Yoni Egg - WTF? WNC Woman Magazine Article
Yoni Eggs WTF?
A lot is being said about yoni eggs lately, both positively and negatively. A venerable 5000-year-old tradition, or a ridiculous celebrity trend? A few months ago, Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP promoted the use and recommendation of a jade egg (also called a yoni egg). This prompted much discussion, and a few flippant remarks.
Set of three sizes of Yoni Eggs
Let’s start with the word “yoni.” It is a Sanskrit term referring to a woman’s innermost sacred space. There is no American equivalent, as we only have medical or slang terms for the vulva/vagina/womb. Use of the words “snatch, twat, coochie, vag, vijajay, hoohoo, or whatever,” avoid, minimize, or even ridicule the energy and life giving qualities of the female core.
The word “Yoni” goes beyond just a physical description and embraces the mystical life-giving force of the feminine. It’s a reference in a sacred way, with respect to female anatomy. The honoring that can be a part of the jade egg practice is wonderfully refreshing. It is a lovely antidote to the shaming so often done to female sexuality. Naming with respectful language is essential to women developing, or regaining, a sense of wholeness and well being – Sacred. Holy. Wholly. Deserving of attention and respect.
The “yoni egg” or “jade egg” is an egg shaped hard stone, usually made from jade, or quartz based crystals, smoothed to a lustrous polish and kept in a silk pouch when not in use. The yoni egg has been used by women for thousands of years, beginning in China, and still used routinely in Doaist and Tantric practices. It is used for toning the vaginal/womb area by providing resistance for movements that stimulate and tone the four muscle groups that create the pelvic floor. The purpose of toning, or “kegeling,” is to strengthen the capacity of the pelvic floor for sexual activity, childbirth, and maintaining continence. The practice can enhance the intensity and ease of orgasm considerably! Additionally, it allows women to focus attention on their primary center of life force, of the energy that is said to rise there and circulate throughout the body for complete health and well being.
So many women have endured violations of their bodies. In recent studies of trauma, it seems that remnants of violation(s) remain in the mind and in body until they are transformed meaningfully. Being present and lovingly caring for oneself is a way of recovering the joy of one’s self.
Having a centering physical focus can help one rediscover their center. As with yoga, a flame or the breath are simple things to help center. A beautifully rounded or oval crystal stone can serve the same purpose, and provide resistance for working the four muscle groups of the pelvic floor. Intentionally working in the pelvis can bring up somatic memories, so preparing for the rising of pre-conscious material is essential if there has been a history of trauma. Having therapeutic support is highly recommended.
A woman’s sexuality is quite close to the core of her being. It is not her core, her innermost divine center, but it is close. It is the place where life is created, a sacred inner space. Yoni is a wonderful word that is beyond the mundane, beyond the medical, and beyond the negative attitudes that restrict a woman’s self-appreciation.
Choose a yoni egg – carefully – from only body safe materials. Jade is the traditional stone used, the heaviest and most expensive. Quartz based stones – clear quartz, rose quartz, and amethyst – are also appreciated by women for their perceived feminine energetic compatibility. Lapis Lazuli is an elegant choice as the stone is usually flecked in gold, a body safe material. Obsidian is volcanic, dense and black, and purposefully used if a woman has a lot of “dark matter” (anger to be processed with loving intention, safely).
There are egg-shaped stones that should not be used for yoni practices. Some are more porous, or have minerals that can be toxic, so be sure to verify the type and safety of the stone. Some gynecologists object to the porous nature of natural stone, and alternatives are tempered glass, medical grade silicone, high quality body-safe plastics, and stainless steel eggs. Ben Wa balls can be used in a similar manner. Bao Ding balls are intended to be hand exercisers and though sometimes mistaken for Ben Wa balls, they often contain chrome and should never be used internally.
There are online YouTube tutorials that show how to work with your stone, and there are also skilled professionals in Asheville with knowledge that they are delighted to share. Deborah Meitz is a medical doctor and a local Certified Tantra Instructor who offers classes in Yoni practices in the Goddess Underground at VaVaVooom.
Expect to be coached to start slowly in a lying down position, and gradually advancing into other positions, exercises, or the use of tugging or weights. Carrying the stone internally while you are up and about is possible, but usually takes a while to build up the four-muscle group strength to feel secure, and should not be attempted unless a strong tone has been achieved, otherwise, over-clenching to hold the egg in place can cause trouble. Limit time to your comfort level, and be caring and respectful of your body sensations to avoid any overwork or pain.
Both passing and deeply felt emotions may arise; let them come into awareness, and allow them to flow through, with acceptance and allowance of surging physical expressions as well. If you are overwhelmed, gently allow yourself to wind down. Very intense emotions can arise if you have been traumatized. The yoni egg can be used as a tool for processing trauma, but if a session is re-traumatizing, STOP, and seek professional assistance. If a loving and supportive partner is present, allowing that person to share your experience can be intimately and mutually satisfying.
If you are pregnant, may be pregnant, recovering from a pregnancy, or have an IUD, do not use an egg. Use during a moon cycle is somewhat controversial – inform yourself. Postmenopausal women are encouraged to use them with sufficient lubrication.
To cleanse a yoni egg, hand wash well with soap and water (don’t use the now-FDA banned tryclosan antibacterial soaps). Sterilize routinely by dropping into a coffee cup already filled with boiling water. Don’t boil the stone egg, however. If your yoni egg has a drilled hole with cord, use a clean piece of looped dental floss after thoroughly cleaning. Your yoni egg should be kept in a natural fiber pouch – like silk, linen or cotton – and never shared.
If you are more interested in the updated Americanized equivalent to this ancient technology, the Luna Bead by Lelo is highly recommended by medical professionals. It has a silicone band that holds two marble-centered balls, and can be worn throughout the day without worry of overworking the pelvic floor. For the very tech savvy, there are even kegel exercisers with apps that have programmed routines and feedback of progress.
The most beautiful thing about a yoni egg is that it encourages a focused, loving attention on a body area that, in our culture, is often ignored, degraded or ridiculed, and anything but honored. The act of honoring the yoni in this culture can be a radical act of defiaance, self-care, and self-acceptance.
Note: This is opinion and sharing of personal experience, and is not medical or psychological advice, and should not be taken as such.