Who is the Psoas Muscle?
This is the most important muscle we never learn about. It can add power to our movements and help us maintain a proper, strong structure. Or, if the psoas muscle is tight and cold, it can draw the posture forward, squeeze the lumber together, and cause lower back pain.
The psoas sprawls through the middle of the body, uniting upper and lower. It connects with the last thoracic vertebrae and each of the five lumbar vertebrae. The psoas major passes through the groin area and attaches to the hip bones. It also connects to the inside of the upper femur bone. The psoas minor also starts at the lower lumbar but connects to the sacrum.
The psoas can be tight from sitting too much, from fear in the kidneys, or from a small intestine and kidneys that are cold (from excess cold drinks). We can understand how a contracted psoas will pull the femur toward the lower lumbar. Later in life, a tight psoas can cause a stooped posture, slow and weak movements, and general pain.
The connection of the upper and lower body rest heavily with the psoas. Everyday practices like walking, standing at your desk, squatting, and knee raises can stretch the psoas. More sophisticated (but still simple) Taoist practices like Tao Yin / Taoist Yoga and Iron Shirt Chi Kung are designed, among other things, to open and stretch the psoas. By helping the psoas, these practices help the body’s structure to be integrated. If you see a tai chi master, a brilliant dancer, or a gymnast, the smooth, effortless movements originate from fluid psoas movements. When the body moves as one structure, the can connect to the earth.
The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching:
Transforming Your Lead Into Gold