The Sensitive Psoas and Its Cohorts and Substitutes: Navigating Psoas Releases, and the Effectiveness of ‘Stretches’

Back Health

You may have already heard lots about the psoas, and why it’s so important to release tightness in the psoas muscles.

The psoas muscle has long been recognized as central to balanced posture and movement. Imbalances in the psoas are often implicated in cases of lower and mid back pain, groin pain, hip pain, and even herniated discs.

Because of its links to the fight-and-flight stress response, chronic tightness in the psoas can affect us mentally and emotionally as well by trapping us in mind-body patterns that don’t serve us.

But did you know that many of the practices for psoas releases or stretching typically recommended can be counterproductive?

In this online course, renowned yoga teacher and author Doug Keller will give you a comprehensive guide to how to work constructively with the psoas muscle in your yoga practice.

Some of the questions Doug will cover include:

  • What are the effects of a tight psoas in mind and body?
  • Why is stretching in and of itself not effective in releasing tightness in the psoas?
  • Why can some approaches to so-called psoas release actually be counterproductive?
  • What is the difference between psoas release and stretching, and how can we include effective techniques for psoas release in our yoga practice?

The Problem with Common Approaches to Psoas Release

The psoas muscle doesn’t work in isolation, and many so-called psoas stretches run up against tightness in muscles that function as psoas substitutes, reducing and undermining the effectiveness of the stretches.

Knowing the distinction is important in order to fine-tune your practice and your understanding of what actions to introduce in yoga poses to get the maximum benefits.

The psoas muscle is so deep and involved in so much of our movement, including the breath, that we have to go through layers of muscle that support and replicate its function before we even get to it.

We will start with the sensitive psoas itself and chart its effects upon the body, particularly the low back and the breath. Doug will show why yoga aims to release the grip of the psoas muscle, rather than simply ‘stretching’ it.

How do we do that in our practice, and what is our approach?

When we DO feel a ‘stretch’ in the psoas, what we’re more often feeling are its substitutes. There’s a definite value to ‘stretching’ these since they tend to be palpably tighter, and we can’t really get to the ‘release’ of the psoas except by going ‘through’ them.

Learn how to understand the role of the psoas substitutes, what their effect upon us is when they’re tight, and how certain poses and alignments address them directly and open the doors to working more directly with releasing tightness in the psoas itself.

This course will give you news you can use, and an appreciation of just how much we are layered beings, in feeling and in movement — and how yoga helps us glide through these layers to the self that is our ‘core.’

What You Will Learn:

  • The variety of problems created by a ‘tight’ psoas, and why deeply targeted psoas release should be a regular component of yoga and other self-care practices.
  • Why tightness in the psoas affects us mentally and emotionally as well.
  • Common approaches to psoas release that can be counterproductive and why.
  • How we can use yoga asanas to address the psoas in different ways and how to practice asanas to more directly target the psoas muscle.
  • How to include awareness of the psoas in asanas and breath and which poses are particularly effective to release tight psoas muscles and find relief.

This Course Also Includes:

  • Yoga Practice Videos: Enjoy two yoga practice videos that accompanies this course designed by Doug Keller.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions – both MP3 (downloadable) and MP4 (streaming online), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of All Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note-takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the webinar sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.

This course qualifies for 5.5 CEs with Yoga Alliance.

Doug Keller’s background reflects a lifelong commitment to studying, imbibing and sharing the vast field of knowledge and practice known as yoga. He spent a total of 14 years doing service, practicing, and teaching yoga. 

$147/ Lifetime Access

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