The Muscle of the Soul (Video link embedded)April 10, 2016
I am getting up-close and personal with the mysterious muscle, the psoas, this week. The psoas has been referred to as the “Muscle of the Soul” spanning from T12 to each of 5 lumbar vertebrae and flows to the abdominal core, the pelvis and attaches to the inner thigh. The psoas requires some careful & tender attention to awaken. It’s the only muscle that connects the torso to lower limbs so it’s powerful in helping support the lower back, goes through the deep abdomen & stabilizes the hips as well.
I am always intrigued by the metaphysical reasons a muscle is not working properly. A supple and dynamic psoas reduces stress, enhances digestion and overall vitality of life. It is part of our fear reflex (fight or flight response) and it greatly influences our gut instinct. I have spent a lot of time throughout the years experimenting with different exercises to lengthen my psoas and I know there were deeper things keeping them locked.
Here are some powerful facts about this fascinating muscle that will get you to pay a closer attention to it in your yoga practice:
* When learn to relax the psoas you will open up the window to your deepest core and reconnect to the energy of the earth and your own energetic vitality. The psoas is deep behind the abdominal muscles that are on the superficial level.
* The psoas is the muscle of perception & vital for emotional well-being. It holds onto emotional trauma and “the story” that we latch to. A released psoas will bring greater ease and vitality to life.
* A toned and released psoas is optimal for spinal stability, especially the lower back.
* Awareness to the psoas will bring light to your fears that have been locked in your body as unconscious physical tension that influences the fight or flight response. A tight psoas creates a continuous signal you are in danger which begins to drain your adrenal glands and immune system, contributing to fears, anxiety, depression and general exhaustion.
* Releasing your psoas will bring greater ease in movement as it lies on either side of your center of gravity. When open, energy flows through the joints more freely, like a string flowing through the mala necklace that transforms it into something more than the sum of its parts
* When we heal the physical, we are given access to healing the emotional scars that have been “locked in”.
As you can see there are some pretty powerful reasons to take time to acquaint yourself with the psoas.
**Click on the photo of me at the top of the blog to get to the short yoga sequence to release and lengthen your psoas**
If you would like to read up more about the psoas, Liz Koch has done incredible research on the psoas and published the book “The Psoas Muscle Book”.