For this month's We Heart, we are so excited to bring you something a little different. We're introducing you to Kitara—the creators of the Kitara Love Yoni Steam Sauna, a vaginal steamer that brings elegance, comfort, and ease to your in-home yoni steaming practice.
What is Yoni Steaming?
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 ).
What are the benefits of Yoni Steaming? Benefits include:
- Routine health maintenance (steaming after a period assists in a complete uterine cleanse.)
- Fertility issues (steaming restores normal periods for optimum fertility)
- Fibroids and cysts (steaming releases them without surgery)
- ↑ Pleasure (↑ blood flow, ↑ sex drive, ↑ libido, ↑ lubrication, restored sensitivity)
- Postpartum care (steaming helps remove afterbirth, heals scarring, and addresses prolapse by rebalancing the organs in the body).
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 the team 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.
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.
Isn’t the uterus a naturally cleansing organ?
Yes, it is! In fact, all of our organs have a natural ability to cleanse. And just like we drink certain teas to help out the liver when we want to offer extra detox support or just like we eat some extra fiber as a nod to aiding the colon or just like we use a beautiful exfoliating rub to help the skin shed layers no longer needed, women can steam to assist the natural cleanse of the uterus.
With the onslaught of stressors and toxins that are ubiquitous in our modern life, many ailments affecting women are so common they are misunderstood as normal. However, though common, painful periods, missing cycles, fibroids and cysts, endometriosis, and brown blood before and after periods are not expressions of optimum health. These are signs that the uterus could benefit from additional support and vaginal steaming is an ancient practice used to assist and balance the uterus’s natural ability to cleanse.
Meet the founder – Kit Murray Maloney
For twenty years Kit’s been an activist, academic, and entrepreneur committed to channeling her passion for gender equity into a celebration of women’s embodiment. She’s earned a Masters degree in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and has been featured widely in the media, including Glamour, Self, and Bustle.
She is also the founder of O’actually & The Pleasure Pledge, two ventures honoring women’s sexual pleasure (and orgasms!) for safety, healing, and empowerment. Marie Claire named Kit an “Amazing Woman” for her work celebrating women's sexuality.
Kit's certainly no newbie to talking about taboo, exploring alternative healing modalities, and championing yoni bodied wisdom. And yet…
Even after seeking out vaginal steam sessions and loving the practice, Kit herself was a bit eye rolley about the whole thing. (Patriarchy’s grasp is strong!)
However, after further study of the vaginal steaming's global history, witnessing countless stories of healing, and reviewing tested science and data, Kit was completely hooked. Known for her relentless curiosity, unshakable commitment to women's safety and empowerment, and infectious laugh, Kit set out to learn everything she possibly could about vaginal steaming.
She embarked on a certification course to become a Vaginal Steam Practitioner and transitioned fully from being a skeptic to a trained specialist.
Then Kit realized, without easy access to the products needed for safe and easy vaginal steaming, the practice would struggle to reach yonis far and wide. So with her unique blend of feminism, creativity, and determination, Kit set off to create a venture to spread the love (and healing.)
Thus was born Kitara, a consumer brand for honest, knowledgeable, and holistic menstrual and uterine health.
The team at Kitara is offering our Annmarie Skin Care community an amazing, discounted price on their In-Home Vaginal Yoni Steam Sauna when you shop via this link. They're also adding in a free Gentle Herb blend to add to your steaming practice for our customers. Get yours here!