage.
Different herbs are used in the steam depending upon the situation. The standard base of herbs I use is: rose petals, lavender, rosemary and calendula. I may add mugwort, St. John's wort, motherwort, ginger, and even seaweeds, depending on the person's condition and constitution. The possibilities for herbs are many; you can get creative at home!
Yoni steams hold great potential for us to heal from our disconnect from our yoni/uterus, whether that be from trauma, violations, abuse, surgeries, or just cultural disconnect. Imagine sitting in a safe place steaming yourself from the bottom up — such potential; such sweet healing.
How to do a Yoni Steam
At first, this set up may seem cumbersome, but once you do it you will see how easy it becomes, and how worth the trouble it is! First, find a private spot — the bathroom, your bedroom or a meditation space; you may want to be looking at an altar, or out a window. Place your open seated chair where you will have room and be comfortable. Be sure to wear socks and/or place the chair on carpeting.
Start a pot of 3–4 quarts of water to boil with a lid. Once you have a rolling boil, turn the heat down, add one cup of well packed dry herbs (one quart of fresh herbs) to the water and simmer for 5–10 minutes. Turn off heat and let steep for another 10 minutes with lid on always. You want to keep the volatile oils of the herbs in the steam and not let them escape. You can add dried seaweed to the steeping herbs if you are using that as well.
Meanwhile, gather a sheet, towels, and wool blanket to drape around you while you sit. They should be wrapped around you once you sit down to form a sort of sweat lodge for the lower half of your body. Use pillows behind you, and towels on top of the seat, if desired.
Once you are ready to sit and steam, transfer the herb pot to under the open seat of the chair, or you can pour into a crock-pot which is already heated up. If you use a crock-pot at this point, you will be able to steam longer, as you will have the constant source of heat. Sit down, get comfortable, get your draping around you, and then open the lid of steam. Adjust to the heat and use the draping to allow in cool air if needed while you get settled; otherwise close the steam tent up so that no cool air comes in. Then, settle in to your yoni steam.
Relax, meditate, read something inspiring, have music playing . . . focus on your womb, your vagina, your pelvis, and see what your body has to tell you during this time.
Usually a steam lasts about 20–30 minutes. It seems like a lot of work for such a short time! Stay longer then! Listen to your body. Repeat as desired. Use the steams throughout your cycle, focusing on the week before bleeding. Do not use during bleeding or pregnancy. If you no longer bleed, use the steams throughout the month, as desired. Postpartum and just post menopause are ideal times to steam to facilitate cleansing of the uterus.
Some herbs traditionally used for steams: oregano, basil and marigold are traditional in Central America. We can expand to using what calls to us: some suggestions are: rose, calendula, lavender, rosemary, mugwort, motherwort, St. John's wort, basil, yarrow. The herbs used in the steams are intended to moisturize, vitalize, tone, soothe, warm, and cleanse. Seaweeds such as kombu and bladderwrack are added for their mucilaginous quality which can aide in softening and cleansing, as well as their rich mineral content. Yoni steams bring deep healing, moisturizing and warmth to your pelvis.
Yoni steams can help cleanse the womb of old blood and plaque left behind from previous cycles, it can soften tissues, as well as vitalize prolapsed tissues. The possibilities for healing are numerous. One healer I learned from uses them for any issue from yoni to heart — in other words, the whole torso. This would include digestive issues, reproductive issues, heart and lung issues, and emotional spiritual issues — the stories that we all hold in our bodies.
Blessings on your yoni and your experience!