As we spend most of our life seated the psoas muscle is almost all the time in a contracted state and rarely ever gets a chance to fully release. This unfortunately often results in lower back ache, hip pain as well as emotional difficulties. When we work at finding release for our mental and physical tensions the muscles we most need to work on are the hip flexors and of those mostly the Psoas.

Today we will give you a series of poses designed to release that big muscle which connects our lower body to the upper and is the one that stores so much tension.

We will start with trying to get you to actually feel and recognise the Psoas muscle through a high Trikonasana (triangle pose)

Take a short (narrow) warrior two stance with the right foot forward

Try to drag the feet together to the centre of gravity which straightens the right leg to anactive(almost) straight leg with a soft knee

Reach the right arm up into the sky to create as much space on the right side as you can. Feel the stretch along the whole right side, from the tips of your fingers reaching up to the right groin area.

Then start reaching forward over your right active leg and place your hand halfway the right thigh. To give yourself a measure of distance. Make sure NOT to press down into the leg but to keep the length in the right side of your body. Then start to increase the distance between hand and armpit, working in the upwards direction with the upper body while the hand keeps the chain closed.

Repeat with the left leg forward

You might not feel, or recognise the muscle to begin with but do this exercise regularly and you will eventually recognise the “tingly” feeling in the lower body from inside the upper thigh to the lower back. To begin with you might feel it as a stretch in the groin mostly.

Moving into the stretches there are a few you will no doubt recognise and already practice regularly.

Anjaneyasana

From kneeling bring the left foot forward to bring the knee above the ankle.

Reach the both arms up

Try to direct the right knee into the earth while the upper body from just above the pelvis reaches up. Almost as if there is a physical division between upper body and lower body at pelvis level.

Press the right hip forward keeping the right knee above the ankle

Reach the upper body, from the waist, over to the left. Hold the hands apart as if holding on to a big beach ball.

repeat with the right foot forward

Bridge

Take the feet a little apart. Knees as wide as your feet and ground the whole feet from tip of the toes to heel

Try to already create length in the spine by feeling an imaginary pull from the top of your head that brings the chin into the throat, lengthening the back of the neck and a pull on the pelvis towards the footed of the mat

Press the feet through the floor and feel the pelvis tilting slightly back but hold on to the natural arch in your lower back. Pulling navel into the belly

Bring the arms alongside the body and scoop the shoulder blades underneath you. Bracing the head of your shoulders to the floor

Press the pelvis up to the sky by clenching the buttocks, pressing the feet down and press the pelvis

Locus

Lie prone with the legs spread and the feet pointing straight back.

The arms in a V-shape alongside the body with the palms ‘glued’ to the floor. Making sure there is a little bit of a bend in the elbows.

Press the hips into the ground by clenching the buttocks.

Try to drag yourself backwards off your mat, engaging the arms, shoulders and front of the body. This will start lifting the upper body but make sure you feel the arch in the thoracic spine!

Roll the shoulders back and draw them away from the ears!

Lift the legs.

These are a few poses you can use to open the front of your body and relax the Psoas muscle from its constant state of contraction.

Practice these and let us know how you feel after and if you’d like to see more poses to release the poses and rid yourself of lower back ache let us know by leaving a comment below.