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Yin Yoga for Releasing the Psoas

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Recently I had a viewer request (woo hoo!) for a yin yoga class for releasing the psoas, so that’s the theme of this week’s practice. =)

The psoas has become quite popular in recent years, and people get pretty excited about “releasing” this large hip flexor. It’s easy to get carried away, though, and people do all manner of somewhat silly and potentially harmful things while attempting to ‘release the psoas.’ It won’t come as a surprise to regular readers that this yin-style class takes a more gentle approach to things. No rolling around on kettlbells or prodding your midsection with your fingers here!

Yin Yoga to Release the Psoas

The practice begins with a simple way to actually figure out where your psoas is and feel it contract so you can become more in tune with it, as well as an explanation of how any yoga practice can, in fact, help release the psoas by relieving tension. From there we move through a sequence to help lengthen and strengthen this important muscle.

As usual for me, there is no pigeon pose in this practice. Although what we call pigeon, which isn’t actually the full traditional pigeon pose, is quite popular, it also has the potential to be dangerous for the knees, especially for people who have ‘tight hips.’ Since I typically go for a more gentle approach and there are plenty of asanas that work the hips, I have not included pigeon in any video to date. I usually don’t include it in my personal practice, either, and prefer to take a deep lizard lunge, instead. It definitely gets into the hips and doesn’t put awkward pressure on the knees!

We’ll have to see how things go, but I may not have a yoga video to share for a couple of weeks. As I mentioned Monday, I’m about to head off to Colorado – hooray! Things are very busy between now and then, too, so we’ll just have to see what happens.

Are there any ‘popular’ asanas than you avoid because of your body’s needs?

Natasha

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Duni September 20, 2016, 23:21

    I have not heard of the word “psoas” before. I typically avoid anything that puts too much strain on my wrists!
    I hope you have a wonderful time in Colorado 🙂

    • Natashalh September 21, 2016, 07:24

      The psoas is a pretty cool muscle and it’s position in humans is a bit different than in our four-legged friends. Spell check doesn’t usually realize it’s a correctly spelled word, though, so it must still be gaining notoriety! Some people say it’s the only muscle that can act as it’s own “antagonist” (like how the biceps and triceps work together), but I don’t know if that’s proven.
      I keep thinking about you as conference details are finalize and released to participants. The organizer is vegan, so she’s providing vegetarian/vegan-friendly options for meals. People are excited about kicking the event off Monday night with a bonfire and vegan marshmallows! I know she also tries to use animal product free props and accessories for photo shoots, too.

  • Pamela September 21, 2016, 04:23

    Thank you for sharing more of your relaxing yoga poses. Like Duni, I have not heard of the posas muscles. During your relaxing poses are you contracting and releasing your stomach muscles, or is that just the movements of your natural relaxed breathing? Love have my own private yoga lessons!

    Enjoy your vacation in Colorado.

    • Natashalh September 21, 2016, 07:19

      That’s just my breathing. =) It’s particularly visible when my left side is facing the camera because I have scoliosis that makes my left-side rib cage more prominent.

      Thank you – I’m excited about my trip and sure I’ll learn lots at the conference!

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