How to Find Your Pelvic Floor for Mula Bandha

4 min read

Try being fully aware of your pelvic floor. Can you feel it? Are you sure? Many people can’t consciously find, engage, and relax this important group of muscles.

It is vital for breathing, balance, and posture. The pelvic floor is essential for the bladder, bowels, and sexual and reproductive functions. Keeping things in (like babies, organs, and urine) plays a role. However, regardless of age, a little peeing when you laugh is not inevitable. We don’t usually pay attention to the pelvic floor until there is a problem.

Sexual dysfunction, incontinence, and chronic back pain are all associated with pelvic floor problems. You can help prevent or treat such problems by becoming more aware of the area.

In yoga, the pelvic floor is viewed in the context of the root chakra (Muladhara in Sanskrit), a concept that relates to sexuality and stability.

Mula Bandha involves engaging the pelvic floor muscle to build vitality and lock in energy. You will feel more confident when you learn my tips on how to access the pelvic floor.

Basic Anatomy & Physiology

Let’s start with some anatomy. This picture was painted as if you were looking down at the pelvic bowl from above to highlight the main muscles of the pelvic flooring. You can see the muscles going in different directions, weaving and overlapping to create strength.

Imagine that the pelvic floor is a basket of woven fibers that hold all the vital organs. For it to work, the pelvic floor must be both strong as well as movable.

This balance is important because the body moves in a natural rhythm. In a relaxed and healthy breath, for example, the abdominal diaphragm, which is located just below your lungs and directly above your vital organs, moves up and down freely. It should be able to move in harmony with the pelvic floor, also known as the pelvic diaphragm.

The diaphragms of the abdomen and pelvis move downwards as you inhale. This allows the lungs to expand. You can feel the organs moving down and out when you breathe deeply.

Both diaphragms will move upwards as you exhale. Your pelvic floor will relax in a bowl-shaped position with your inhalation and then lift when you exhale. Let’s practice this in our bodies by increasing awareness, using the lift trick, and engaging intentionally.


First, you can increase your awareness of the area. Focus your attention on the base of the pelvic bowl by sitting tall. As you breathe, become an observer of how your pelvic floor naturally oscillates.

Imagine and feel your pelvic floor naturally descend to make room for your organs and breath. Feel the pelvic muscle lift gently as you exhale. Close your eyes for a moment and watch. To feel this subtle effect, you will need to concentrate and visualize. You can still try it if you’re not sure. Try trick 2.

The Lift Trick

It was this trick that made me finally “get it”! Bring your hands to the seat or floor behind you while sitting up straight. Press down as you exhale so that your hips rise a few inches. You may notice that your pelvic floor is likely to engage when you lift. You may feel a slight lightness.

Conscious Engagement

Imagine that you’re pausing the flow midstream of urine. This is the classic way to engage your pelvic floor. Do you feel a lift?

On the advice of Rebecca Postuma, M.D., who is both a pelvic reconstruction surgeon and yoga teacher, I would like to go a bit deeper. This method brings attention to the posterior portion of the pelvic flooring. She suggests imagining holding in a fart. You can feel the lifting.

Hold for a couple of moments. Be sure to breathe and avoid squeezing the butt cheeks. It is subtle and internal. Imagine releasing your fart slowly in slow motion while relaxing the pelvic floors with control. Then, do this 3-4 times before shifting back to simply allowing the pelvic flow during relaxed breath.

You can use these tricks to develop your awareness, mobility, and subtle strength in the pelvic floor muscle. Be gentle and breathe while performing these tricks or engaging Mula Bandha during an asana practice or meditation.

You have gone too far if you’ve ever had a squished-up sour facial expression. Be sure to relax in the area as well.

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