First of all, we need to come up with a few sexy, non-offensive, non-euphemistic options for our vulvas and vaginas. Yoni is great, but reminds me of Mario’s cuddly dinosaur friend. The couple I have in my back pocket are all baked goods and not too sexy. So let’s make that happen.
I’m going through a luscious Shakti phase where I’m putting some real effort toward cultivating an outrageously ecstatic, stupidly loving relationship with my body, especially my sacred center.
This entire area–the vulva, vagina, womb, hips–is where our feminine energy, intuition, creativity and connection to the Divine resides. It’s pure, pure pleasure. But we as women, as a culture, are so disconnected from this part of our bodies that our sensation is dulled, or we have recurring imbalances like yeasties, UTI’s and other miserableness.
I used to the be in the UTI camp; As a teenager, the UTI monster would rear its ugly head every time I had sex, held off peeing for too long, or looked at my vulva the wrong way. My coo coo kachoo wasn’t a source of joy–it was a source of pure, burning agony.
In many indigenous cultures, the womb and all her accoutrements were wisdom; If something was up down there, then something was going on in your life that needed clearing. Christiane Northrup, Louise Hay, Susun Weed and other women’s health biggies are resurrecting this wisdom to pay attention and listen to this sacred center. Anger, anxiety, trauma, oppression, and frustration can all manifest in this part of our bodies as dis-ease.
In fact, Susun Weed has a wonderful little poem in regards to the wisdom of your muffin:
“Don’t try to sit on your distress, dearest daughter,” cautions Grandmother Growth. “It will prove to be a hot, itchy, prickly, miserable seat, I can promise you.
When you try to deny what upsets you, when you sugarcoat your rage and drug your anxieties away, when you use your sexuality to please others and never to please yourself, when you are there for everyone but ignore your own needs, when you fear for your existence and the well-being of those you care for, your vagina gets distressed too.
And it distresses you with discharges and smells, pain and burning, dryness and inflammation. Be gentle with yourself, my darling. Be gentle with your vagina. It is not your enemy. It is your friend, reminding you to honor your womanhood, honor your body, honor your vagina.”
“Sit down and eat a bowl of yogurt. Trust your vagina. Listen to it.”
Read the rest of Susun Weed’s E-Zine about Vaginal Distress here.
Enter the Bajo. Or Yoni Steam. Or V-Steam. If there is a way to directly connect to your palomita, it’s this.
I had heard of this throughout my studies in traditional Latino herbalism–Rosita Arvigo is a huge proponent of them for preventative care–but never gave it a go until my teacher told me I needed one, stat. Let me tell you that it is the most relaxing, meditative, feel-good self-care practice that I’ve come across.
Bajos relieve tons of chronic menstrual and uterine issues, and are great about a week before your moon, or after you ovulate.
There are so many ways to prepare and do these. My method is an amalgamation of what my teacher has taught me and my own quick-n-dirty adaptations.
What You’ll Need
- A warm blanket
My teacher recommended that I used fragrant culinary herbs. They have more volatile oils with medicinal properties that the steam carries in and around your chichalone. It’s best to pick which smell and feel best to you–let your yoni be your guide!
Here are some great options:
- Rose Petals
Heat about a quart of water in a saucepan. Add the herbs, top with a lid (to keep all the oils from evaporating) and simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare your nest. Light a few candles, incense, turn the lights down low. Maybe put on some meditative music or have your journal handy. Put your phone away.
Back in the kitchen, pour your herb/water mix in a bowl. Take it to your space, and from here you have a couple options:
- Sit on the very edge of your bed with the bowl underneath you. Make sure you feel the steam in and around your nethers. Place a blanket that goes to the floor without any gaps so that you have a little sweatlodge under there.
- On the floor, stand on your knees and situate yourself so that the bowl is between your ankles. Grab your blanket and wrap it around yourself as you come into a child’s pose. Make sure the blanket comes to the floor with no gaps–again, think yoni sweatlodge. Place a block, rolled up blanket or a pillow under your forehead.
Be careful with the steam. It should be pleasantly warm, like a bath. If it’s too hot, wait a few minutes for the water to cool a bit.
I cannot express how enjoyable these are for me, but be open to your own experience. Notice what comes up as the steam relaxes you. I like to take deep breaths into my low belly and pelvic floor, and sometimes ask a few questions after I get settled: What do I need to know? What do I need to express? Maybe silence suits your more, or murmuring sweet, comforting words to yourself. Allow yourself to to stay as long as you need, preferably anywhere from 30-60 minutes or until the steam cools.
…And now you’re hooked.