Awakening Our Psoas!!
Hello my dancing friends!
I am settling in back home after an amazing Nia White Belt in North Hollywood with 10 radiant beings of light! I am in deep gratitude to our producer, friend and Nia brown belt, Paula Chambers, who manifested this dream, and to my dear friend and co-trainer Adelle Brewer. Together we rocked North Hollywood!! Look at all the smiles AND look for another Nia White Belt there next year!!! There is no place like home and YOU, and I look forward to seeing YOU! Check out my class schedule this week HERE!
Awakening our Psoas! Ida Rolf famously referred to our Psoas as the "seat of the soul". I like to visualize my psoas as a beautiful long blue scarf that flows and drapes from behind my heart, over my pelvis, and then wraps inside my thighbone. So what is this magical muscle we call Psoas? The psoas is a large muscle, with a length of up to 16 inches, that attaches at the bottom of the thoracic spine at T12 and along the lumbar spine through L4, then runs through the pelvic bowl, down over the front of the hip joint, and attaches at the top of the femur. It is the only muscle connecting the spine to the leg. Our psoas muscle is magical in the way it supports us standing, walking and running, and when healthy and relaxed, allows the diaphragm to function with ease and grace....meaning we are breathing to our full potential!! The psoas provides you with mobility and core stability, and it affects the ability of your legs and spine to move freely. Your psoas muscle could be said to be the most important muscle of your body and the muscle for most people, that needs awakening and lengthening. Take a look around you in life and at work, and notice people's posture. Much of the contraction in our psoas occurs due to our use of technology, hovering over our laptops, driving hunched over the steering wheel, walking with our head looking down....the list goes on and on.
Here are some great references:
The Opinionated Psaos by Thomas Meyers: http://www.evolutionmovement.com/articles/Psoas.pdf
The Daily Bandha: http://www.dailybandha.com/2013/11/sankalpa-visualization-and-yoga.html
In addition our psoas muscle is a powerful reflex muscle and is affected by our emotions, and in particular fear. Fear is a primordial emotion we feel and one which our body responds to automatically. For example, imagine crossing the street and a car almost hits you. How does your body respond? Our sympathetic nervous system responds with flight or fight, causing our body to go inward for safety. Typically once we know we are safe, our body relaxes. However, when we are in constant stress, fear or trauma our psoas muscle stays in this state of contraction, and the whole body pays the price! In Nia we move the body organically that supports the conditioning and lengthening of our psoas muscle. When we move through the planes of our body (high, middle and low) we are opening and closing the front of our groin, contracting and expanding our psoas muscle. When we roll on the floor "embryonic like" we are spiraling our psoas muscle. When me engage our chest with chest isolation's, we are mobilizing and vibrating our psoas (remember it attaches to our thoracic and lumbar spine). When we use toes in, out and parallel, knee sweeps, and express with our arms and hands, we are conditioning our psoas muscle. When we laugh or sound we shake up our psoas muscle which releases tension. Nia awakens our psoas, and can potentially release stress in your body!!! In fact, Nia heals and conditions every part of you body! See you in class - I have some awesome exercises for you!