The psoas muscle could be one of the most important muscles in your body. In addition, it is a core-stabilizing muscle, which is located near your hip bone. In other words, this muscle stretches from your legs to your spine. It flares out from the T12 vertebrae, follows down the 5 lumbar vertebrae, and then attaches to the top of your thigh bone.
It is responsible for physical stability, flexibility, joint function, structural balance, mobility, etc. This muscle helps keep your body moving and upright as well as allows you to connect to the present moment particularly when it is stretched out.
Moreover, it is involved whether you practice yoga, dance, bike, run, or simply hang out on your couch. This happens as your psoas muscles are the main connectors between your legs and your torso. This muscle affects your posture and helps stabilize your spine.
It is made of both fast and slow twitching muscles. As they are major flexors, weak psoas muscles could cause some surrounding muscles to compensate and even become overused. This means that an overstretched or tight psoas muscle may lead to aches and pains, such as pelvic pain and low back pain.
However, as many doctors do not understand the complexity of the psoas muscles, a large number of patients are often given the wrong treatments and diagnoses for their psoas-related pain.
Researchers have also found that this muscle is crucial to your structural health and psychological wellbeing. Furthermore, the author of The Psoas Book, Liz Koch, explains that the psoas helps embody your elemental desire to flourish and your deepest urge for survival. In short, you should keep this muscle healthy in order to improve your physical stability and mental health.
The Correlation between the Psoas and the Reptilian Brain
Not only the psoas connects your spine and legs, but it is also connected to your diaphragm. In fact, your breathing is regulated at your diaphragm. Your diaphragm is also the place where a number of physical symptoms related to anxiety and fear manifest. Additionally, Koch notes that it happens because of the direct correlation between your psoas and your reptilian brain, i.e., the most ancient part of your spinal cord and brain stem.
In addition, how we live nowadays, constantly rushing, achieving and competing, has this muscle in a persistent “fight or flight” state.
Problems Related to a Chronically-Stressed Psoas
As this muscle is trapped in a persistent “flight or fight” state, it is constricted and stressed from the time of birth. That’s not all, this can be made even worse by numerous things in the modern lifestyle, including shoes, constrictive clothing, chairs, car seats, and more.
The chronic stress applied to this muscle can result in various problems, such as knee, back, or hip pain, dysfunctional breathing, and digestive problems. It may also be a main culprit why you experience chronic pain.
That’s not all, your chronically-stressed psoas does not only affect your physical body. It is important to understand that your psoas is much more than a muscle responsible for proper structural stability. This means that it affects almost each element of your life, including the way you look at the world, the way you feel, the way you treat others, etc.
As a result of this, many problems have been linked to chronically-stressed psoas muscles. Namely, it could have a negative impact on your emotional state, and interpersonal relationships. Keep in mind that keeping your psoas muscle healthy is vital to physical health and emotional wellness. So, make sure to give your psoas the attention it deserves.
According to Koch, whether you experience exhaustion, knee strain, back pain, or anxiety, a constricted psoas might be to blame.
The Connection between a Constricted Psoas and Fear
If you suffer from a constricted psoas, you can experience fear as this muscle is connected to your “fight or flight” mechanism.
Moreover, fear is actually an emotion, which often manifests itself in many unusual ways. It can lead to emotional and physical tension. You should restore your psoas muscle balance in order to release tension, thus enhancing your mental and physical health. This means that you will experience a sense of inner peace and fewer muscle strains and aches.
The Releasing and Lengthening of This Muscle Can Distribute Vital Energy throughout Your Body
If you release and lengthen this muscle, it helps ground you to the Earth that is full of revitalizing and healing energy. This enables you to feel present in the moment as well as allows you to balance your pranic energy. In addition, the right structural stability because of a healthy psoas stimulates prana to flow throughout your body, thus resulting in a proper distribution of vital energy.
Yoga Is an Excellent Method to Measure the Current Health of Your Psoas
Our understanding of this muscle is not new knowledge. But, it is more akin to the ancient wisdom, which was discarded or lost over time.
As mentioned previously, exercise, wearing unconformable shoes, prolonged sitting in a chair, and unhealed emotional and physical injuries can contribute to imbalance in your psoas muscles. If you get all these things back in balance, it will give you a higher range of motion and pain relief.
What’s more, start practicing Resistance Flexibility exercises because they can do wonders for these muscles. Also, yoga can help you release your contracted psoas muscles.
Ancient yoga postures or asanas, which are practiced worldwide, focus on releasing and lengthening psoas muscles as well as restoring balance and comfort to the entire body. You will learn how to isolate this muscle with consistent practice that can be extremely beneficial in the long run.
Also, yoga is an excellent method to measure the current health of your psoas. A number of yoga postures, including Vrksasana or the tree cannot be properly practiced in case you suffer from a contracted psoas. In case you are doing a standing or sitting yoga pose and feel the strain in your lower back or knees (or both), your psoas may be constricted and requires your attention.
- Koch, Liz. ˮThe Psoas Bookˮ;
- Jones, Jo. ˮThe Vital Psoas Muscle: Connecting Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Beingˮ;