The psoas muscle is one of the most important muscles in the body. It’s also one of the hardest to get to in terms of stretching or working out. But there are a few key psoas muscle yoga poses that can help a tight psoas or overstretched psoas muscle.
But let’s start at the beginning. What does this muscle do, and why is it so important?
The psoas muscles are the primary connectors between your torso and your legs. They help stabilize your spine and affect posture, and as major flexors, weak psoas muscles can affect surrounding muscles. Low back pain, pelvic pain, and more can be traced back to the psoas. Dr. Northrup.com has an extensive post on the psoas muscles, and how to know when the root of your pain might be due to psoas issues:
- Leg length discrepancy
- Knee and low back pain
- Postural problems
- Difficulty moving bowels
- Menstrual cramps
- Chest breathing
There’s more, but you can get an idea of how encompassing these issues can be. One way to try to keep your psoas as healthy as possible is through regular pandiculated movement. And another is through these four psoas muscle yoga stretches.
4 Poses for Psoas Muscle Yoga Movement
Deep Breathing Can Stretch Your Psoas Muscles
Breathe slowly and deeply, inhaling until you feel a little tug at the bottom of your belly. The psoas muscles and your abdominals work together to keep your low back happy, and it’s great for stress relief and elongating as well.
3 Legged Dog
From downward dog, gaze at your navel. Use this gaze to keep your hips squared forward as you stretch your right or left leg toward the wall behind you. For this particular stretch, don’t stack your hips or move the shoulders. Pull on your abdominals, again feeling the lengthening through the lower part of your belly as you stretch each side.
Tree Pose or Vrksasana
Soften and release tension through the hips as you find your way into tree pose. Draw shoulders down, pressing down through your standing foot as well. Slowly reach your arms out to the side to start, and then straight up to the sky, lengthening the torso gradually and keeping your body squared forward.
Reclined Hero Pose or Supta Vajarasana
Reclined hero, or fixed firm pose, requires some level of flexibility. Sit on your knees with your hips resting between your ankles, or grab a block if that’s uncomfortable. If you’re ready to move on, slowly reach back for your heels with one hand, then the other hand. If you’re still able to move back, let your torso soften to the ground, and circle arms overhead.
What are your thoughts on these postures?