3 Yoga Poses To Relieve Your Psoas
You May Also Enjoy

The #1 Change That Could Reduce Anxiety (That Almost No One Tries)

"I had so much anxiety this weekend," a client will share with me during a Monday session. "I had been feeling so good for the past couple of weeks, but this weekend I seemed to have taken five giant  Read

Hi, my name is Heidi, and I have an addiction to stretching the psoas muscle. There, I admitted it. 

I became fascinated with this muscle once I figured out that I need to keep it happy to keep my lower back happy. The psoas is a large muscle that attaches at the bottom of the thoracic spine and along the lumbar spine, then runs down over the front of the hip joint and attaches at the top of the femur. It's the only muscle connecting the spine to the leg. When the muscle becomes tight from injuries, poor posture, sitting for a fair amount of time or even stress, it can alter how the pelvis, lumbar, thoracic and even cervical vertebrae function. This can typically lead to pain down the front of the thigh and along the lower to mid-spinal column. 

One psoas can shorten and pull the spine and pelvis to our dominant side. The distortions of the spine and pelvis can also show up as a short or long leg. This can result in scoliosis, spasms in back muscles trying to resist the pulling of the psoas and that lower belly "pooch" we all dislike! 

So if this all sounds miserable to you, make sure to keep the psoas happy with these three yoga asanas:

1. Reclined hero pose

Start in a kneeling position, keeping your knees together and bringing the feet apart, sitting in between the heels. Start by walking your hands back keeping shoulders out of ears. Your practice might stop you there, but if you like, lower down to the elbows and eventually down to your back, expanding your rib cage.

2. Lizard variation

Stepping right foot forward into low lunge, place the left hand to the inside of the right foot, reaching your right hand up and rotating to the outer edge of the right foot. Keep it there or add in a quad stretch and reach back for left foot.

3. Pigeon

We all love pigeon. It feels so (for lack of a better word) yummy! Placing your right knee behind the right hand and heel to your left hip, keeping weight even between the hips, take an inhale to lengthen the spine. On the exhale, work your way into a forward fold. If you're feeling like a twist, come and take opposite hand to knee.

Hold each asana for about 10 breaths. Remember to counteract poses with balasana (child's pose).

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

You May Also Enjoy

10 Signs Of Stress You Probably Ignore (But Shouldn't)

Your body and mind aren't subtle. They are constantly sending out signals. Sometimes we listen: we eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, and hopefully sleep when tired. But are you as responsive when  Read

To learn more about yoga or dealing with stress, check out our video courses The Complete Guide To Yoga and How To Manage Stress With Meditation.
About the Author
Heidi Templeton is a former competitive gymnast and Bay Area yoga instructor specializing in vinyasa, hot, and standup paddle board yoga. Heidi shares her zest for all things health and wellness at www.facebook.com/HeidiFit .