Muscle or not a muscle?
Have you heard of the psoas?
If you have heard of the psoas what do you believe?
As a yoga teacher when I first learned about the psoas I was taught about it from an anatomical perspective. The teachings included that it is our largest hip flexor, inserts at our T12; connects our torso to our lower body and is found deep within the core.
I learned all the “anatomical” ideas around the psoas and some of the spiritual such as it is a muscle that is intuitive and we cannot control it with our mind.
When we shift our viewpoint regarding the psoas away from an anatomical perspective and the idea of it being a muscle and look at ourselves as living processes how does this shift our thoughts on the psoas.
Liz Koch has written several books and shared information surrounding the psoas; and has stated it is her life’s work to change the language around body. She describes that most people have been introduced to the psoas as a muscle and believes this is a false dogma. Her description of the psoas is that it is the very core tissue of the body that emerges out of the midline of our central nervous system and is fluid juicy tissue, filet mignon. She goes on to say it is a messenger of the midline and an organ of perception. Liz Koch explains it is elusive and difficult to sense and most people sense it when there is a problem. She compares it to the organs in the body.
As noted above many people refer to the psoas as being inserted at T12 and Liz Koch invites her students with an inquiry of “who inserted your psoas”. She describes the psoas as emerging out around the 12th thoracic vertebrae in the core of who we are and is a part of the midline bio intelligent field of energy within us.
What does the Psoas do?
Deep within the core of who we are is where you will find the psoas. Our organs sit in front of this living tissue as it runs deep along our midline traveling to our lower body.
You may have never heard of the psoas or may have heard of it because you have experienced back pain or hip pain and have been told the issue is with psoas.
Often times people have been told or view the psoas as needing fixing when sensations arise in the hips and low back. When in fact the psoas is the messenger. It is reactive to what is going on within our bodies. If we touch the psoas it will react and this may create more discomfort.
Sharing information with us is what our psoas does; we need to move away from the idea it needs to be fixed and embrace the idea what it needs most is to rest.
It is a shame we overlook the power of the connection to our psoas. We can sense the psoas but it is subtle. Connecting to the core of who we are long before we injure ourselves can tap us into the power of our psoas like never before.
Our nervous system and the psoas muscle have a strong connection. The muscle impacts the functioning of our nervous system such as our fight or flight, enteric and parasympathetic.
When we take the time to learn about the psoas; we are learning how to listen to the messages. We are learning connection.
This truly is a magical and complex part of who we are and how we function in the world. With the depth of the psoas it is difficult for me to even think of it as a muscle any more.
The psoas connects to sensations in the body, connects to our fears, connects to how we look and feel in this world. It informs us if we feel unsafe and need to ground.
How can I support my psoas you ask?
Supporting Your Psoas
Here are 4 ways to support your psoas:
- Breathe…yes back to the breathe. Allow yourself to come into a beautiful pranayama practice. Try the 3 Part Breath. Breathing deep, slow and smooth massages the diaphragm which in turn will help to relax the psoas.
- Fluid gentle movement from the core of your being; fluid movement with your spine.
- Constructive Rest
- Legs on a chair
Would you like to play with an exploration? Check out this FREE VIDEO guiding you into Constructive Rest.
With the complexity and importance of the psoas, I am drawn to connect with people to share, explore and play with the psoas and guide people to connect with their own psoas.
Why wait until the psoas is screaming at us for attention. Connect, nourish and love the psoas long before it begging for your attention. In reality it needs your attention or at least your awareness all the time.
Interested? Want to learn more?
Join me online on July 18th for a 2hr workshop where we will dive deeper into the psoas.
Click here for registration: Explore the Psoas: Conscious Core Workshop
Any thoughts or comments I would love to hear from you.