First off, you might be wondering, what on Earth is Vaginal/Yoni Steaming?
Vaginal steaming, also known as yoni steaming, is a practice that was used throughout the world to support uterine and menstrual health for thousands of years. Unfortunately, with the onset of Western gynecology in the late 19th century, vaginal steaming was part of the wisdom lost though the banishment of midwifery.
Thankfully, this simple yet highly effective practice is being remembered.
In essence, the practice involves sitting safely over a pot of steamy water for 10-30 minutes per session at various strategic times in one’s menstrual cycle. To optimize the practice, herbs are added to the steam pot to best support the practitioner’s needs.
With so many suffering from ailments associated with their menstrual cycles, steaming is wonderfully regaining popularity. Short cycles, long cycles, infertility, cramps, PCOS, cysts, and so much more can be healed through this gentle practice.
Furthermore, once the uterine arteries have closed post pregnancy (usually about 2 days after delivery), vaginal steaming is a highly effective healing modality to support postpartum recovery.
What does yoni mean? What’s the difference between vagina and yoni?
Yoni is a Sanskrit word for vulva and means feminine power/source of life. Vagina is a Latin word meaning sheath (yes, for a sword ).
Clearly yoni is Kitara’s preferred word choice. However, you might still see us use of vagina. It’s only because vagina remains easier for more people to understand at this time. However, Kitara hopes to help make yoni and its glorious celebration of the vulva our culture’s word for the future!
What are the benefits of Yoni Steaming? Benefits often include:
- Pain free periods - relief from PMS symptoms.
- Increased fertility (balancing of the cycle for optimum fertility)
- Fibroids and cysts (non-surgical healing option)
- PCOS & Endometriosis (healing and relief from pain and symptoms)
- Menopause & Post Menopause support (relief for vaginal dryness, herbs for cooling the body, sustaining a connection to life's cycles)
- Sexual Aliveness (increased lubrication and libido, embodiment practice for awakening and healing)
- Postpartum care (helps with cleansing of afterbirth and healing stitches and addressing prolapse)
Are there times NOT to steam? YES. Major contraindications/ times when steaming is to be avoided are: 1) during pregnancy (steam opens the cervix), 2) during bleed/period (steam increases blood flow), 3) between ovulation and bleed when trying to conceive, 4) if experiencing spontaneous bleeding/ bleeding in-between periods.
Does it hurt? NO. When practiced properly, steaming is always gentle, soothing, and relaxing. Before every steam session, check the temperature of the steam coming out of the top of the sauna with the palm of your hand. If it's too hot for comfort, wait for the steam to cool. If you think it's cool enough and then things heat up beyond comfort, stand up immediately and wait again for the steam to cool. If ever something just doesn't feel right, pause your practice and reach out to us at Kitara. We're here to help!
A note on our current culture: We tend to have this "work hard, play hard" script operating in our lives that steaming does not fit into. There is no benefit from enduring discomfort. In fact, steaming is more beneficial when experienced with gentleness and ease. It is a time to connect lovingly with you yoni through nurturance and care.
Please book a consultation with Kitara if you'd like to know if your body is better suited for a mild (10min) or advanced (30min) steam. We do not recommend ever steaming for longer than 30min per session.
What is needed for Yoni Steaming? Most simply, only three ingredients are needed: a pot, water, and fire/heat source (and aligned herbs.)
However, for safety, ease, and comfort, practitioners are also going to want a yoni sauna.
What is a Yoni Sauna? A yoni sauna is a simple wooden box that allows the practitioner to sit safely and comfortably over a steam pot. The yoni sauna is built with a strategic design so that a practitioner can use a burner to sustain the heat and steam. However, a burner is not required for steaming. For her own practice, our founder Kit finds that boiling the water and herbs on her stove and placing the pot directly into the sauna yields plenty of glorious steam, even without a burner.
Who should I talk to before steaming? We strongly advise you to consult your trusted health practitioners, including yourself. Healing is universal. However, no one modality is a universal fit for all yoni bodied people.
Recommended herb selection, timing of steaming within your cycle, and length of time per steam are all critical to the health and safety of your steaming practice. Therefore, if you are new to vaginal steaming, we strongly encourage you to book a consultation with Kitara or another trained practitioner.
Do you have an additional question? Great! We love addressing all your yoni steaming inquires, so please email us at email@example.com