Relieve Tension in the Psoas

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Course Overview

A tight psoas can cause serious postural problems and can also contribute to arthritis in the lumbar facet joints. On the other hand...

...a weak and overstretched psoas can contribute to a common postural problem in which the pelvis is pushed forward of the chest and knees. Maybe you've heard (or felt!) that a tight (or weak) psoas can make certain yoga postures challenging or uncomfortable. Or that tension in the psoas can lead to day-to-day postural problems, or even dysfunctional breathing patterns. But how? And how can we find relief? Delve deeper with Sandra Anderson, and get tips and practices to help you create balance in the psoas and discover a greater sense of freedom in both your yoga practice and your daily life!

I am no yogi, but I began doing these stretches and poses, very slowly and gently, in my 50s. I have led an active and physically stressful life - including back surgery for a ruptured disc from carrying heavy equipment. These types of stretches have made a world of difference to my mobility and my strength, as I turn 60. Many thanks to Sandra, and to Yoga International for putting together quality education at an affordable price!

— Nancy, Course Participant

Want to learn more about the psoas? In this course, you will:

  • Get an introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the psoas muscle.

  • Gain an understanding of the psoas from a yogic viewpoint.

  • Learn the signs of a weak, shortened, or tight psoas.

  • Get several short, focused practice tutorials to work with the psoas.

  • Get one short psoas-centered sequence.

  • Get one full class that focuses on the psoas muscle.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Course Outline

2.5 hrs to complete

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Section 1
  • In this 10-minute segment, Sandy explores the psoas: what it is, how it contributes to functional movement, and how it supports spinal integrity and stability. She also explores the relationship between the psoas and the diaphragm, the relationship between emotions and the psoas, and lifestyle habits that can lead to imbalances and tension in the psoas.
  • Sandy describes the yogic perspective on the psoas: its relationship to the four primal urges (food, sex, sleep, self-preservation) and how these primal urges relate to the "pranic hub," an energy center said to be rooted in the pelvis.
  • Sandy discusses the signs and symptoms of a shortened, weak, or tight psoas. In addition to reviewing the common causes of an imbalanced psoas, she also offers lifestyle tips that could help you ease tension in this area.
Section 2
  • Practicing relaxation techniques is the first step to easing tension in the psoas. Learn how to connect to deep diaphragmatic breathing in a soothing, supported savasana.
  • Wind relieving pose is one of the best postures for lengthening the psoas. Sandy will teach you how you can use this asana to test for asymmetry in the body, as well as how you can modify it with a bolster and gentle movements to deepen your experience.
  • Low lunge can help soften and relax the psoas. Sandy will show you how to align this pose for optimal psoas release. She will also remind you to take prop options (blankets and blocks) if you desire extra support.
  • Explore a creative standing-balance exercise, supported by a block, that can help you find deep release through the psoas.
  • Now let's strengthen! Learn how to align leg lifts in a way that will specifically target the psoas.
  • Explore a propped and a propless variation of pigeon pose. Find ease and comfort as you soothe your psoas and hips overall.
  • Sometimes a tight psoas is associated with weak glutes. Learn a simple exercise to strengthen this area of the body and improve pelvic stability overall.
  • Learn the most optimal sitting posture for a healthy psoas.
Section 3
  • This 40-minute asana sequence will include everything we have learned thus far and more. Sandy will offer alignment tips and prop suggestions to help ease not only the psoas but also the lower back.
  • A Short Sequence to Release the Psoas PDF

  • This 60-minute asana sequence will help you further release the psoas. We'll incorporate much of what we've learned so far as well as some new postures, including three-legged dog, side angle, boat pose, and more.

How to Get This Course?

To obtain unlimited access to this course on all your devices, along with access to 300+ other yoga course and challenges, and all the content of Yoga International, just create a Yoga International account. The first 7 days are free. Cancel anytime!

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Meet Your Teacher

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Sandra Anderson
For over 20 years Sandra Anderson has shared her extensive experience in yoga theory and practice with... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this course in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This course is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Course completion.
No prerequisites are required; this course is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the course is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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