This is a series of blogs about the ancient wisdom of Tantra and a personal journey of self-discovery through the body. Yoni is a Sanskrit word that means vagina and ‘Yoni massage’ is a sacred Tantric practice focused on massaging the vagina internally. The last blog discussed yoni massage as a self-practice and its potency on forming a deep relationship with the self through the body. In this blog, I will explore Tantric Yoni healing massage as part of a tantric session, how it works and its benefits.
“When I received a yoni massage for the first time I came across a ‘wall’ that felt impenetrable. A ‘metallic’ sensation of a different kind of ‘pain’ that was not just physical. My body could of course ‘stretch’ and has stretched before, but in that moment I felt tense and ‘impenetrable’. I felt a wave of shame, that took over my mind and brought me out of my body for a moment, but seemed like centuries. Was this shame my own? Then I heard the therapist calling “Are you still with me? Just focus on your breath and feel what is there”. He only had his pinky finger at the entrance of my yoni, barely even moving, when I felt a bubbling intensity starting from my cervix, taking over my pelvis, going up through my spine into my heart and coming out as a cry in emotional release.
Moments of emptiness were broken by memories of the past that resurfaced in that instant. I saw faces of men I had slept with (and apparently still held inside me even though I had no idea I did), and images from another ‘space and time’. I felt I was in a ‘no-time zone’. My initial emotional response which included crying, shouting, trembling, was followed by a deep feeling of peace, laughter, waves of electric energy and breath that felt orgasmic.
What brought me into the experience was not the parts of me that are expanded, balanced, stable, the adult that can make sense of things. It was all those that were broken, suffering, trembled in fear, shame, guilt, pain...Those parts of me that remained ‘dormant’ or suppressed at the ages of 3, 5, 12, 18...
His ‘finger’ served as a reflection; same as when I hug someone and get to ‘feel’ my own body because of the ‘density’ I come into contact. The space was held in response to my body, waiting in stillness until I was ready to proceed. I didn’t feel at any point that I was rushed, forced or expected to behave in any particular way.
I recall a moment of deep embodied understanding that pain, grief, fear, when fully felt, are replaced by joy and pleasure. A space of neutrality in between, just like the space between inbreath and outbreath. I started feeling unprecedented sensations inside my yoni and parts that felt like ‘new’. That was the first time I understood that the door for pain and pleasure is the same.”
‘Dissecting’ the experience; What is behind those ‘walls’?
Our body stores information of our experiences creating a cellular memory or ‘blueprint’. If we don’t have the tools, maturity or awareness to deal with traumatic experiences, emotions remain unprocessed in the body, ‘frozen in time’. This survival mechanism serves us to a certain extent. However, it also means that even when the stimulation is not there anymore, we keep acting like it is, repeating the same patterns. The brain registers traumatic experience as too painful and therefore creating numbness (desensitisation of nerve endings) and rigidity. This has an impact on the way we experience life as a whole, but also on our health and the way we relate socially and intimately.
Traumatic, or what I like to call ‘over stimulating’ experiences, can be direct or indirect. Examples of direct experiences would include sexual abuse, unwanted sex (even with our partners!) injury around the genitals, highly medicalised births (as in giving birth), medical procedures in general (even though necessary at times), emotional abuse, lack of affection growing up etc. Indirect experiences include what we absorb from our environment such shame and guilt around pleasure, projections around sexual organs as something ‘dirty’, parents fighting, or any trans-generational belief systems and ‘taboos’ that are not congruent with what is ‘natural’ to our species (I could write a whole article on this!).
An important note here about sensory stimulation is that what we perceive as ‘normal’ or tolerable in adulthood, might not be perceived the same way when we are children. Being shouted at, bullied or punished could very well be a source of ‘trauma’ stored deeply in the body.
How this plays out in a woman’s life
Every woman holds some sort of ‘hidden’ or not so hidden ‘walls’ coming from traumatic experiences and can have an effect on all levels: physical, mental and emotional. Difficulties reaching orgasm, low libido, fertility or menstrual problems, body shame or low self esteem, painful sex, fear of intimacy, attracting toxic relationship dynamics, ‘not being good enough’, all these are some examples of how stored trauma in the yoni can play out. The tricky part is when certain behavioural patterns such as ‘this is who I am’, are adopted, whilst a deeper aspect of us really knows there is more to this!
