How many of you stretch your psoas on a regular basis? A lot of us don’t even know what the psoas is, much less, how to stretch it or what it does. In today’s post, we are going to find out where this muscle is located, it’s many functions, and how to stretch and strengthen it.
The Iliopsoas is a muscle in the body that serves as the connector between the torso and the legs. This muscle has been getting a lot of attention lately, as it serves many different functions. “The Psoas Book”, by Liz Koch is one of many books that has been published about this fascinating muscle. Her book examines the effect of the psoas on the body, mind, and emotions.
“How could a muscle and our emotions be connected?”, you might ask. According to Yoga Journal, “Either emotional trauma or an ongoing lack of emotional support can also lead to chronically contracted psoas, and thus to a loss of core awareness.” Yoga Journal suggest learning to release your psoas to promote, “…a sense of relaxation and calm that can infuse all your activities”. This is a significant impact that our emotions can have on our physical bodies.
Now, lets identify where this muscle is in our body. As I said before, this muscle connects the torso and legs. The psoas is located behind our internal organs in our abdomen. Yoga International says, “the psoas originates from the lumbar vertebrae and forms a strip of muscle almost as big as a wrist along each side of the spine.” From the spine, they said it wraps down and around the front of the hips and attaches to the femur bone.
Now let’s talk about how to stretch and strengthen our psoas muscle. Our psoas muscle gets tight when it is continually contracted. This is when it needs to be stretched and lengthened. Yoga poses such as warrior 1 and lunge pose can stretch the psoas. On the flip side, if you need to strengthen your psoas, poses that contract your psoas will be beneficial. Try poses like padanghustasana (reclining big toe pose) or navasana (boat pose).
Now you know what, and where your psoas is, and understand how important a healthy psoas is to your well-being. Use these tips to keep your psoas strengthened and stretched.