The psoas muscle (pronouncing ‘so-as’) is the ‘muscle of the soul’ according to Danielle Olson. It’s located near the hip bone and is responsible for providing balance to the core, mobility, flexibility, and structural balance. Moreover, it supports the upright body posture and when stretched out, it releases the muscle tension.
According to researchers, this muscle is of an extreme importance of the person’s psychological well-being. Liz Koch, the author of the The Psoas Book, claims that this muscle embodies the deepest urge for survival literally, and the fundamental desire to flourish.
In addition, the psoas muscle is the main one relating to physical stability because it connects the legs with the spinal column. Namely, it stretches from the spine to the legs, i.e. from the T12 vertebrae and goes down to the 5-lumbar vertebrae, attaching to the thigh bone’s top.
It’s interrelated to the diaphragm, thus modulating the breathing process. Also, it represents the location of many physical symptoms related to anxiety and fear. This is because of the fact that there is a connection between the reptilian brain (the oldest part of the brain stem) and the psoas muscle.
According to Koch, long before the development of cortex, the reptilian brain developed which is also known for its survival instincts. It preserved our fundamental functioning. Modern way of life has trapped this muscle into a state of ‘fight or flight’, thus making it stressed and constricted.
The chronic stress provokes a lot of problems such as hip, knee, and back pain, digestive problems or dysfunctional breathing.
The psoas muscle also affects our feelings, our behavior, our considerations about the world, our views of the world and life around us. So, if chronically stressed, this muscle affects negatively our emotional mood and states, interpersonal relationships, and general health.
People suffering from a constricted psoas, fear might be over-represented and might lead to emotional and physical tension. The tension is released by restoring of the balance to the psoas muscle, leading to improved mental and physical well-being. By tension relief, the body balances the pranic energy, thus enabling proper distribution of the energy.
However, this isn’t something new because yoga proves that ancient gurus knew the extreme importance of releasing contracted psoas muscles. Yoga asanas, or postures, put their attention on stretching of the psoas muscles. While practicing sitting or standing yoga, in case you feel a strain in the lower back or in the knees, then the psoas muscle of your is definitely constricted.
So, don’t neglect its condition since it might cause mental and physical tension and stress, and stimulate the occurrence of knee pain, depression, respiratory issues, chronic back pain, anxiety, and digestive distress.
Image source: healthy-life-box.com