The psoas major muscle is also known as the core muscle or the deepest muscle. According to famous yoga therapist Danielle Olson, we can use the term “muscle of the soul”. The psoas can be found close to the hip bone.
This muscle is important for your mobility, flexibility, joint function, structural balance, and many other things. The basic function of this core-balancing muscle is to assist your body’s movement and upright standing, but many experts agree that it can also affect your mental health.
Several studies have shown that the psoas is crucial for people’s psychological health. The author of The Psoas Book, Liz Koch, claims that this muscle represents some of your primeval feelings like the desire for survival or your desire to grow.
In other words, the psoas muscle is much more important than most of you think. Many experts have confirmed that the health of the psoas can affect your mental energy and health.
Where is the Psoas Located?
This muscle is the main muscle related to physical stability. It goes from the legs to the spine and this is the only muscle that links the legs with this area. It starts to widen from the T12 vertebrae, goes down the lumbar vertebrae, and finally attaches itself to the highest point of the thigh bone.
The Reptilian Link
The psoas is also connected to the diaphragm. As you all know, breathing is adjusted at this part of the body and the diaphragm is the place where people notice physical symptoms related to anxiety and fear. That’s why Koch thinks that there is a direct connection between this muscle and one of the oldest parts of your spinal cord and brain stem known as the reptilian brain.
Koch says that the reptilian brain in humans was responsible for the proper work of your essential core before humans developed the ability to speak. Modern lifestyle has an interesting effect on the psoas.
Health Issues Related to Chronic Psoas Stress
Since we are living in an age where everything is moving fast and we experience stress daily, the psoas is constricted and stressed most of the time. According to Koch, many things that happen in your everyday lives lead to this situation – improper clothing, driving in uncomfortable seats, wearing tight shoes, improper posture, unnatural movement, etc. You put pressure and stress on the psoas from the day you are born.
This constriction leads to many health issues like knee or back pain and some digestive problems as well as improper breathing. Some experts claim that psoas stress leads to chronic physical pain too.
Of course, your physique is not the only thing that is experiencing problems due to constricted and stressed psoas. As previously mentioned, the psoas is not responsible only for the structural balance; it also affects the psychological well-being and your attitude. Many health problems have been related to chronic psoas stress.
For example, it can hurt your emotional condition, it can affect your Huffpost with other people and it can even affect your view of life. The first step towards finding a solution to this problem is to accept the fact that a healthy psoas means a better emotional state.
Koch claims that things like anxiety, back pain, knee strain, fatigue, and similar frequent health issues are usually related to psoas stress.
Fear and the Psoas
We all have a fight or flight mechanism, a psychological reaction to stress or threat. The psoas is directly related to this mechanism which means that people who have abnormally constricted psoas can be overwhelmed by the feeling of fear.
This emotion can express itself in many different ways and it can hide and lock inside the body which eventually results in emotional and physical issues. If you can relax the psoas muscles, you will ease the tension and you will regain full control of your life. You will find inner peace and fewer physical problems.
The Link to the Energetic Body
Stretching and releasing the psoas will make you feel closer to the Earth which means that you will be able to use our planet’s energy. This will also give you a chance to stabilize the pranic energy and focus on the present moment. Adequate structural stability that comes with a healthy psoas provides fertile ground for the prana to move in all body parts. Once the body enters a state in which it can completely support itself, your movement is freer and easier and you have a feeling that you got more energy.
Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times
The true power of the psoas is not something that people have realized in modern times. This knowledge was present in ancient times, but it was forgotten over time. Yoga is an activity that lets us understand the nature of the psoas and why gurus in the old times paid special attention to this part of the body.
The stretching and releasing of this muscle can be achieved through practicing yoga asanas or postures. They can help any practitioner to stabilize their body. With regular exercise, you will be able to focus only on this muscle and learn how to heal yourself easily.
In addition, thanks to yoga, you can evaluate the current condition and health of this muscle. Postures like tree or vrksasana for example, cannot be performed in the right way if the psoas is stressed and constricted.
In case you are performing a standing or sitting yoga pose and you feel discomfort in the lower back or knees, you probably have some problems with the psoas and you will need to take care of this issue.
The psoas is a very important and unfortunately insufficiently studied muscle that can have a huge impact on our mental and physical health. If you ignore the health of this muscle, you will soon begin to feel increased tension and stress which will eventually result in chronic pain, respiratory problems, anxiety, fear, depression, etc.