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Core Yoga Poses

3 Things You May Not Know About Your Psoas

No. 1: Lunges won't stretch this tissue.

Interested in learning more about your psoas and core? Join Liz Koch in her upcoming four-week workshop, Demystifying Your Psoas: Develop Core Awareness, Stability, and a Stronger Practice. Learn more here.

Your psoas is not merely a muscle. It is a primal messenger from the core channel of your being, which is often referred to as your central nervous system. This bio-intelligent tissue not only expresses your coherency but also your integrity. Below are three things you may not yet have discovered about your psoas.

1. Yoga Lunges Don’t Make a Healthy Psoas

As part of the instinctive fear response, the vitality of your psoas reflects a personal sense of safety. When feeling threatened, your psoas helps propel you into fleeing, fighting, standing ground, or curling into a protective ball. Trauma, repetitive stress, and unsupported ergonomics can all eventually cause your psoas to lose motility and literally begin to dry.

What is often considered short, constricted psoas is ultimately dry psoas. Dry tissue cannot be stretched into health. This is the reason why lunges do not make for healthy psoas. Psoas needs to regain and maintain its juicy responsiveness so that, as a spine-based organism, you can coherently move from the center of your being out into the world. Healthy, dynamic, and expressive psoas is therefore essential for performing a functional lunge.

2. Core Strength Is Dependent Upon A Responsive Psoas

The psoas should never be misused or recruited as an anchor for core support. Attempting to achieve a range of motion too quickly forces your psoas to act as an anchor or muscular lock rather than as an integrative coherent tissue. Nourished, supple psoas not only calms, grounds, and centers your whole being but is also essential for the transference of weight and responsive agility to your environment.

Whether you wish to open and align your chakras, improve your digestion, or acquire core strength, you will need to do so with a supple core. It is a balanced floating pelvis rather than over-recruited abdominals that keep the psoas from being misused. As the foundation of your structural core, your pelvis forms a base of support for the spinal vertebrae, ribs, shoulders, head, and transfers weight from the spine into your legs, knees, ankles, and feet. The feet receive weight evenly and rebound gravitational power only when the pelvic basin is balanced, floating, and capable of transferring and communicating the ground reaction force.

When the pelvis is balanced, your psoas is free to move as a muscular pendulum through the abdominal core. If instead your pelvis is dipping, torquing, or twisting, you will need to discover and heal what is causing this fundamental disruption before core strength can be achieved and your psoas can truly be healthy and functional.

3. Manipulating Your Psoas Misuses Your Inherent Wisdom

Your psoas ignites a wealth of inner power and strength inherent within your core. The psoas is not only part of the sympathetic survival response but it is also a messenger of core integrity, instinctive knowing, and universal thriving. Exploring psoas and learning its essential messages helps resolve core fears, reveal core strengths, and nourish your creative potential for thriving.

You will not, however, be able to open to your highest potential if the psoas is misused, overused, or abused. In Daoist traditions, the psoas is referred to as “the muscle of the soul.” It is not advisable to physically manipulate your own core or someone else’s psoas. Invasive bodywork or deep massage techniques to release psoas have been known to bruise the tissue, break blood vessels, and cause abdominal hernias.

Learning the art of sensing your own psoas is integral in order to listen to the instinctive wisdom that dwells within your belly core. True inner power naturally emerges when you are aligned between earth and sky. To nourish supple psoas, you will need to develop a sensory awareness of your bones and their innate relationship with Earth. Bone is living tissue and is part of a dynamic neural network of communication known as proprioception. Disrupted proprioception is always received and messaged by psoas.

Coherency and organization of self are specifically found in the proprioceptive signals firing in centered joints. The relationship of one bone to the next is signaled through the fluid capsule of each joint strung together like oceanic pearls in a vibrating song of wholeness. Tuning into your proprioception is fundamental for not only sustaining alignment but also nourishing a healthy core psoas. Through this energetic communication, every joint becomes an eco-locator, orienting you at this moment on earth.

Want to learn more about how to nourish your psoas and develop core awareness? Join Liz in her upcoming four-week workshop, Demystifying Your Psoas. Learn more and sign up!