Understanding the core muscles of the body is essential for any type of movement art. In Yoga it is talked about often but we only scratch the surface when we think of it in terms of muscular effort and strength. It also overlaps with stability, movement, and the esoteric bandhas!
The psoas muscle is extremely popular and talked about plenty. It’s still difficult for people to feel and find where the muscle is. Understanding the impact of what this muscle represents is well beyond where it attaches and what movements it makes you do. Let’s explore further!
This month’s “mucle of the month” is the iliacus muscle. Wondering where it attaches? What postures lengthen it? Which ones make it contract? Perhaps you’re wondering how it’s related to the psoas?
Practicing yoga with back pain is one thing. Practicing yoga with a herniated disc is something completely different! Differentiating between the two is a big guessing game for most yoga teachers. It’s difficult because the symptoms of either back pain or herniated disc overlap.
Quadratus Lumborum is a popular muscle and talked about often. This is part of a new series called Muscle of the Month where I give succinct information about a new muscle each month.
We shouldn’t take it lightly when we ask or direct people to breathe in very specific ways. Breathing is personal to all of us. There may be long standing physical patterns, emotions, or trauma mixed into the way we breathe. We should be aware that breathing in different ways has different affects on us. The rate of inhalation can be stimulating, agitating, or calming.
I have written about a number of the “lightning rod” muscles such as the piriformis, psoas, and transverse abdominis. I refer to them as “lightning rods” because they attract attention. Sometimes this is for good reason, after all, everyone should know about his or her psoas. However, every problem related to core shouldn’t be thrown onto the back of the psoas or the transverse abdominis for that matter.
There are other possibilities for hip pinching. Please also read Is Yoga Tearing Labrums? [/alert]
Hip pinching can show up in parvrita parsvakonasana, ardha matsayendrasana, marichyasana C, or other twists. The sensation is anything from mild discomfort to an ice pick sensation in the front and inside of the pelvis. The most common description however is that it seems as though something is getting “pinched.” Others describe it as a “stabbing” pain.
I was recently asked a question via email. Can yoga fix scoliosis? It’s certainly not the first time that I’ve ever been asked about scoliosis and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It’s a seemingly simple question but it bends in a direction that makes me wonder about our larger expectations for our yoga practice and our desire for a simple answer to what seems like a simple question. The truth is, it’s neither a simple question nor a simple answer.
The foundation of our bodies and our yoga practice lies at our feet. In order to incorporate both physical and energetic foundations, we must examine our body’s center of energy, movement and balance which begins near the psoas muscle– the pair of deep muscles extending from the sides of the spine to the femur that are activated in yoga postures like forward bending (paschimottanasana), Boat pose; and lengthened in poses like Warrior I and Bow.