December 22, 2012
Questions: What muscle connects your spine to your legs—front and back?
If you have never experienced an iliopsoas stretch, then you have never really felt the muscle that may be causing so much of your lower back pain.
To the voyeur, Yoga looks like it is a series of stretches and strengthening exercises that twists and contorts your body into pretzel positions that may be more difficult than a normal person could do. But the truth is that Yoga should stretch, lengthen, and strengthen all the most useful muscles in the body. In so doing, this leaves the body quite relaxed and emptied of energy, so that your deductive mind can quiet and the spiritual mind can rest in a peaceful place as well. In fact, the entire process of yoga was designed to get to the peace. It really was not about the movement, so much as to say that the yogis were trying to feel every part of their bodies to experience every part of God’s creation.
With this being said, there is a part of our bodies that very few people experience—the psoas, for short. It is tucked under the hip flexors and is sometimes very difficult to reach unless you know some specific exercises to get to the problem places.
I just Googled the word and found 1000s of entries on exercises for the psoas. I’m not going to try and define and explain in words exercises that you can probably find on YouTube with someone much more limber than I showing you. But I did want to let you in on the secret.
This muscle, since it connects the spine to the legs from the front and the back, if it is tight, can cause terrible lower back pain. When stretched at first, it is quite painful. So, go gently into the muscle. You might even want to apply ice or heat, which ever feels better before or after stretching.
Just an FYI for today. Hope everyone is doing great and know that when I see your pictures float past me in a comment, I always whisper a prayer for you.