Psoas Stretch vs Psoas Release?


psoas stretch vs psoas release

Psoas stretches are at the foundation of any yoga class even if the teachers and students don’t realize it.

As a yoga teacher, it is my job to stretch people, but it wasn’t long before I began to come across people who didn’t seem to be served by stretching.They would come to class regularly, but their hips or hamstrings or whatever they hoped to lengthen never seemed to give in.

I came to realize that a muscle that is full of tension cannot be stretched free of that tension. In certain cases we must learn to release the tension and/or trauma from a muscle in order to get to the point where we can stretch it.

In the case of the psoas my take is pretty simple; if you have no pain in the lower back, hips, or groin, you should do psoas stretches to your heart’s content. While psoas releases would be great for you I can see why there wouldn’t be a great incentive to lay around for 45 minutes doing as little as possible.

If you are in pain, suffering from tight hips, lower back pain, groin pain etc, then psoas release work is a great option. Always with the idea that when you are ready, you get back to deeper psoas stretches.

Psoas release work is as much about exploring your psoas and your pelvis as it is about healing. Healing begins with awareness. Psoas releases are about stepping back a little to listen to your body and come to a better understanding of how your body works.

Physical, emotional, and postural health are predicated on a body having loose supple joints with toned muscles. Sometimes a psoas stretch is exactly what you need to accomplish that, but psoas release work is a beautiful way to heal the body and/or compliment a rigorous training program.

 

The Psoas Muscle as Hip Flexor
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10 Comments
  1. I agree. 🙂
    Release first, then I prefer to feel the balance and power in the movement, more than actually feeling stretch in my yoga. Thinking when I read your text, that those who don’t yet have experienced the difference haven’t yet understood that there really is a difference.

    It’s interesting to understand that due to tension in the upperback and neck the mobility can be way beyond stiffness, but can we really heal the back without psoas realese? The more I learn about our primitive reflexes according to Harald Blomberg, the more I can understand about how a practice with too much effort stiffens the body, if not in the lower back it’s seems to be common higher up. Like the over flexion in knees and elbows can be solved by getting rid of the tension in the back, not with stretching, but with cleverness, routine and a soft approach.
    //Mona -a Psoas nerd

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