This week, we’re going to drill down into some specifics – namely the psoas, or hip flexor. The psoas is divided into two parts, the major and the minor, but we’re going to talk about them together. Have a look at the picture below to give you an idea:
The psoas is one of our most primitive muscles. It connects our legs to our spine and is a key part of our ‘fight or flight’ or stress response.
When we’re stressed, even if just at a low level, our psoas is constantly contracted; it is constantly ready to run or kick someone in the face! If combined with sitting down all day, which also contracts the psoas, it will get pretty stuck.
This can affect our posture, our strength, our flexibility and our general sense of wellbeing. So we need to learn to look after our psoas!
In this week’s video, I’m going to take you through a visualisation exercise on your psoas to help you identify and connect with it. Make sure you’re in a quiet, private space and press play:
So, now I’d hope you feel more connected to your psoas and how it’s feeling at the moment. Next up, I’d like you to take this posture with me:
We’re going to spend some time here – 3 minutes each side, to be specific.
We’re going to sit with the stretch, deepening it if possible and okay. To do this, we move the back foot further back and/or the front foot further forwards, sinking the hips down towards the floor. We can also come down onto our elbows or lie face down on the floor.
I want you to sit with it and to feel whatever comes up. It’s totally normal to feel emotional, even to cry, whatever arises for you. No judgement.
Spend your 3 minutes each side, breathing deeply, and maybe write down what you experienced when you’re done.
So the psoas stores physical tension from movement and lack of it, and emotional tension from life and experiences. We’ve just worked through together a way to emotionally release the psoas. What can we do about the physical?
The first thing is stretching. Click the button below to link up to my ‘7 Minute Hip Stretches’ Video, which will walk you through a great little routine, that you can incorporate into your daily life.
Here’s a link to another video for a hip flexor specific stretch:
These stretches need to be done consistently, twice a day as a minimum, to feel a real benefit. If you feel your hip flexors are particularly tight, then you’ll need to do more. There is no limit, as long as you feel good.
Secondly, getting up from sitting down – don’t spend longer than 60 minutes sitting under any circumstances if you can possibly avoid it, at least not on a regular basis.
Practice sitting up straight and breathing deeply from the diaphragm – this allows the psoas to sit at its natural length and not be constricted.
Treated properly, the psoas will allow you to run fast, jump high, feel well, stretch and be flexible, emotionally and physically. Neglected, the psoas can cause you some real troubles.
So, look after yourself and your stress levels to look after your psoas; and look after your psoas to look after your stress levels!
What have you enjoyed from today? Post a comment in the Warriors group!
Amy, Head Warrior