The What, Why, and How of Yoni Steaming

What’s up with yoni steaming?

Yoni is the Sanskrit word for “womb”, “uterus”, “vagina”, “sacred space,” etc, and is associated with the Hindu Goddess Shakti and the Divine Feminine. Yoni steaming, also known as v-steaming or vaginal steaming, is an ancient woman’s treatment which uses steam from an herbal tea blend directed onto the vaginal area. For the treatment, she can sit on a special stool designed specifically for yoni steaming, or use a chair with open slats placed over the steaming pot of herbs. Believed to cure an assortment of ailments from infertility to fibroids, yoni steaming is considered a cure-all for many in the Ayurvedic field of women’s health.

The steam used for the treatment is thought to have cleansing, stimulating, and gentle healing properties which support a healthy reproductive system and pelvic floor. By increasing heat to the yoni, clots can be dissolved and energy blocks can be discharged through the process of relaxing the deep tissue layers and muscles of the pelvis while lubricating the pelvic floor.

It’s all about balance

Also present in the yoni steaming process from the Ayurvedic perspective is the concept of balance among the Pitta, Kapha, and Vata doshas. The correct herbal blend and hot steam are believed to balance out proper circulation and blood flow by alleviating stagnation and coldness in the affected area. Steam in the Ayurvedic perspective is hot, spreading, and subtle, although certain herbs used can alter the qualities a bit as well. These properties are used normally to treat Vata or Kapha imbalances, due to the likely presence of dull, hard, slow, or cold qualities on the person.

Eastern medicine normally assumes that if pain exists in the area, there is likely stagnation which will respond to this type of warming, moving treatment. Menstrual flow problems like cramping or other pain of this nature may be eased with this type of treatment, although it should not be done during menstruation. However, an infection or any ailment where there is already too much heat and/or itching would be more of a Pitta imbalance and would probably not respond well to steaming.

Never steam if an IUD is present or if you think you might be pregnant

A yoni steaming should never be done when an IUD contraceptive device is present in the womb. Additionally, if the woman is pregnant or believes she might be, steaming should be avoided. This is because the steam is warming and softening to the area which can include the cervix, which must remain tightly closed to properly contain the IUD and fetus.

Likewise steaming should be avoided if there are infections present of the kidney, bladder, vagina, or UTI, as well as perineal stitching or tears.

Timing is everything

According to Ayurvedic practitioner Adena Rose Bright, there are some times which are optimal for a yoni steam session, while others are not so hot. For example, if you are trying to get pregnant, a yoni steam prior to ovulation or insemination is beneficial – but not if you believe you already are pregnant. If you yoni steam on the full moon or the new moon, you can bring awareness to the lunar cycles and assist in bringing a late or lost period back.

As a cleaning ritual a few cycles after a miscarriage or trauma can be helpful, as well as in an attempt to alleviate painful menstrual cramping with spotting or PMS prior to menstruation – however the steaming should not be conducted during the period, but rather the week before. It can be done up to seven times per month but only during the week prior to menstruation.

Steaming isn’t for everyone, at least not at all times

Bright explains that after menopause, women can steam “seasonally, or as needed for pain or dryness.” However, it should be noted that some women report aggravated hot flashes after steaming. You may also notice spotting or discharge following the steaming even if you are post-menopausal. It should be noted that some long-standing conditions are aggravated by steaming and should be ceased immediately upon noticing the symptoms enhanced. The best thing to do is consult a seasoned practitioner to assist you in timing and planning your steaming times.

*As with all my articles, please consult a physician prior to attempting yoni steaming or any other natural or home remedy

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