The Psoas: Muscle of the Soul
Updated: Feb 10, 2020
This weeks topic has taken us deep into the core and deep into our fear base. The Psoas is the muscle that connects the upper body to the lower body. It's the muscle that allows us to pick up our legs, to climb stairs, to walk and to run.
Every single posture in Yoga is either elongating or contracting the Psoas, in an effort to get this muscle balanced and appropriately responsive. The Psoas is our fear response muscle.
Its primary purpose is to keep us safe. Wired to the reptilian brain,
instinctive, it guards us.
When a threat is detected (real or imagined) the psoas contracts, getting ready to pick the legs up and run (flee), kick the legs out (fight), pull the legs up into foetal position (freeze).
A contracted psoas can also initiate the fourth trauma based F-reaction in the body; Fawn. This is when we become overly compliant, overly agreeable, in a response to danger. We yield to everything in our environment in an effort to not upset any status quo because we may have learnt somewhere along the way that this is how we survive.
This communication is a two way street. A psoas that has been shortened by sitting for long periods for example, will communicate a threat to the reptilian brain.
Thus the state of our psoas governs the state of our mind.
The Yogi's knew the power of the psoas.
The role of the psoas is central to every single asana.
It guards the Kundalini energy, guards the Dan Tien, and has the incredible potential to move us from fear into freedom.
We've been using all the Tantric techniques this week to journey deeply into the mechanics, and the mysticism of the psoas.
Our practices this week have taken us into our fear-body, gathered feedback about the state of our nervous system, and we've learned valuable techniques to calm the F-responses.
Our breath work has shown us the powerful influence the diaphragm has over the psoas by encouraging it either into our out of relaxation, and catalysing a cascade of consequences in the mind and body.
This fundamental communicator of the Central Nervous System has taken centre stage in our practice this week with enormous revelations about our bodies, our emotions, our triggers and our capacity for freedom following suit.
It's my hope that we are all leaving this week feeling a little more connected to the psoas, a little more appreciative of this important muscle, and as always, a little more connected to our bodies.