How to do Yoni steam or vaginal steam at home
Yes, I know the first question may be: but is vaginal steaming even safe? We’ll cover some of that in the blog in a moment.
Pelvic steams (as I like to call them) have been done in many cultures across the world. There are other forms of pelvic application of herbs too of course. Fumigation/smoke is commonly used today in both ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as well as other traditional cultures. Applying medicated herbal oils to a tampon is used in Ayurveda – and I’m sure in other traditions. Just as we might be applying yoghurt for bacterial imbalances. Using sitz baths with herb infusions are a wonderful way to use herb at the pelvis too if steaming seems too much.
Our pelvis and reproductive system are obviously very sensitive. The capillaries and nerve endings are close to the surface. And there are a lot of nerve endings here. So we need to take care.
But these are also the reasons why a warm comforting steam might feel really relaxing and soothing. Not just for our pelvic floor, pelvic organs, muscles around our pelvis and abdomen but also why the herbs might actually get to the area where we want them to work. And because if we are tense, stressed, anxious or worried it is highly likely that our pelvic floor is tense too.
When I choose herbs for myself or clients I take a full history to understand what is going on, any potential contraindications, understanding what is happening with their menstrual history and cycle. Then we decide how often and when the steaming is appropriate. And for how long.
Usually, it is after the period when there is no bleeding or spotting any longer. Maybe it’s as a ritual on a full or new moon, or any other occasion where it just feels right. (Although there can be contraindications on when you want to steam such as potential pregnancies).
Hotter and longer is not necessarily more effective. Sometimes a shorter 10-minute steam is all that is needed.
Vaginal steam set-up
- Get your herbs. Maybe one or two tablespoons or a handful (you could use a “teabag” or muslin bag to contain the herbs)
- Add them to clean fresh water in a pan
- Heat the infusion up to a boil and let it infuse (turning off the heat), simmer, or if using roots boil for another 10 minutes or so
- In the meantime (keeping an eye on the water) set up your space
- You may use the pan or use another bowl for your herbal infusion
- If you have a steam chair (literally a stool or chair with no seat or a hole) or a box with a hole like this one from Mama Luna (I would probably get large. I have the smaller one) then you just need to place your bowl under the hole. Kitara is another US based supplier of beautiful seats (get $10 off with my code AnjaLove).
- If you have no chair place a towel around the bowl as it will be hot
- I check the temperature on the inside of my forearm. It should feel comfortable and warm. Not hot and burning.
- During your pelvic steam, you undress from the waist down. You might want to keep your socks on to stay nice and warm.
- Make sure you stay warm by wrapping a towel around you. This will also keep the steam in so you receive the most benefits from your treatment.
- You can move around on the chair to sit most comfortably during your steam. Sitting right on the sitting bones or leaning forward (pointing the sitting bones back) are good ways to receive the steam. You could sit with your feet apart leaning forward to rest your head and arms on the couch too.
- Meditate, breathe, read, journal… or just be.
I like this visualisation
Inhale the healing benefits from the herbs, nourishing thoughts, positive energy. Imagine inhaling up through the vagina, letting the qualities of the herbs/thoughts/energy nurture your whole sacred pelvis.
Exhale releasing what isn’t needed any longer. Out through your pelvis, maybe through the feet and into the Earth where it can be transmuted into compost, to lessons learned and letting Mother Earth reuse it into nourishment again.
Pelvic Steam After Care
After your steam dap yourself dry with the towel you sit on. Take a few moments to rest (maybe on the couch). Bringing your hands to your womb space/lower abdomen giving thanks for the time you have taken for you.
Then get dressed, drink some herbal tea/water. You may feel the need to use the bathroom.
Best practice after your steam is to:
Rest as much as possible, stay hydrated (enjoy plenty of herbal teas), stay warm. While some women feel they need the ritual to do its magick and like being on their own, other women feel nice, tingly and more sensuous. Do what feels right for you.
Make sure you strain the herbs and dispose of them either in nature or bin. The cooled down water can be going down the loo or water your garden with it.
If you are curious about more pelvic and womb wellness explore the rest of my website and blog posts. Visit my Instagram. And have a look at my online courses.
I have a course specifically on the Feminine seasons & cycles exploring menstrual cycle awareness through ayurveda and yoga.
Another course is on pelvic floor health or the Sacred Pelvis. To relax, to strengthen and connect to this sacred part of our being.
Both courses are online immersions, self-paced with lifetime access and they both have a section on Pelvic Steam too. Have a look here for more information.
If you have read this far you are probably all for yoni steams but just in case…
Yes, it is controversial. There are plenty of people against it. Are there any gold standard peer-reviewed scientific evidence to prove it works or that is harmful – no. Sometimes it is evidence of testimonials and experience.