In Part 1, I described the anatomy and function of the pelvic diaphragm.  Now I’ll talk about how to take healing into your own hands and care for your pelvic diaphragm before any problems arise, or reverse the tension or weakness that you are currently experiencing.

Unfortunately, due to shame, fear or embarrassment, many people suffer in silence with pelvic floor dysfunction, which left untreated will only worsen over time. Even more troubling is the fact that when people do seek help, they may be given bad advice from professionals untrained in the area of pelvic floor health.  The best advice is to seek out a pelvic floor physiotherapist, or a certified Yoga Tune Up® teacher.

When the pelvic floor is weak and unable to properly support the lower abdominal organs, it can result in incontinence of the bladder or rectum, prolapse of an organ causing pain or discomfort, weak muscles supporting the vagina or prostate – affecting sexual pleasure and function, and even inefficient respiration and a general lack of core strength and stability.  When the pelvic floor is hypertonic and tight due to too much “clenching”, it can result in pain, restricted movement, constipation, urinary retention, vaginismus (excessively contracted vagina causing pain during intercourse) and poor breathing mechanics.  (In this case – no Kegels! – lengthen PF muscles)  Also, imbalance and dysfunction in the pelvic floor muscles can refer pain anywhere in the body!

Here are some great exercises helpful in maintaining or strengthening your pelvic floor.

“Tune Up Tadasana” Posture!  Get brain over heart, ribcage over pelvis – breathe.

SQUAT! – breathe – relax pelvic floor (if PF weak –pull up gently on exhale, relax on inhale)

Uddihyana Bandha –connect respiratory & pelvic diaphragms, massage abdominal viscera

Happy Baby – pry open the pelvic floor, encourage sacral nutation, cultivate awareness

Baddhakonasana – stretches pelvic floor and adductors

Adductor Slides – strengthen inner thigh muscles and pelvic floor

Frog Crawls/Frog at the Dock – open pelvic floor and hips

Moon Rises Minivini – external and internal hip rotation

Savasana – Breathe, Relax and Renew – down-regulate nervous system

In addition to these pelvic floor exercises, roll out with you Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls – special attention to hips and buttocks, lower back, feet and lower legs.  Also, you can try very gentle compression on the perineum with a soft, “broken-in” ball, and soft cushioning under the ball.

Finally, get to know your body – all of it – including your perineum, your pelvic diaphragm and all adjacent and related muscles.  Learn how to isolate and differentiate between the actions of these muscles, and how to feel and control contraction and relaxation of them.

For help with this:

Find a Yoga Tune Up® teacher in your area and start tuning up!

Julie Wiebe PT – YouTube channel – watch “The Fit Floor” parts 1,2,3 and “The Core Machine: Gears Gotta Move”

Katy Bowman –

Blandine Calais-Germain – “The Female Pelvis- Anatomy and Exercises”

Watch our free Quickfix videos.

Learn about our Therapy Ball Programs

Lynda Jaworski

I first began practicing Hatha yoga over 16 years ago (at age 35) and experienced the benefits so deeply I felt compelled to certify and teach. I completed a 250 hour teacher training with Maureen Daigle of Innerquest Yoga - Kripalu tradition, and continued my studies through annual workshops and trainings in a variety of styles – Kundalini, Yin, Vinyasa and Therapeutic. I owned and operated “Yoga Break" for ten years (outside Toronto) prior to re-locating (in 2011) to The Sultanate of Oman. In 2012 I became a certified Yoga Tune Up® Teacher and I continue to train with Jill Miller today. As a YTU teacher, I am excited to offer classes grounded in anatomy, exploration and self-care; classes that create positive and lasting structural changes in the bodies of my students!

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I love this blog as a way to understand from the perspective of prevention and also how to help people should they need it after the fact. it’s so frustrating the more personal trainers don’t encourage people to talk about this and the importance of strengthening the pelvic floor, especially for women. I’ve been in HIIT classes and women joking that they can’t do jumping jacks or they’re pee their pants and the jokes just continue rather than actually teaching people how they can reverse it. Great examples of YTU poses that can help!


Thanks for thé séquence .. i ça y était to truc it for myself since i have Been struggling to gent my body back for a few year now.

