You know exercise is important, so why not give your pelvic floor a workout? It turns out many of us could benefit from giving that area some attention. According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, nearly one-quarter of women have pelvic floor dysfunction.
In women, the pelvic floor, which is composed of muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, and nerves, supports the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. When the pelvic floor is dysfunctional, it can cause overactive bladder, defecatory disorders, and pelvic organ prolapse, among other issues.
So, what to do to keep this area functional and strong? Kegel exercises can help, but it can be difficult to know if you’re doing them correctly. Instead of doing Kegels in the dark, some women have turned to yoni eggs, semi-precious stones carved into an egg shape which are inserted into the vagina and act as an exercise tool.
At this point, you might be asking, do I really need to put that—there? If you’ve been confounded by the hubbub surrounding this Gwyneth Paltrow approved “trend”—as I was—keep reading. Because hype has a way of obscuring the voices of people whose stories can genuinely help others, I felt blessed to chat with Anna Judd, a yoni egg educator, about her personal experience with yoni eggs. It turns out they have much more to offer besides their (mighty) ability to help you strengthen your pelvic floor. Here’s what Anna had to say.
Yoni Egg 101: A Personal Experience
SL: How did you discover yoni eggs?
AJ: As these things typically happen, yoni eggs dropped into my lap at a time when I needed them the most. I was a serious long-distance runner at the time and had just finished running across America on foot, an effort which called for me to fully step into my masculine energy. For five months, I treated my body like a piece of farm equipment, and by the end, I was in need of serious healing. Also, I was looking for a way to step back into my femininity. I confided in a very beloved friend about this, and she told me about yoni eggs. I was intrigued, so I ordered some online, and started using them. This was about four years ago, when there was less information about yoni eggs out there, so I had to do a lot of research to find out how to use them properly. Eventually, I found some Taoist scholars who let me pick their brains, and they helped me develop exercises and meditations in line with traditional use. That’s when I fell in love with the practice, and decided to share it with other women.
SL: What are yoni eggs used for? What are some benefits you’ve experienced as a result of using them?
AJ: On one hand, you have the physical benefits of the practice: a stronger, healthier pelvic floor. This often translates into orgasms that are more frequent and intense; better blood flow and lubrication; increased sensitivity; and a tighter, stronger vagina. While you can get these same benefits by simply doing Kegel exercises, the yoni egg is useful because it moves upward when you contract the correct set of muscles, so you can actually feel when you are doing the exercises right. For women who have weaker pelvic floors, or who have lost sensitivity, having this gentle guide helps.
And, yes, there are spiritual benefits as well. It’s very much like yoga in that even if you’re only interested in the physical benefits, if you continue to practice, you will likely experience the emotional or spiritual ones as well. This is because the yoni egg practice is a moving meditation that draws our physical focus to healing the root and sacral chakra, and our spiritual focus to honoring our sexuality and femininity and healing our relationship with our body. Having a practice like this is incredibly empowering.
SL: Joseph Pilates called the lumbo-pelvic hip complex “the powerhouse” and after practicing with a yoni egg, that same word came to my mind, whether considered on the physical or philosophical level. How has using a yoni egg affected your spiritual growth?
AJ: The things in the way of my spiritual growth have always been: my perception of my role as a woman, shame around my sexuality, and the relationship I have with my body. Like most women, I've been deeply wounded by damaging beliefs that I've inherited from my upbringing and culture, and changing these beliefs takes incredible effort. Building a mindfulness practice that focuses solely on identifying, eliminating, and replacing these thought patterns with more empowering ones has been life changing. Very quickly, I started to see how much more energy and confidence I had when I wasn’t consumed with the question of whether I fit the mold of what was desirable or if I was worthy as a woman. For myself, the crux of empowerment is actually not having to think about my identity—which is to say, how other people define me—and having the freedom to just be in a creative, natural state. This is a huge gift the yoni egg practice has given me.
SL: How often do you use your yoni egg? Do you use it during exercise and meditation?
AJ: Generally, I think to start off, it’s good to practice for ten minutes a day, within a dedicated practice. Yoni eggs can be really fun to wear out to yoga, or on a run (if you’re feeling brave), but I think to really understand what’s happening in your body and “tune in,” it should be treated like a meditation practice, if you want to experience the full benefits. I practice with my yoni egg several times a week as a part of my meditation practice. I go through phases of using one every day, and then sometimes I’ll take a few weeks off. For me, it's a tool I can put away, and then come back to as needed. Sometimes I like wearing the yoni egg when I go for a run or to yoga, as it forces me to focus on my pelvic floor and core, which improves my form.
SL: What are some common misconceptions about yoni eggs?
AJ: Strangely enough, I think the most common myth about yoni eggs is one that’s spread around by yoni egg sellers themselves—that they’re magic rocks which will turn you into a juicy sex goddess overnight. Maybe if you believe this with all your heart, you will make it so, but for the most part, yoni eggs are tools. If the tool is used correctly, you will see benefits. There are other misconceptions, too, of course. A funny one is that the yoni egg will somehow get stuck or lost. Once you start to practice with a yoni egg, you realize how easy it is to simply push out. But even so, the yoni eggs I sell are drilled and strung with a cord for easy retrieval. Also, some people are worried about yoni eggs causing infection. I’ve been in business for years, and never have encountered this problem, or had a customer come back to me with this complaint. If you are hygienic and sterilize the egg before using it, you should be fine. That said, it’s never a bad idea to talk to your doctor before starting a practice.
Anna Judd is an artist and entrepreneur, and the owner of Keggel Yoni Eggs. She resides in Long Beach, California, where she creates large-scale oil paintings, runs her company, and works on a novel (slowly). You can learn more about yoni eggs @keggelyonieggs.
Photos courtesy of Anna Judd