Reversing trauma through Tantric therapeutic massage
Tantric healing massage looks at the being as a whole and takes you on a ‘journey’ through your own body. The breathing techniques used provide a bridge between the conscious and the subconscious giving space for unprocessed emotions, stored deeply in the cellular memory, to surface up. The slow speed of touch together with focused attention provide a container for the brain to catch up with the input creating new brain pathways and reversing the impact of traumatic experiences.
Yoni massage as part of a tantric session
In Tantra all parts of the body are viewed in the same way and treated with the same respect. The pelvic area and genitals, due to social conditioning, are believed to hold 80% of blocked emotions! Working directly on the yoni (and the equivalent male version - the lingam) with specific tantric techniques and without any expectation brings about profound healing! The yoni is actually the most sensitive part of a woman’s body and yet it is not treated this way! Being so sensitive means that it gives a woman the opportunity to experience intense pleasure but it also means that it ‘shuts down’ easily if not treated the right way. This is not a ‘blaming statement’; learning how the yoni needs to be touched has to start from a woman herself!
What happens in a session
A tantric healing session is a journey into yourself and it is entirely for you! It starts with a consultation to identify the level of comfort, boundaries, medical history and what you want to work with. The Tantric healing therapist explains the whole process and shares some tantric techniques that will be used during the bodywork part of the session. Yoni massage may or may not be part of a tantric session, depending on the level of comfort of each woman. It may take a few sessions before she feels confident to go deeper. It is important to know that Yoni massage is always performed as part of a full tantric bodywork session and not on its own! During the bodywork, even when consent for a yoni massage is given, the therapist always asks before approaching the yoni.
The woman determines the pace of the session, and an experienced practitioner should know how to follow her ‘waves’, when to slow down and when to stop. There are no expectations other than providing space for the experience to unfold.
The healing process is unique for every woman
I have worked with women who cried, laughed, screamed ‘I am scared to let go’, ‘I hate him’, ‘I love him’ or ‘no one will touch my body with anything else but love’, then having orgasmic waves running through their entire body or resting peacefully before the next ‘wave’. Sometimes, it is enough to approach the entrance of the yoni, not even moving the slightest bit, for a woman to start feeling what is there to be felt. At times, emotions come one after the other, while other times there is total silence. This journey may bring up memories, emotional or physical responses according to the ‘buttons’ that are pressed. The whole purpose of tantric massage therapy including yoni massage is to expand the boundaries not to forcefully break them. When pain, fear, guilt, shame, grief is fully felt, the body returns to its original state of ‘being orgasmic’. This is how the emotional wiring of a woman's body is restored to its ‘primary setting’.
Choosing the right tantric therapy practitioner for you
The key to choosing the right practitioner for you is trust and safety. Even though the tantric yoni massage technique may be very similar across different schools of tantric therapy, the practitioner comes to ‘play a role’ for the healing journey of the receiver. Also receiving from a male or female may also be a factor to consider. For some women it is more comfortable to receive a yoni massage from a woman before being able to open up to receive one from a male practitioner. In my opinion it is important to receive a yoni massage from both female and male practitioners as it has different things to offer in the healing process.
Going through that initial ‘resistance’ for a yoni massage
The first layer of resistance, definitely comes down to a mindset filtered through social conditioning. Why is it more acceptable for a woman to have a clinical vaginal examination by a gynaecologist, where she holds her breath, squeezes her whole body and does everything she can to ‘relax’ in the 5 minutes that she has to get to know the person before having to get undressed and open her ‘legs’?
When I initially came across tantra, even during my training to become a tantric bodywork therapist, I had my own personal hang-ups around this work. I kept coming across doubts and resistances particularly when I was receiving (or giving) sessions to men. However, other women may feel resistance to the idea of receiving a yoni massage in general.
Every time I decided to give into the process, I could recognize the gift of reflection yoni massage gives. I came face to face with some deeply rooted belief systems surrounding sexuality, gender and my experience in a woman's body. However, there is a difference between resistance that means a clear ‘NO’ and resistance that means ‘I am at my edge’ and I just need to go for it because something big awaits for me on the other side’!
It is absolutely vital to rewire our sexual blueprint in order to access the full potential of our experience in a human body and start loving being in our skin! Yoni massage is one of the most direct and profound ways I came across that gives access to the depth of healing required to counterbalance centuries of abuse, suppression of sexuality or feeling unsafe being in the body just because it happened to be a woman! In my next blog on Yoni Confessions I will be discussing the role of Tantra in ‘Sexual Healing’!