Addressing the psoas in a class can assist students in the true journey to freedom and the body they have been searching for. It's by no means easy, and often uncomfortable and frustrating, but the reward is a more balance body, mind, and spirit.
Rehab your psoas with releasing and toning exercises:
Supine Single Leg Pull
Many focus too much on pulling the leg into the chest and hugging with all their might, but here I want to encourage you to focus on only taking the knee into the chest to the point you feel sensation all the while keeping the pelvis stable (and in neutral) rather than allowing the pelvis to curl along with the leg being hugged.
Focus on extending the lower leg away from the body, feeling a release in the psoas (groin area or lower back) Move slowly and do not force the release.
Do not keep extending the leg or hugging the upper leg if your pelvis is moving with. Work here for one to three minutes or more, moving slowly and mindfully.
Repeat both sides and then your side of concern a second time. (2:1 ratio)
Over Head Stretch
Lying on the floor with your knees bent, ground through your feet (without causing tension).
Inhale release your arms over head, without force keep your legs and pelvis in neutral and stable, allow your palms to turn up and do not force the arms to the floor, just notice where your body goes.
Allow the head to move with the arms and feel the upper part of the psoas (by the base of the ribs) stretch and release.
Exhale return your arms back to your sides.
Repeat this several times slowly and mindfully.
Supine Single Leg Lift
Lying on you back comfortably bend one knee and place the foot to the floor.
Find neutral pelvis and find comfort lying on the floor.
Extend the opposite leg and actively reach the heel away from the body without arching the back or pelvis.
Inhale and exhale activate the pelvic floor and press through the opposite foot to lift the heel off the floor a few inches.
Mindfully move the leg up and down a few times (a few inches) and then side to side a few inches.
Release and repeat the opposite side. Then go back to the weaker side and repeat again (2:1 ratio).
Standing Back Bend (Crescent)
Most practice this incorrectly and only move with the upper body and crunch the back ribs onto the lower vertebrae and sacrum.
Step the feet into a comfortable wide stride (about two feet) keeping them parallel, activate the pelvic floor and find pelvic neutral.
Inhale and lift the arms and as you back bend allow the pelvis to lead in the movement not the arms or head.
Feel the pelvis gently press forward and then as a reaction the upper torso and arms fall back.
Keep the pelvic floor strong not to let the pelvis tip forward.
Exhale use the strength of the pelvic floor and transversus to take you back to neutral.
There should be no lower back or sacral pain.
Repeat this five to ten times.
Constructive Rest Pose
Lying on your back flat on the floor, widen your feet to the width of the mat and let your knees fall together (if this is difficult place a block or rolled towel between the knees). Rest here for up to five minutes really focusing on softening the inner hips and relaxing your breathing down to the area of focus.
It's no wonder to me that in our fast-paced, all-or-nothing world that we're all in need of a little hip release, a little fear-unlocking, a little psoas rehab.
Fear is the opposite of trust, which one would you rather have stored in your psoas?