There is often a taboo associated with exploring one’s body and sexuality. Society likes to deem such as shameful or vulgar, reducing them to mere carnal pleasures. Of course, there is nothing wrong with seeking physical pleasures, but self-exploration is often an emotional and soulful experience as well. In a world that makes it so hard for us to accept ourselves, self-exploration is the key to embracing your mind, body and soul for all their flaws and wonders. After all, unless you learn to respect yourself the way you are, how can you make sure that others treat you respectfully? The first step to respecting yourself is to know yourself and accept the ways in which you find comfort. Not all of us are comfortable in the body we are born in, so it can be a struggle to seek your true self. However, with time, you will discover methods which help you connect with yourself and be in tune with your inner thoughts. It’s a gentle dance, this exploration and experimentation of identity, where you slowly fall in love with yourself along the way. It can be difficult to decide how you want to begin this journey. So, we are here to help you out by introducing one such self-exploration practice that may be what you are looking for. Today, we are going to tell you all about yoni massage therapy. What is yoni massage therapy? The first thing that you may be wondering is: what is yoni massage therapy? Well, yoni massage is a sensual tantric massage that focuses on the yoni i.e. the Sanskrit word for vagina. Yoni also loosely translates to mean “a sacred space” and thus, a yoni massage aims at treating your vulva and vagina as a place worthy of care and attention, along with your body as a whole. The purpose of yoni massage therapy is to connect with one’s body and inhabit its space fully. Since the practice focuses on massaging and stimulating various sensitive areas such as the vulva, vagina, breasts, clitoris, stomach, etc. it can meld into a form of mindful masturbation and lead to an orgasm. However, that is not the main goal of yoni massage therapy, because the first and foremost intention is to emotionally explore one’s body to reach a place of calm and comfort. It means focusing on the here and now, at various sensations happening in your body and how it feels as the energy flows between various parts. A yoni massage can be done alone, with a partner, or with the help of a professional. When with a partner, this can help build intimacy and trust between the partners. When done alone, it can be a patient practice where one’s focus is completely on themselves, without any pressure to perform for someone else. Hence, a yoni massage could be a way to explore your body in your time and space, seeking both soulful peace and/or pleasure, if you want. How to practice yoni massage therapy ? Now that you know what is yoni massage therapy, you might be wondering how you can get started. For the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on how to experience a yoni massage in your own hands. Before starting, remember to be open-minded about what you are about to experience. Don’t chain yourself with expectations to feel a certain way. The point of this activity is to proceed at your pace without any pressure. There is no perfect result that you have to achieve. As long as you are comfortable and happy, that is all that matters. Here are the simple steps that you need to follow: Settle in a comfortable atmosphere The very first thing you need to do, for yoni massage, is set up the room in a way that makes you feel relaxed. Fix the lighting as per the ambience you are going for, get those scented candles out if you need and prepare your favorite massage oil. Then, settle in with a pillow under your head and your hips, your knees up and bent, revealing the vagina, with your feet on the surface underneath you. This is the relaxing position from where you will begin your yoni massage. Focus on your breathing Start by connecting with your breath. Inhale and exhaling deeply and slowly, each breathe audibly as it passes through your body. Centre your mind as you focus on the feeling of your breath travelling through you. You will need to maintain your breathing throughout the yoni massage. If you know any specific breathing techniques which work the best for you, you can try those out. This is done so that you can ground yourself and become aware of what is happening in your body. The purpose of a yoni massage is to feel the energy of each sensation as it encompasses your body. Your mind should be centred on this moment, this space in which you occupy this body. Hence, you need to ground yourself using breathing techniques so you can make the most of all the yoni massage benefits. Start slow Even though the main focus of yoni massage therapy is the yoni i.e. the vagina, the trick is to ease into it slowly. Start by pouring some of the massage oil over your stomach and gently rubbing its curves and folds with your fingers. Go around your belly button, trace your abdomen and ribs, move between the breasts, but don’t touch them directly yet. Once your body starts responding more, move over to the breasts, slowly circling them before going over to the areola and massaging them gently. Don’t touch the nipples immediately. Instead, wait until your body begins to embrace the sensations and then, slowly pinch and circle the nipples, increasing and decreasing the pressure as per your comfort Move to the vulva Slowly, inch towards the vulva and start with the actual yoni massage. You can do this in many ways, such as by circling the outer tip of your clitoris with the tip of your finger, going clockwise and anticlockwise, changing the size kd the circles and alternating pressure. You can also cup your hand and place it over your vagina, slowly moving it in circular motions. Then, you can start to flatten it against your vaginal opening and then use your palm to massage the area. You can also choose to tap the clitoris using your finger, alternating rhythm and speed as per your body’s response. You can also try tugging the clitoris by gently holding it between the index finger and thumb, tugging it away from the body and releasing. You can do the same to the lower lips of your vulva i.e. the vaginal lips. Remember to be careful and gentle as you are doing the tugging and to also be patient with your body. Ultimately, it depends on your choice of comfort. You can pick one technique or a combination of a few or even find a whole new one which suits yourself the best. The point is to choose a way to ease your body into the sensations, without forcing or pressuring yourself in any way. So, if a method works for you, then it works and you should explore it to its fullest! Edging Remember that the point of a yoni massage is not orgasm, so you can choose to skip this if you aren’t comfortable. However, if you want to try it out, edging can be a great way to connect emotional and sensual pleasure. All you need to do is pull back just as you reach the brink of an orgasm, not allowing yourself to explode. When you are about to reach that peak, slow down and lighten your touches. During these cool-down periods, place a hand over your heart and breathe slowly, deeply, feeling the soft energy humming under your skin. Then, when you feel ready, start building up towards an orgasm again. You can choose to let yourself go this time or repeat the process over and over until the pleasure is maximised. Prolonging the orgasm will lead to a state of constant, ongoing waves of sensations, until you choose to burst and attain a new height of satisfaction. Trying it with a partner Though yoni massage does not need a partner, if you wish to share this experience with someone, you can. There are different positions to try for partners, such as sitting on their thighs and meeting eyes as you face each other or even spooning and breathing in unison. Experiencing a yoni massage with a partner is an intimate and emotional experience that can connect your mind, body and souls. There are also professionals who can assist you through your yoni massage therapy. Yoni massage benefits There are many yoni massage benefits that you can enjoy through this experience. Some of these are: You will be able to learn more about your body, its sensitive points and all the ways in which it responds. This can help you become more familiar with it. It helps in building a friendlier relation between the mind and the body as you emotionally experience the physical and understand yourself better in the process. It helps you relax and practice mindfulness in a unique way, with your mind letting go of its worldly burdens and stress to focus on the current moment and experience. It can help in breaking past internalised societal notions about self-exploration and view it from a place of comfort and positivity. It may also help in healing past sexual trauma and other such incidents. Embracing the art of self exploration Remember that self-exploration is your right and you deserve to know yourself the best. Sure, you may feel shy and awkward in those first few moments, but as time passes, this will turn into a powerful confidence that surges inside of you as you face the world. There is no shame in exploring your ways of expression and finding joy in them, be it through emotional, mental or sexual means. What matters is that you are being true to yourself and treating yourself with kindness and respect. At the end of the day, you are you and you can express, explore and experiment with that in any way you want.