Introducing The Body’s Most Powerful Primal Muscle That You’ve Never Heard Of
Your hips are the bridge between your upper body and lower body. They are at the center of your body’s movement.
Sitting within the well of your hip and lower spine is the psoas major muscle, one of the two muscles that makes up the iliopsoas.
Its often called the “mighty” psoas for the many important functions it plays in the movement of your body.
The psoas is the only muscle in the human body connecting the upper body to the lower body.
The muscle attaches to the vertebrae of the lower spine, moves through the pelvis and connects to a tendon at the top of the femur. It also attaches to the diaphragm, so its connected to your breathing, and upon it sits all the major organs.
A functioning psoas muscle creates a neutral pelvic alignment, stabilizes the hips, supports the lower spine and abdomen, supports the organs in the pelvic and abdominal cavity and gives you greater mobility and core strength.
When it functions well, it has the power to
- help you achieve peak performance day after day after day.
- rapidly drop ugly body fat that stubbornly clings to your body.
- train harder, heavier and gain strength faster than you thought possible.
- hit your peak of sexual health.
- flood your mind and body with renewed energy and vigor.
Put simply, this muscle is the core of activity in your body. So, when it’s out of balance or if the psoas tightens, there are serious consequences which flow throughout the body.
Pose : Reclining Spinal Twist
Bring your arms out in a T to prepare for our lower back twist. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, drop both knees to the left and look to the right. Dont worry if your knees dont come all the way down. Relax into the poseletting go of tension on every exhalation. Hold for 5-10 breaths on each side.
Reclining Spinal Twist releases tension at the lower back and can help to correct the alignment of your pelvis.
Beginner Yoga Poses To Help Relieve Back Pain
Yoga can play a powerful role in relieving back pain. As a health coach at Hinge Health, I have the privilege of helping people overcome their chronic back and joint pain, so they can live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. By engaging our bodies, challenging our muscles, and moving in new ways, we can literally change the narrative of our pain stories and create a better outcome for ourselves.
The first step usually involves getting my clients comfortable moving their bodies in ways that they didn’t initially think possible. If you feel intimidated by yoga, youre not alone. You may believe that you have to be able to twist into pretzel-like shapes, wear skin-tight pants, and have impeccable balance to perfect the practice of yoga, but nothing could be further from the truth!
Yoga is truly accessible for every body type, every shape, and size, and is well-suited for all physical and mental conditions. Yoga is an effective practice for improving your strength, flexibility, and mobility, all the while fostering a greater sense of mindfulness. According to research published in 2020, 74% of individuals who practice yoga experience less lower back and neck pain.
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Your Brain Onthis Is Your Brain On Yoga
As a yoga instructor, I have a few favorite stretches for the hips and theyre not just my favorites because they feel good theyre extremely functional and work the hip from all angles. Frangiamore is also a fan of these yoga poses. Stretches like the pigeon pose, warrior 1 and groin stretches all work to lengthen muscles that attach around the hip joint , which become shortened after prolonged sitting or resting, he says. Lengthening these muscles can decrease tension and excessive pull on the hips and lower back which can improve posture and decrease associated pain.
Ready to get loose? Give these three stretches a try.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana I
This pose will be well suited to anyone working with tight hamstrings. Keeping your leg bent helps you to contain the back of your pelvis and lift your spine upwards from its base. In time it will teach you the techniques that are necessary for practicing this pose with your extended leg straight. In this picture a block is placed on the seat of the chair to ensure that the knee is positioned higher than the hip. Better still would be to use a higher stool if one is available.
- Begin in tadasana standing upright with your feet together.
- Without disturbing the position of your left foot, step your right foot onto the support. Ensure that you have taken sufficient height so that your knee is higher than your hip.
- Check that your right knee aligns directly over your right ankle, with your shin bone perpendicular to the floor.
- Check that your left ankle sits directly underneath your left hip.
- Press your left heel firmly down.
- As you contain the front of your left thigh, turn your inner groin back.
- Ensure that the front of the standing leg faces directly forwards.
- Check that your right outer hip has stayed down level to the height of your left hip.
- With your hands on your hips, move your elbows closer so that your back ribs move in and your chest lifts.