Amélie Savard

Wow thanks! These ideas will be useful to me in my teachings with my student mothers among others!

Beth Prandini

Hi Lynda, I am wondering if you yourself experienced this leakage when working out at any time in your life?

Jill D Sansom

I was happy to read that so many accessible shapes from the yoga world, as well as the YTU program can assist with maintaining a healthy PF. When I first read the title and saw SQUATS I thought that might have been the primary pose / action to do. Though I do know I probably need more of these for multiple reasons, so I will add more of these in to my practice.

Véronique Lamothe

I will introduce these YTU exercises in my post-natal classes this fall. Thank you.

Véronique Lamothe

Women are too often unaware of the importance of this muscle. In my group classes, I often hear that women train with a sanitary napkin. We need to educate our students about this. Post-natal fitness should, in my opinion, be focused on this area of ​​the body first and foremost.

Myriam Goulet

As for my personnal story I had much more results doing exercices like squats and abdominals than the Kegel’s. Those are great tips, thanks


Thanks for all the tips on the poses to help strengthen the pelic floor ✨


Thanks for the sequence which addresses the pelvic floor in manifoldly ways.

Bonnie Bloom

thanks for both articles and this list of poses to work with. I feel like someone should mention that people need to be gentle and consistent in working with the PF. Being an impatient warrior going at it intensely won’t help. consistency is essential.


I was very interested to find that you could roll out your perineum with a broken-in ball. One reason I first purchased the acuball was that Dr. Cohen had talked about it being able to release the pelvic floor and I couldn’t figure out how to do it with the YTU balls. Thank you for the helpful sequence. As the pelvic floor helps us to breathe, I assume if we release the pelvic floor, we breathe better, too.

Jenna Mitchell

Great article with helpful suggestions


So excited about this article and repertoire of movements, although it is sad to notice the misconception of relation between having a weak pelvic floor or one that is too tense and the exercises that are being given. I find this is a subject that is not addressed enough, so thank you for sharing.

Alison Quinn

Thank you for offering up more poses than just the squat as a way to connect with and strengthen/lengthen the pelvic floor muscles. I will definitely be incorporating some of these poses into my sequences for my prenatal classes – these ladies definitely need to know a lot about the pelvic floor in order to prepare for birth as well as heal postpartum.

Steven Custodio

Great suggestions on what to practice to maintain an healthy pelvic floor, I like that you added the “Tune Up Tadasana” which I learned this week in class ans engaging the tubular core also get’s the job done. I would add some pranayama breathing engaging the mula banda.


What a wonderful article! Health of the pelvic floor isn’t discussed enough in general. Your article was a great reminder to take more time to practice exercises and poses that are beneficial for the pelvic floor. The list of poses is fantastic. Thank you!


Is there a video on how to properly squat?

aniela eva

Very and happy and excited that this is being written about. So helpful and looking forward to incorporating these exercises into my routine!

Eva Roig

Indeed, so important for our lives when we sit so much.
What about perineal scarr tissue following childbirth? Any information on stitching resulting in misalignement of superficial tissue or underlying muscles? To my sense, this would create some imbalance whatever rolling balls or movement we practice.
Thanks for sharing.

Laurel Crane

There is never enough information on pelvic floor health.

Athena Vassilatos

This sequence is a great way to introduce a class to pelvic floor exercises and at the same time inform them about the pelvic floor and the possible problems as you mentioned. If we can inform more people, it will help in the education and reduce the embarrassment .


Awesome sequence of poses! Thank you for outlining some of the ways people can experience pelvic floor dysfunction and explaining why kegels are not always the answer. We do a great service to our communities by talking more about this.


Thank you Lynda for this educational article. You are right when you say we do not talk about this enough. This is such a personal issue and one that I feel we are afraid to discuss, but education is power! This is just as important as strengthening the obvious blind spots in our body. I will be incorporating the exercises you listed above into a regular routine. Some of which I wouldn’t have even thought of as exercises to strengthen the PF.

Marie streich

Thank you for the wonderful list of poses that are beneficial for the pelvic floor. It’s nice to see that you paid attention to the fact that some people need this area to be stronger and tighter while others may need to loosen up a bit. It’s all about balance ! I will definitely be using these moves in my future classes, this is a sensitive yet very important subject !