Since I've become inspired to uplift women everywhere and thus have begun to research topics such as moon cycles, circles, breath work, sisterhood and tribe---I have had many people reach out to me.
One such girl wrote to me, inquiring what I thought of a yoni steaming.
I had to be honest and express that this is not a topic in which I have much knowledge, but that I would do my research and get back to her. I have done just that and am baffled that I have never heard of, nor participated in this practice as there are so many wonderful benefits.
As someone who experiences debilitating pain during my moon cycle and having been through a miscarriage two years ago (and experiencing the pains of not conceiving since), I found this to be an optimal solution.
Vaginal steaming has been referred to as bajo, chai-yok, or a yoni steam. Yoni is the Sanskrit word for womb or vagina. It is an ancient practice that has been used for hundreds of years to assist with many symptoms. Here is a complete listing of the benefits of yoni steaming:
•Significantly reduces pain, bloating and exhaustion associated with menstruation.
•Decreases menstrual flow as well as reduce dark purple or brown blood at the onset or end of menses.
•Regulates irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
•Increases fertility, especially when combined with Mayan Abdominal Therapy.
•Speeds healing and tones the reproductive system after birth.
•Treats uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, uterine weakness, uterine prolapse & endometriosis.
•Assists with the repair of a vaginal tear, episiotomy, or C-section scar.
•Assists with the healing of hemorrhoids.
•Treats chronic vaginal/yeast infections, and works to maintain healthy odor.
•Relieves symptoms of menopause including dryness or pain during intercourse.
•Detoxifies the womb and removes toxins from the body.
•Releases stored emotions and taps into the energy that is our creative potential.
Steaming uses the water element to open and clear the yoni root. Full moons and ovulation are associated with the water element, which makes this a wonderful time to perform this ritual.
As not all women are cycled with the New Moon, it is recommended that a yoni steam be performed approximately one week prior to menstruation because the cervix is slightly dilated therefore making the healing properties of steaming more beneficial.
Gently steaming the yoni with healing herbs and oils is an ancient healing priestess tradition to energetically, emotionally and physically nourish and cleanse the womb and to help awaken the feminine crown sacral chakra.
Many ancient cultures across the globe have known of the powers of the yoni steam. Priestesses of Isis used this healing practice as a part of their body cleansing rituals to prepare initiates before they entered the Temple of Isis.
In old Mayan tradition, a postpartum vaginal steam therapy called pusilton was used, in which women sat atop a bucket of water into which super-heated rocks were thrown and the steam vapors rose into the yoni to heal and soothe.
In San Gervasio, on the island of Cozumel in Mexico, there are ruins of the temple of Ixchel, the Mayan jaguar goddess of midwifery and feminine medicinal arts, where there are pits for vaginal steam baths carved into stone floor.
Traditional Korean healers also used this healing method and it was believed to be essential in maintaining healthy fertility. Dravidian goddess rites in India also used the wisdom of the yoni steam.
Victorian doctors in Britain were recorded as using the healing practice to treat female patients with pelvic inflammatory disease as late as 1899.
The yoni steam has many healing health benefits bringing warmth, life-force, and increasing blood flow to heal any stagnation or disease, soothing and nourishing the sacred passageway of the yoni and the delicate surrounding tissues.
It has also been associated with assisting the womb to release old endometrial healing, restore the pH balance, and support the womb to return to her harmonic physical alignment.
When the yoni steam is done ritually, with womb breathing, incantation, and prayer it is a powerful shamanic journey into the feminine dimension and becomes an underworld initiation and womb/root exorcism.
By bringing life and warmth back to the root and our magnetic floor, we can gently release ancient fears and grief held from this life in this sacred area.
As these stuck energies begin to release our Shakti awakens and the creative pulse of life begins to flow back into our most precious and powerful center.
How to perform a yoni steam:
Modify a chair to use for the ritual by cutting a hole (at least 10 inches in diameter) in the center, or using a metal/wicker garden chair that steam can rise through. Make sure your yoni is at least 12 inches from the bowl.
*A ready-made yoni seat can also be purchased online for convenience.
Choose anywhere from 3-5 herbs:
•Yarrow herb: Blood purifying, pelvic tonic
•Holy Basil: Menstruation balm and tonic
•Rose Petals: Womb totem of love and healing
•Mug-wort herb: Womb cleanser and awakener
•Raspberry leaf: Nurturing and protective
Note: Other herbs such as lavender or other flowers and essential oils (just a drop) may also be used.
Add 2-3 cups of herbs into a large pot of boiling water. Cover with a lid and simmer for approximately five minutes. Remove from the heat and let it steep for an additional five minutes leaving the lid on the pot.
Place the pot directly under the hole of your yoni steam chair on top of a folded towel. Lift the lid and let the steam rise---making sure your post is close enough that you can feel the warm steam, but not close enough that it is uncomfortable.
Create a sacred space: dim the lights, burn candles, play soft music, anoint yourself with essential oils or us an oil diffuser.
Completely undress (or just from the waist down) and wrap a large blanket or sheet around your waist creating a 'sweat lodge' affect with no drafts. Steam for approximately twenty minutes.
When your yoni steam is complete, it is recommended to rest and stay warm. Dreams may also be enhanced from this experience so doing this ritual prior to sleep is very beneficial.
What this does:
According to Soul Vibrance, "When dried herbs are placed in the hot water, the volatile oils that contain medicinal properties are released. A yoni steam works by applying gentle heat, as well as moisture that caries these volatile oils, to the exterior tissues of the vagina (the tissue referred to as the vulva). The warmth and moisture increases circulation to the labia, causing it to swell and expose the inner labial mucus membranes. These tissues are very porous and absorbent, and the bloodstream picks up the volatile oils can carries them into the inner reproductive system, including the uterus. Thus, the herbal steam increases circulation, thins mucus and revitalizes the entire system, allowing it to shed unnecessary membranes and build-up. The result is a healthier, more pleasant cycle and a more connected woman."