What is the Psoas Muscle?


What is the Psoas Muscle?The psoas is my favorite muscle and also the body’s most important muscles for many reasons (follow the embedded links to learn more):

  • It is the posture muscle. The awakening of the psoas muscle as we came up to stand created the curve of our lower back that allows us to be upright.
  • It is the standing muscle. Along with the piriformis the psoas connects the legs to the trunk and together they hold the spine up on top of the pelvis.
  • It is the walking muscle. A body working correctly catches itself falling forward through space with each initiation of the psoas muscle.
  • It is the trauma muscle. This means different things for different people. Every body processes stress differently but for everyone the psoas is the main storage unit for the body’s response to stimulus. If we don’t sucessfully process and release our stress it will remain in the body and can have debilitating effects on daily functioning both physically and emotionally.
  • It is the pain muscle. From my prospective almost all back pain stems from the function/dysfunction of the psoas muscle and the piriformis .

So, what is the psoas muscle? It is the most important muscle  in the body that most people have never heard of. But slowly but surely it is making its way into people’s understanding of the body and pain. Learning about the function and use of the psoas muscles can only help us stay healthy and live longer with more vitality.

Tracking the Arms in Downward Dog
Travel is a back killer.
16 Comments
    • Hi Whitney, This action works simply because of engaging muscles towards the midline from either direction creates the dynamic action of popping up the tunnel. I teach it in group classes by showing it to people while they are on their hands and knees and then encourage them to keep the action going when we move to DD. I tell people that if they want to incorporate it into their practice they should think about that one thing obsessively for a while until it becomes habit (which is how I develop my own practice). Thanks for weighing in. I am happy to answer your questions.

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