The All Powerful Psoas!
I’ve practiced yoga for many years and have often heard references to the psoas (pronounced so-as) muscle. When practicing the other day I heard another reference to the psoas that intrigued me to look more into this important muscle.
The psoas is one of the largest muscles in your body. It extends from your mid-back to your quadriceps. It is the only muscle that connects your lower and upper body.
It is one of the first muscles to develop in womb. The “core” of development. The psoas is located in the first four chakras, which all relate to feminine energy.
It is often times referred to as your “hip flexors”.
The information I picked up the other morning — your psoas has more nerve endings on it than the brain! Your psoas interacts with your brain and nervous system. Its nerve endings also connect with your kidneys, heart, diaphragm and reproductive organs.
The psoas is your primary muscle that activates fight or flight. It instructs your nervous system to activate. By releasing and relaxing this massive muscle, you stimulate relaxation through your body and reduce both mental and physical stress.
Yoga Poses to Stretch Your Psoas
I know for me that my pelvis and lower back tend to get pretty sore, especially at ovulation and menstruation. This pain is likely related to the psoas muscle.
Loosening up the psoas can help hip and lower back pain.
Here are a few of my favorite yoga moves that help to relax and release the psoas muscle. (Click on the links for more detailed instructions on how to properly do each pose).
Pigeon Pose is one of my favorite yoga stretches. It is magic for loosing up the hips.
Tree pose is a great balancing pose that works the psoas. It is also a grounding, hip opening move.
Half Bridge Pose:
Half bridge pose helps stretch out both the hips and lower back.
Any back bend pose like this should be followed up with a forward movement.
I prefer child’s pose 🙂
On the Positive Side?
When I keep my yoga practice consistent I do notice an overall increased sense of well being with less physical discomfort.
When there is not time to do a full yoga practice, it is easy enough to do a few stretches for the psoas. I hope you, like me realize too just how key this muscle is to relieve both back and pelvic pain.
The psoas connects to your reproductive organs. So it makes sense to put focus on relaxing this muscle to improve the symptoms of endometriosis.
Do you practice yoga? Do you have additional poses you want to add? I’d love to hear from you…..