Hey my wonderful Yoga friends how are you? How's your week going so far? Have you been taking time out for yourself to breathe? Have you moved your body today? If not then I got you covered in this little reel I created yesterday.
It's my four favourite Yoga shapes for releasing stress from the body & they work because they all stretch out the Psoas muscle, which is where we hold a lot of our stress, anxiety, worry & fear. Give them a try with me:
Scroll down for the full version with loads of variations included as well as how a Yoga brick (or loo roll) can make these shapes even more comfortable!
Why is it important to stretch out the Psoas muscle?
Our Psoas muscle is a deep rooted rope-like core muscle that originates in the mid-lower back, travelling through the core and inserting into the top of the thigh bone. Thanks to our lifestyles (particularly in the West), the Psoas is constantly impacted by low-grade stress; like when we're sat at a desk for most of the day then go home and sit in front of another screen to relax. The lack of movement causes the Psoas to tighten, become tense and shorten. Some might say "locked".
The daily impact of low-grade stress is compounded by the fact that it's where we physically store our fears, anxieties, worries & stresses. The Psoas typically engages when we're stressed and is directly linked to our fight, flight or freeze response.
Stretching (or "unlocking) this muscle, with these four shapes in-particular, encourages us to physically shed these stresses, fears, anxieties and worries, shifting us into rest & digest. This can evoke an emotional response in some people, and is totally normal.
But why THESE shapes in-particular, Sam?
Well these particular shapes are often referred to as "hip openers" because they're stretching, lengthening and loosening the Psoas muscle as well as many other muscles in the hip area
Give them a try and let me know how you feel in the comments below.
Wanna dive deeper into the Psoas muscle, the Vagus Nerve & the power of your breath? Then sign up for my 6 week in-person course; Yoga for CALM. It starts on Thursday 3rd March 7:15pm at Wagtail Coffee & Yoga.
It's 1 hour a week for 6 weeks, and if you're stressed out, anxious, worried, struggling to sleep; then trust me you deserve to give yourself at least 1 hour a week!
I have just 6 spaces left!