I want to talk about your sacred lady parts, ladies.
Because your nether region (or yoni, as I like to lovingly refer to it) is a sensitive yet powerful part of your body that deserves love and care. I'm also a strong believer that conversations about yoni health and pleasure with girlfriends are important for building stronger bonds of sisterhood as well as help to inform and expand our awareness around what is possible for our bodies and lives.
The yoni steam (also known as chai-yok in Korean traditions) is the ancient feminine practice of nourishing a woman's vaginal region with the steam of herbal infusions to cleanse, tone and heal. I've started seeing the "v steam" offered at some spas here in the San Francisco Bay Area - an awesome indicator that this practice is coming back and women are desiring to connect themselves to the health and vibrance of their yonis.
The process of exposing your yoni to the healing steam of nourishing medicinal herbs increases circulation in the regions and serves as a detox and cleansing of your system.
The benefits of v steams have been reported to be: easier periods, reduced cramping and period pain, pelvic toning, healing endometriosis, hemorrhoids, yeast infections, constipation, fibroids and even infertility. I have just begun the yoni steam process and have found it to be deeply relaxing after a long day and a practice in helping re-balance my hormones after years of being on hormonal birth control. It is also recommended for helping to heal from birth with postpartum women.
There are many different herbal infusions that can be used for a yoni steam - many of them carefully handcrafted for specific needs (like painful periods, for example). The blend I have made is for all-around yoni health and preventative care. Rose, chamomile, lavender, and calendula are healing herbs that nourish the skin, while the rosemary is anti-inflammatory and helps to prevent infection.
*If you are interested in a yoni steam for a chronic condition, I recommend you consult a naturopath or herbalist to get the best herb combination for you.
When Do I Steam?
I like to steam the week before I menstruate (usually 3-5 days before), when my energy is starting to feel depleted and my uterus is preparing to shed. I steam in the evening right before going to bed.
- 1 handful dried rose petals (or fresh petals, but only if you're positive they haven't been treated with chemicals)
- 1 handful dried chamomile
- 1 handful dried lavender buds
- 1 handful dried calendula flowers
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Combine herbs in a basin and pour hot water over it. I heat water in a tea kettle over the stove and pour it over the herbs in a shallow bowl.
Position the bowl of steaming herbs so that you can comfortable sit over them for 20-30 mins. I place a squatty potty over the shallow bowl and wrap a blanket around my bottom half to keep the steam in. I have also heard of women placing a heat-proof bucket in their toilet bowl and sitting over that. You can also purchase a steaming stool just for this purpose.
When steaming, be sure to keep your body warm. That means socks, a sweater, and maybe even a hat. To pass the time, I like to read or do a guided meditation on the calm app. It's important to relax your nervous system and keep breathing. Once you've finished steaming, you can strain the herbs and compost them.
Be sure to get straight to a warm, cozy bed afterwards. You'll likely be sleepy and want to lay down and the herbs will work their magic while you slumber.
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