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Yin Yoga for Releasing the Psoas

Recently I had a viewer request for a yin yoga class for releasing the psoas, so that’s the theme of this week’s practice. =)

The psoas has become quite popular in recent years, and people get pretty excited about “releasing” this large hip flexor. 

It’s easy to get carried away, though, and people do all manner of somewhat silly and potentially harmful things while attempting to ‘release the psoas.’ It won’t come as a surprise to regular readers that this yin-style class takes a more gentle approach to things. No rolling around on kettlbells or prodding your midsection with your fingers here!

Yin Yoga to Release the Psoas

The practice begins with a simple way to actually figure out where your psoas is and feel it contract so you can become more in tune with it, as well as an explanation of how any yoga practice can, in fact, help release the psoas by relieving tension. From there we move through a sequence to help lengthen and strengthen this important muscle.

As usual for me, there is no pigeon pose in this practice. Although what we call pigeon, which isn’t actually the full traditional pigeon pose, is quite popular, it also has the potential to be dangerous for the knees, especially for people who have ‘tight hips.’ Since I typically go for a more gentle approach and there are plenty of asanas that work the hips, I have not included pigeon in any video to date. I usually don’t include it in my personal practice, either, and prefer to take a deep lizard lunge, instead. It definitely gets into the hips and doesn’t put awkward pressure on the knees!

We’ll have to see how things go, but I may not have a yoga video to share for a couple of weeks. As I mentioned Monday, I’m about to head off to Colorado – hooray! Things are very busy between now and then, too, so we’ll just have to see what happens.

Are there any ‘popular’ asanas than you avoid because of your body’s needs?

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Dawna February 21, 2019, 13:22

    Hi Natasha Nd thanks for this very helpful video. I am in a bit of a psoas crisis at the m0ment and will be assisted with bodywork this afternoon. Osteoarthritis has arrived in the right hip and has been a challenge, even with some Yin postures. The thing with yin as I am taught is the breath, abdominal breathing which activate the parasympathetic nervous system and the release of acetylcholine into the body, which is our natural tranquilizer. So, adding breath instruction and reminders would complement your video. Also, perhaps talking in the positive, what we are welcoming, rather than “trying” to release tension, seems to cue up a better result.

    • Natasha February 21, 2019, 15:40

      I absolutely agree that including breath work is beneficial to a yin yoga practice. I also agree that speaking in the positive is much better. It’s something I’ve been trying to do since having a child in 2017. Even with practice, it is difficult to remember all the time, but I think I’m getting better at it! You may not have noticed the date on this video, but it was made quite some time ago. Since then, my practice and teaching has definitely expanded. I apologize for the video quality and colors, but this practice incorporates more breathing reminders and also deals with relaxing the psoas. https://youtu.be/RknsOy6gHFo

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