The psoas (SO-AZ) is a muscle running through the pelvis to the upper part of the femur. 
This long, thick, fibrous muscle helps with walking, and is one of the largest muscles in the body. 
In yoga the psoas is often overused, usually in place of the core in poses such as Boat, standing leg extension, and even tree, which can cause a barrel of problems. 
And that’s just the beginning! 
The psoas is also a huge storage depot for fear, trauma, and childhood concerns. 
Take, for example, the dreaded potty training stage. Emotional trauma from this stage can get buried in this early childhood developmental muscle, and decades later can become a cause for concern.  

That’s because the psoas is like a storage depot that never gets emptied: Everything just keeps getting dumped into the psoas.

Pain related to the psoas can easily cause a slew of symptoms such as:

  • Back pain
  • Hip socket tension
  • Leg length discrepancies
  • Knee and ankle problems
  • Groin pain
  • Sleep issues
  • Jaw pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Excessive muscle tension
  • Referred back and sciatic pain

One way the body tries to bring balance and release without us realizing it is by teeth grinding. By grinding our teeth, we allow synovial fluid to keep running through the CNS (central nervous system), helping the body find balance. 
Not understanding what the body is trying to do, we try to treat the grinding instead of the real issue: the psoas. That’s why treatments such as crainosacral therapy work, because in this type of practice, one works to release the pelvis and other connected areas.

The psoas has many other cries for help, too, including menstrual cramps. When the psoas is tight, it pins the uterus down, giving a woman sometimes very painful cramping. Other signs that the psoas needs rehab include insomnia, foot and leg dysfunction, and water retention. 
And as I stated before, the psoas holds deep-seated fear and trauma. That’s partly the reason why people many times feel uncomfortable in a deep hip release, getting anxious, angry or sometimes even brought to tears.
I am in rehab for my psoas and for me, many of the above are causes for concerns.

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