By: Rebecca Rondone of Pura Vida Yoga in Maryland
Your Psoas is the GPS for your transformation and healing. When fully present and liberated your psoas is a center of AWAKENED BEING vs DOING.
The Iliopsoas Defined
More commonly shortened and referred to as the psoas, iliopsoas refers to the joined psoas and iliacus muscles. It is known as the strongest muscle of the hip flexor grouping. It originates in the upper vertebra of the lumbar spine and then attaches to the lesser trochanter of the femur (a small prominence near the head of the thigh bone). It is the only muscle that connects the lumbar spine to the lower body and has a large impact on a persons posture, optimal performance in physical movement, and even your mood. Under stress however, The Psoas Muscle is the main muscle that responds to the Sympathetic Nervous System during the Flight, Fight, Freeze response in the body. When under mental or emotional stress, the psoas contracts and curls up, a little like a slug being sprinkled with salt.
When the psoas is tight, it might be felt in backbends like Ustrasana (Camel pose) or with the lumbar spine hyperextended. As a result, to lengthen the psoas, think about postures that open up the front line of the body. To strengthen the psoas, consider poses wherein the front of the thigh is actively moving towards the front of the abdomen—or more subtly, using the psoas to hold the pelvis in neutral. In a gentle yet illuminating and uplifting yoga class or a home practice that incorporates some of psoas openers you may:
- Discover how to liberate your personal psoas muscle to reduce pain and stress and inspire awakening.
- Heal patterns of flight, fight or freeze in the muscle and nervous system.
- Enjoy the juicy, succulent, liberated and fully recovered qualities of a fully present Psoas.
Try Boat Pose — Navasana
In navasana, the psoas works on both sides to bring the legs and spine into a V position while keeping the spine long and the legs straight. If you begin to lose the V, bend your legs at the knees to draw the torso up again. Through some yoga and breath work to tone and specialize in the psoas release you may experience more freedom, greater flexibility, and illumination in your body, mind, and spirit again.
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