Heart Of The Flower: The Book Of Yonis
What if you could see what other – real – women’s intimate body parts look like, in beautifully photographed illustrations?
The Book Of Yonis is an unflinching exploration of the beautiful diversity of women’s genitals, free of judgment, shame and embarrassment.
Fifty everyday women posed for up-close and personal photographs that show their genitals from many different and rarely seen angles. Each woman writes candidly with wit, wisdom, passion, even despair, about her relationship with her vulva.
The book brings into light the ins and outs of the female sexual anatomy, and demystifies and challenges the way society views women’s genitals and sexuality.
Heart of the Flower is designed to normalise and celebrate diversity at a time when labial reconstructions have reached an all-time high and women’s body image is at an all-time low.
It is a beautiful gift or addition to your bookcase or coffee table, and the perfect way to celebrate the heart of the flower that is woman.
In this rare and informative book, Andrew Barnes and Yvonne Lumsden have brilliantly captured a new awareness and awakening of the fragility, vulnerability and beauty of the female genitalia. This book will no doubt shift the consciousness of societies perception of ‘the yoni’ , not only as the representation of ‘the symbol of life’ but as the ‘Womb of the Universal Goddess’. This book is a must for any woman open to exploring and deepening her understanding of her feminine essence and to every man who is ready to be fully embraced by the “Heart of the Flower”. – Cathy Wood The Sanctuary of Tantra.
Why Heart of the Flower?
Many women have not seen another woman’s yoni, and wonder if their own looks ‘normal’ or whether it should be hidden and ignored. Or they may be one of an increasing number of women viewing pornography on screen or in magazines. Inevitably, comparisons arise and what most men and women don’t realise is that many images of vulvas have been photoshopped to look a particular way.
Here in Australia, our censorship laws have made it illegal to show a woman’s outer labia unless it is in a ‘classified’ section. The message this gives to women is that their natural body is not acceptable! It’s no wonder then that increasingly, women are going off to surgeons to discuss cosmetic genital surgery. The before and after photos they are shown will ‘sell’ them on the idea that they were not born perfect and their self-esteem becomes inextricably linked with the appearance of their genitalia.
There was a call to action from Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Liao and Consultant Gynaecologist Dr Creighton in the UK that in light of the increasing numbers of women seeking cosmetic genital surgery that women needed to see more positive imagery of what other women’s genitals looked like. Andrew and I answered the call and co-created Heart of the Flower – the book of yonis.
You have created something really special with this book. It is a spiritual experience every time I sit down and read/look at it. I feel blessed to have known of it when it is first released. Thanks for letting me be part of that. A book to pass down and around. Much love. – Di
A personal message from Yvonne Lumsden, co-creator
I prefer to refer to our vaginas and vulvas as a ‘yoni’ – which can be loosely translated in Sanskrit as ‘divine passage’. From inception, I’ve referred to our book as a female entity and usually call it ‘her’ or ‘she’.
This book has a profoundly heartfelt reason for being and serves a number of noble purposes. Young women curious to learn more about their bodies in relation to other women’s can do so in a healthy and empowering way. Young men will also learn about the beauty and diversity of women’s intimate anatomies.
Heart of the Flower is somewhat of a reference tome.
The Heart of the Flower, the book of yonis is a powerful collection of personal experiences relayed anecdotally and with unbridled honesty. She serves as a catalyst to open communication between parents and their growing children at the appropriate time. She is to be gifted between friends and lovers, presented with heartfelt sincerity and love. She is a self-empowerment tool, the collective muscle, heart and soul of fifty inspiring women who stepped forward in their power and vulnerability.
Heart of the Flower is also an invaluable book for professionals working with men and women where issues of sexuality, body image, and past trauma may be being discussed.
In Westernised societies, amidst other forms of female genital cosmetic surgery, the uptake of labia reduction surgery is especially on the increase. There is no reason to suppose that the labia minora have become larger or more prone to diseases in recent years. Neither is there any evidence that surgery is being carried out to address recognised pathology. Rather, there is every reason to believe that the increasing prevalence of surgery has something do with women and girls’ increasing dissatisfaction with their genitalia. The hairless, smooth and tucked-in female genital appearance is being aggressively promoted. That many healthy women and girls believe their genitals to be ‘abnormal’ and require surgical ‘correction’ should come as no surprise. The infantilising aesthetic grossly distorts the reality of wide variations in adult female genital configurations -variations
Key features of Heart of the Flower
- Over 150 exquisite images of yonis photographed from rarely seen angles
- Personal stories shared by women and men
- Detailed anatomy and physiology information with real life photos
- Hear how women describe their different kinds of orgasms
- Cutting edge information about the historic, religious and medical views of sexuality that have shaped our beliefs about our bodies over time
It’s funny because as someone who sees Yonis on a daily basis the images were not by any means a surprise or shock for me. Yet the different angles along with each lady’s words made me view them again from a totally different way. All in all I think this book should be the bible for all woman (especially younger women) to eradicate any fear or uncertainty, and almost more importantly for men. – Natalie, 22, beauty therapist
Own Heart of the Flower, the book of yonis
Heart of the Flower is a high quality production hardcover book with 164 full colour pages. At 295mm (11.61 inches) x 245mm (9.64), and weighing 1.25 kilograms (2.75 pounds). She is much larger and heavier than your average paperback, so we please ask that you understand the extra costs associated with postage. This book is truly worth it.
