The Psoas/Diaphragm Connection

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Course Overview

This short course with Jo Ann Staugaard, professor of kinesiology and author of The Vital Psoas Muscle: Connecting Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being, is a great opportunity to learn about the psoas muscle in the context of therapeutic movement and yoga practices. You’ll first learn about the anatomy and function of the psoas, the importance of doing psoas-focused movement practices for relaxation and when working with trauma, and how to work with diaphragmatic breathing and the chakras in yoga practices that target the psoas.

Then, to deepen your understanding of what Jo Ann calls “the most interesting muscle in the human body,” you’ll do two practices: “Somatics and Satya” and “Exploring the Psoas/Diaphragm Connection With the Chakras.” Throughout the classes, Jo Ann draws your attention to the anatomy of the psoas and the benefits of the poses you’re doing so you can make connections between your physical, emotional, and energetic experience.

This course is appropriate for all levels and for both students and teachers.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Course Outline

1.4hrs to complete

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Section 1
  • Jo Ann welcomes you to the course and talks briefly about the role that the psoas major (often referred to as simply “the psoas”) plays in yoga. You’ll also learn about her yoga background and her teacher Tias Little’s influence on her work.
  • In this discussion, you’ll learn about the anatomy of the psoas, its role in spine and hip movement, its function as a stabilizer muscle in yoga alignment, as well as its relationship with the nervous system. You’ll also learn about the myofascial connection between the psoas and the diaphragm, how therapeutic and relaxation practices for the psoas can be used to address trauma, how you can use the chakras, in particular the manipura chakra, to work with the psoas, and more.
  • Props: blanket In this gentle somatics practice (think “small, soft movements”) created by Tias Little, Jo Ann guides you to listen to your body’s intelligence or satya, truth). You’ll lie on your back as you do slow arm and leg stretches, pelvic tilts, and gentle twists in order to relax and lengthen your psoas. You’ll also do a short psoas-releasing series on your belly that features a cobra pose variation. At the end of the sequence, Jo Ann gives you suggestions for how to integrate these movements into your regular asana practice.
  • Props: blanket, blocks In this basic asana sequence, Jo Ann draws your awareness to the connection between the breath, the psoas, and the anatomy of the movements you are doing. She also talks about the chakras as you practice, so you can infuse your experience with a deeper level of energetic awareness. You’ll do makarasana (crocodile pose), child’s pose, cat-cows, lunges that target the psoas, malasana (squat), bharadvajasana (a seated twist), and more, before concluding with a guided relaxation in savasana.
  • To conclude this program, Jo Ann offers you one more way to contextualize what you’ve learned about the psoas.

How to Get This Course?

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Meet Your Teacher

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Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones
Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones is an international movement educator and author, an Advanced Pilates and E-RYT500... 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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