- Ensure that your whole spine is lifting from its base upwards.
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If You Experience Lower Back Pain Your Hips Could Be The Cause Of It These 10 Poses Will Help Strengthen All The Right Muscles To Fix Pain At The Source
Weak hip muscles are often the hidden cause of lower back pain. Sitting for prolonged periods of time is particularly damaging, as it shortens and tightens the hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves while weakening our abdominals, back muscles, outer hips, and glutes. Over time, the effect of this muscular imbalance leads to an anterior pelvic tilt meaning lower back and hip pain.
To combat this problem, start by making it a habit to get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour. Then, incorporate this yoga program into your daily routine. Itll help strengthen your hips, which is beneficial in combatting lower back pain.
How To Locate A Certified Registered Yoga Instructor
Your doctor or healthcare provider may be an excellent resource to help you locate a Registered Yoga Teacher . Yoga Alliance and The International Association of Yoga Therapists are two organizations known to oversee yoga instruction and teacher certification.
When you see credentials such as E-RYT 500 and/or C-IAYT following a providers name, you know they are qualified to lead yoga instruction. For example:
- E-RYT 500 is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with a 500-hour certification meaning he/she has completed 500 hours of classroom learning, taught at least 4 years and 2,000 hours.
- C-IAYT means the teacher is Certified by the International Association of Yoga Teachers. Training is comprehensive and includes anatomy breath work, meditation, and back care. Some yoga teachers specialize in therapies directed at treating cancer or spinal disorders, such as the Cleveland Clinic.
Yoga teachers have practiced the poses that comprise Hatha yoga for centuries to improve physical, mental and spiritual health. If youre looking for a holistic way to help ease chronic lower back pain, use the resources provided to find a qualified yoga teacher. But before you doalways talk with your treating doctor or healthcare provider before starting any style of yoga or exercise, especially if you have back or neck pain.
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Your Yoga For Back Pain Sequence
This sequence is designed to address a range of muscular imbalances, compensation patterns and alignment issues that are commonly correlated with lower back pain.
- Tight lower back.
- Weak corethe abs, obliques and lower back.
- Misalignments in the pelvis.
You may recognise that you are prone to all of these issues or to just one or two. Either way, this sequence has your bases covered and all you need is your mat.
But I’m An Athlete And My Back Still Hurts
Athletes on the other hand are not sedentary, so why the lower back pain? Any weight-bearing sport or exercise that involves running, jumping, or rapid dynamic movements produces tension on the lower back. When these activities are repeated over time without properly stretching and releasing these tight muscles overuse injuries may occur.
For the sedentary nine-to-five worker exercise is key for relieving lower back pain as well as reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, Im assuming you are not in that category. If you are, then add some cardiovascular exercises along with the lower back stretches suggested below.
If you have a slipped disc in the lower back or sciatica, please avoid all deep forward bends as these can make your condition worse.
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How To Perform The Childs Pose Correctly
If youre ready to try the traditional version of childs pose, follow these steps:
Child’s Pose Elongates Your Back And Relieves Stress
It may look like youre resting, but Childs pose is an active stretch that helps elongate the back. Its also a great de-stressor before bed at the end of a long, exhausting day.
Try it: Start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then sit back so your glutes come to rest just above but not touching your heels. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as many times as needed for a good, soothing stretch.
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Pre-COVID, I toured and traveled for work for about two-and-a-half years straight, spending what felt like endless hours on planes, buses, and trains. All that sitting caused a physical strain on my low back and hips. Im not globetrotting much now, but the work from home life still involves a lot of chair time. Fortunately, I discovered that yoga stretches for tight hips and a tense low back can help ease the ache from too much sitting.
Jamies Journey To Overcome Lower Back Pain Through Yoga
Heres a story of how yoga postures can be easily added into daily life to relieve pain and discomfort. When I started working with Jamie as her Hinge Health Coach in our Low Back Program, she was discouraged by her lack of flexibility and worried about falling because her balance wasnt good. Working long hours on a computer as a consultant, Jamie was often frustrated by the pain in her lower back from sitting at a desk all day with little time to get up and move..
