A Yoni Steam, also known as vaginal steam, is the ancient practice of sitting or squatting over steaming pot of water infused with herbs. It’s a powerful ally for women’s vitality in nourishing the uterus, regulating irregular cycles, reducing menstrual pain, imbalances and supporting fertility and reproductive health. It also supports spiritual and emotional cleansing and healing by reconnecting a woman with her feminine center and Inner Woman.
Vaginal steams are a centuries old remedy used around the world especially in South America (called Bajas) and in Asia, such as in Korea (called Chai Yok). Traditionally these ‘hip baths’, as they are sometimes called, were used after child birth or for fertility and/or menstrual issues. In Asia, they were also used for beautification as it’s the equivalent of getting a facial for the down there region.
Heat is medicine for the feminine body. Where cold causes contraction, heat supports opening and release. The moist heat softens the womb and the tissues, increases vital blood flow and supports your womb in releasing any stagnant blood that may have built up.
- For a pleasurable moontime and easing menstrual pain, imbalances and blood clots: The warming steam aids in cleansing and nourishing the uterine membrane. It’s important to know that healthy menstrual blood flows easily, in a bright red color with no clots.
- For fertility: It helps to create uterine membranes that are moist and receptive for conception to happen
- After miscarriage: During the vulnerable time following a miscarriage, a Yoni Steam Ritual may support your body in cleansing and can also be a wonderful tool for connecting with your feminine center and Inner Woman to avoid stagnant emotions taking root in your body. You can begin to Yoni Steam once your bleeding has ceased.
- Postpartum: Keeping women warm is at the heart of many women’s wisdom practices across the world, including traditional postpartum practices. Using Yoni Steams after birth brings nourishing heat, supports the body to release fluids, and aids the womb in shrinking back to pre-pregnancy size.
- Peri-menopause and menopause: When your cycles are slowing down or changing, the Yoni Steam can stimulate circulation and support your womb to continue to release fully. On the other side of menopause, the warming steam can be revitalizing for vaginal dryness while nourishing a deep connection to your feminine center and Inner Woman in a time of initiation and transformation.
- Pelvic pain, tightness or pain during intercourse: For women experiencing pelvic pain, chronic holding, or tightness the Yoni Steam helps to soothe and relax the pelvic muscles. Combine the steam with breath awareness and full diaphragmatic breathing to relax your pelvic muscles and create a loving connection with your feminine center.
- After Hysterectomy or other pelvic surgeries: The heat and warmth can be a soothing therapy for scar tissue. When combined with castor oil packs and massage it helps to increase vitality after surgery. Doing a Yoni Steam may also be helpful in emotionally and energetically reconnecting with your feminine center after an invasive procedure and experience. Your feminine center always remains even if you no longer have your physical womb or ovaries.
What to expect
Yoni steaming is about more than uterine health, and it is certainly more than a beauty treatment. The practice brings a reconnection to the female body and to the wisdom of plant medicine. It is an opportunity for women to celebrate and cherish our bodies, and learn to enjoy our wombs as the beautiful, sacred center from which we radiate our capacity to change the world. Yoni steaming is also about women taking back ownership of our personal health, and utilizing our intuition, as well as gifts from the Earth, to support and nourish our well-being. This is also about trusting the wisdom of generations of women, elevating their perspectives as not only valid, but integral to our health.
It involves placing a pot of hot water and aromatic herbs under a seat with a hole in it, disrobing from the waist down, and sitting over the steam for about 30 minutes while the steam gently permeates the skin. Once the time has passed, remain wrapped in blankets and lie down in a warm bed for the night. The herbs will continue to work on your reproductive system as you sleep, and you'll wake up feeling healed and nurtured. Then, if you are like the countless other women who use the vaginal steam, you'll notice reduced cramping, lessened bloating, and more energy at the onset of your next period.
After the Steam, you will also receive a head and shoulder massage included in the treatment.
The rule of thumb is to use organic edible herbs, either freshly picked or dried. Some traditions offer specific herbal formulas for different conditions. Different combinations of herbs can add nourishment, tone, and cleansing because the vaginal tissues are so absorbent. Each blend is chosen specifically for the client.