A muscle in our body that is located close to our hip bone, it is a core-stabilizer and affects mobility, balance, flexibility, joint function and many other things, is called the psoas muscle (pronounced “so-as”) and is also known as the “muscle of the soul”. The very purpose of this muscle is to help our body to be upright and to help us move our body, the psoas muscle is believed that it can connect you with the present moment, when its tension and stretching is released from our body.
According to researches, our psoas muscle is very responsible for our psychological well being, as it is for our health. The author of The Psoas Book, Liz Koch says that our psoas is the one that literally embraces our will for survival, and more importantly our will and desire to flourish. So this means that there is a lot more to our psoas then you possibly can imagine. This also means that keeping our psoas in a top form and keeping it healthy, will help us stay healthy physically and mentally.
Where is The Psoas?
Our physical stability is directly bonded with the psoas muscle, this muscle is stretched from our legs to the spine and it is the only muscle we have that is connecting the legs with the spinal column. The muscle starts from the T12 vertebrae, it goes down the five lumbar vertebrae, and it attaches on the top of the thigh bone.
The Reptilian Connection
The psoas is connected to the diaphragm, because there is no other way to connect the spine and the legs. The modulation of breathing is in the diaphragm, as well as many other physical symptoms like anxiety and fear manifest. Liz Koch believes that this is because of the link between the most ancient part of our spinal cord and brain stem which is called the reptilian brain and the psoas.
According to her studies, long before men were able to think, the reptilian brain was active, and with this brain the survival instincts were active too, and that’s how men functioned for a long period. The way we live now, the constant rush, stress, and pressure is keeping the psoas constantly in a flight or fight state.
Issues Associated with Chronic Psoas Stress
Being trapped in an unpleasant position of a fight or flight state, the psoas muscle is constricted and stressed all the time, in some cases from the moment of birth. Liz Koch says that this is because of the way we live our lives today, from constrictive clothing to chairs, from car seats to uncomfortable shoes, unnatural and movements we do today are constantly keeping our psoas stressed.
The constant stress of our psoas over long periods of time can lead to a lot of problems such as, back, knee or hip pain, also it may cause digestive issues and breathing dysfunctions. It can also be the cause of why people are experiencing chronic physical pain.
From chronically stressed psoas, our body is not the only one that suffers. This muscle is a lot more than just a muscle to keep us stand and move, it is influenced in every element of life, from how you look at the world, to how you feel or even how you are treating others.
With a chronically stressed psoas muscle a lot of problems will occur like: it can influence your general contentment with life, it can improve the interpersonal relationships and negatively affect your emotional status or state. The first step we do to raise the awareness of our most important muscle that is responsible for our emotional wellness, and also for our physical and mental health, is to give it the attention it deserves.
Liz Koch says that suffering from knee strain, exhaustion, anxiety or back pain, there is a great percentage of chance that it is caused by the psoas muscle.
Fear and the Psoas
Fear might be over-represented in those cases with constricted psoas, because it is very closely bonded with our flight or fight mechanism.
This emotion is very unusual and it is experienced in unusual ways, so it may cause our psoas to lock itself and cause severe pain both physical and mental. If you are able to restore the balance in your psoas muscle, you are very likely to relieve from this tension or pain. Also it will relieve you from the unfounded fearfulness about life, and will improve both your mental and physical well being. You will finally feel your inner peace, and be relieved of the tension you had.
The Connection to the Energetic Body
Exercising your psoas muscle by lengthening and releasing, allows you to ground to Earth, it will also revitalize your energy, therefore it will allow you to balance your pranic energy and will help you feel present in the moment. A healthy psoas muscle will provide better stability and also allow the prana to flow, through your body also allowing a proper distribution of vital energy in our body.
When the body is supporting itself properly, the movements and actions we do are much easier and require less effort to do, also it leaves you more energetic.
Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times
The psoas muscle and its purpose is a new knowledge to us. It was known to many ancient civilizations, but over time the knowledge was lost or discarded. Today by doing Yoga you will also understand that ancient gurus understood even then that the releasing of the contracted psoas muscles could be a great relief for us.
There are many ancient yoga exercises that are practiced all around the world, which focus on releasing and lengthening the psoas muscle and also restore the balance and comfort in the whole body. With a lot of practice, you will learn how to isolate the psoas muscle, which can prevent from a lot of pain and heal after long periods of time.
Yoga is a good way to measure your psoas health from time to time, many of the exercises cannot be made if the psoas is contracted. If you are a preforming a sitting or a standing yoga exercise, and you start to feel tension in your lower back or knees, or in both, there is a chance that your psoas needs to loosen up a little bit more and needs your attention.
The psoas muscle still remains an unknown thing to many of us, but be sure that it plays the most vital role in the whole body. If it is healthy, you will find your inner peace and you will experience the health benefits of it. If you don’t relieve from the everyday pressure and stress which causes this muscle to be under constant contraction and tension, you will be constantly experiencing pain and illnesses.
Another sources linked in The Hearty Soul’s article:
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