At the age of 45, Jamie wished she could move around more freely and confidently in her own body. She wanted to attend fitness classes with her friends but was too embarrassed. I cant exercise around anyone or even chase my kids around the backyardIts too painful and its embarrassing, she shared. Thankfully, with some encouragement, Jamie recognized that she could take this seemingly hopeless situation into her own hands and do something different to relieve her chronic back pain.
Jamies story is just one example of how therapeutic exercise can have significant benefits in terms of decreasing pain, increasing mobility, and improving function. The good news is that Jamies story can be your story, too.
Through sensor-guided exercise therapy and remote 1-on-1 coaching, Hinge Health offers a holistic approach to reducing chronic back and joint pain. To learn more how the three pillars of exercise therapy, education, and behavioral health drive long-term outcomes, request a demo below.
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Lower Back Pain Relief Yoga Sequence #4a: Pigeon
From all-fours, bring your right knee behind your right wrist with your lower leg at a diagonal toward your left hip. Square off your hips toward the ground. Bend forward. Widen the elbows and place one hand on top of the other as a pillow for your forehead. Hold 2-3 minutes and then switch to the left side for 2-3 minutes.
If pigeon pose bothers your knees, then do Thread the Needle.
Sensing And Releasing The Psoas
The easiest way you can learn to release and begin to sense the psoas is to start by lying down on your back. Relax your jaw, part your lips slightly, and breathe comfortably. Let your exhalations have a soft, warm quality, as if you were quietly whispering hhhaaaaa. Imagine the exhalation originating from a release deep in your pelvis as the diaphragm and chest muscles passively release to expel the breath, the psoas also releasesif you let it. You might feel your tailbone slide slightly toward your heels, reducing the arch in your lower back. This signals that the psoas is letting go. Your goal is not to flatten the back to the floor, but simply to feel this release as the spine settles into an entirely passive, neutral arch . Some people feel a release in the jaw rather than the spine. This also signals a release deep inside the pelvis. Either way, you can practice this work for up to 10 minutes.
Negative experiences cause the psoas to contract, which stresses the lower back. Simple diaphragmatic breathing helps overcome this painful cycle.
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Minute Yoga For Lower Back And Hips
February 12, 2021// by Di Hickman//
This week I tweaked my back getting my dog into the car, aggravating an old injury. When this happens my instinct is to get on my mat and assess. Do I need rest, or do I need movement? On this occasion I needed movement. As I began doing some somatic exercises yoga for lower back and hips, I figured it was a good time to film and share.
Ive suffered from a couple of back injuries in my life, but the last one laid me out for weeks. Seriously, if youve never had a back injury you have NO IDEA how much it can hurt to do simple things like brush your teeth. Who knew you used your back muscles to lean forward and spit? In this gentle 18 minute class well mobilize using somatic exercises and yoga to stretch the tight muscles around the pelvis and low back. This yoga routine may provide relief from low back pain and sciatica. Move slowly, and mindfully.. Especially if you have injuries!
If you cant view the embedded video above, you can view the video on YouTube. Maybe add it to a playlist? Above all, remember to . New videos are uploaded every Tuesday and Friday. However, for exclusive longer format videos sign up for my Patreon community. Patrons also get early access to all my videos, along with lots of other benefits.
Yoga Poses To Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy
Posted bySpine Correction CenterApril 6, 2017Comments Off on 10 Yoga Poses to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy
Yoga is a healthy way to exercise even if youre not pregnant, but for expecting mothers, its particularly beneficial. Use these 10 poses to relieve back pain during pregnancy, as well as improve your flexibility and balance as your belly grows.
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Yoga Hip Openers And Emotion Release
What’s more, “holding poses for 30 to 60 seconds permits your natural relaxation response to kick in,” he says. That means doing yoga for your hips and thighs can counter the stress response, which preps the body to fight or flee by, among many things, tensing your muscles. But when your hip muscles are relaxed, you can get a better, deeper stretch to relieve tightness.
On top of that, yoga also involves focused breathwork which is critical to triggering a relaxation response so you get double the calming benefits for your mind and body.
“The hips serve as a container for emotions,” Davis says. “Doing hip openers can help release trapped emotions and ease stress.”
If you feel a strong emotional response doing yoga poses for tight hips, be gentle with yourself. Pay attention to what you’re feeling in both mind and body.