Meet the Psoas.
This is the long muscle that runs from the thoracic and lumbar spine at the back of the body, to the inside of your pelvis towards the front. It’s a combination of two large muscles: the psoas major and the iliacus and when it acts up it can be very painful. Symptoms can include deep belly aches, pain in the hip flexor area, and even lower back pain. The video above from YouTube gives you a great idea of what this muscle does (and does not do) and how it works.
The Psoas develop when we’re young. They are the muscles that help us walk, run, and sit up. We use them every single day and it can (and often does) get overstressed and sore.
My sister is an exercise fiend. She works out nearly every day doing everything from spin classes and running to HIIT workouts and pilates. She’s not a big yoga fan (of her own admission) but a few months ago she asked me to put together a few ideas for ways she could get her psoas and hip flexors to relax and not be so painful. Admittedly, a few months have passed now (and I totally forgot her request!), but I recently put together a short video showing how to release these often tender muscles. My teacher Kiely Rutledge showed me this stretch after a long weekend of yoga teacher training and it has become my go-to for public classes where backbends are on tap, and in my own home practice.
I’m not going to lie. This release can hurt like hell while you’re doing it but once you’ve finished, your body will thank you for it.
Sound off in the comments if you’d like to see more videos like this, or if you’ve tried it out yourself. I’d love to hear your experience!