More reviews from professionals…
Thank you for sending me your very artistic book. I must say I did sympathise with the intent thereof and think you have produced a beautiful work which does indeed show the “natural” variation in terms of female genitalia. As I expressed in the press recently, I am most concerned about the potential impact of air brushed and “doctored” images of women generally and more particularly with respect to pornographic images which air brush genitalia and the impact on susceptible women who might construe these as somehow the “yardstick” to which they should also aim. The implications for people seeking genital surgery even at a young age are no doubt well known to you so I can only say that my belief is that government should legislate for any airbrushed or doctored images have a bi-line stating that they have been airbrushed. I believe that your book does strike a good balance in terms of its artistic look and would be useful educationally to women in general and practitioners more specifically. – Professor David Jonathan Castle, Consultant Psychiatrist
This recent publication of this handsomely bound and lavishly illustrated volume represents an attempt to portray female genitalia as being of diverse shape, size, pigmentation and hirsuteness. In doing this, it provides useful education in a somewhat taboo area, as many women, both young and old, have little idea of the range of normal for anatomical variation for their labia minora and majora, and other parts of their external genitalia. This book illustrates with photographs, which are sensitively and imaginatively done, a variety of genital shapes and sizes, along with descriptions by their ‘owners’ attesting to the utility and normalness of their genitalia and their particular shape. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has expressed concerns about the numbers of women undergoing cosmetic vaginal surgery, sometimes in the mistaken belief that their genitals are somehow abnormal. Books such as these can provide information on a range of normal, and reassurance for a woman that her anatomy is normal, and nothing to be ashamed of, or anything that would require surgical remediation, assuming that its functioning was normal. The way that the book has been produced is to link the shape of genitalia with floral parallels, comparing genital shapes to other shapes in nature, emphasising their naturalness. For women, this may also help them in realising that, as flowers and fruit change shape as they grow and bloom, female genital shape may also change, often after life events such as puberty, vaginal birth or menopause. More education in this area for woman is long overdue, and this book fills a niche in this regard. – Dr Ted Weaver, Fellow, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
More reviews from readers…
Both my husband and I thank you. For inspiring us to learn more about our connection to each other. We read your book together, I was honestly overwhelmed with the sincerity my husband expressed about how he sees my yoni. We agree it has enlightened us in our understanding of each other and will enrich our relationship. I am truly excited about the journey of life together. And blessed to have found this now, and not in 10 or 20 years. Also as parents this book will give our daughters the gift of loving themselves, of understanding how a man and a women should see the world of love and love making. Truly with heartfelt gratitude, We Thank you.
Just in these last two days I have given my own yoni more attention and loving thoughts than I ever have and am finally seeing that part of me as a place of beauty instead of a functional part of my anatomy. What a gift. Thankyou! – Natarsha
Came across this amazing book through a beautiful sista of mine and then had the opportunity to share it with my soon-to-be-woman daughter. I watched her start reading it with a fair bit of uncomfortableness that rapidly changed to absolute fascination and awe and seeing the beauty. Thank you for creating this amazing beautiful book! X LOVE X – Stace
I have 5 daughters….when I received the book only one of my daughters had her flow. Then, a couple of months later my second daughter got her first flow. We had a beautiful moon ceremony for her, her two best friends came and some Aunties and cousins and her Nanna. I brought out the book at the end of the night when it was my daughter and her two best friends having some quiet time together. They were a little bit shy and reluctant at first. But after we had looked through it for a while they were leaning right forward, looking in wonder. I asked them afterwards ‘That wasn’t so bad was it?’ And they said ‘No!’ They had really enjoyed it. And it opened up other avenues of discussion. I was so proud and excited to have this book to share with these young women. I fully recommend this book to anyone….it really has been a gift and such a positive tool for self-empowerment! I am actually in training to hold Moon Ceremony’s for girls and I will be utilising this tool for that. My full gratitude to Yvonne and Andrew….Love you both! – Beau, 34
I have only just started Heart of the Flower but I wanted to say how stunningly beautiful it is. I am in awe of all the women who shared such intimacy. This book is for every woman and the men who love them, it’s for every daughter, sister, mother and grandmother. Thank you XXXX – Lisa
I’ve had 30 years of therapy, psychiatry and reading this book has been the most healing thing that could happen to me. I can’t tell you how it’s helped me and how important it’s been to me. It’s wonderful. Every woman should own a copy. – Deb