November 30, 2023

In the cosmic dance of the body divine, the psoas major stands as an unsung warrior, the kinetic bridgeway connecting root to crown. Often unseen and frequently forgotten until its plaintive lament rises to the forefront; this deep-sea muscle forms an essential part of our physical and spiritual equilibrium. As a solitary yogini, ensconced in the emerald embrace of our year-round feminine yoga retreat, I am imbued with ardent intention to alleviate the suffering of the sacred psoas major.

The psoas major, akin to the middle string in the divine instrument that is our body, originates from the twelfth thoracic vertebra to the fifth lumbar vertebra, and descends in a graceful arc to attach at the lesser trochanter of the femur. It is the dominant file in the choir of hip flexors; a truly divine harmonic synergist. To put it in the parlance of Buddhist symbolism, this divine muscle is the physical incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, silently carrying us through the currents of life, embodying the very essence of equanimity.

In the sublime choreography of our daily life, the psoas major finds itself constantly engaged. Be it when we sit, walk, run or even rest, this muscle is ceaselessly performing its dharmic duty. Yet, modern life seduces us into a ceaseless cycle of activity that often forgoes the sacred art of rest, leaving our holy warriors, our psoas majors, straining under the burden of their calling. Like a neglected bell whose chime weakens under the duress of time, a strained psoas major sends out echoes of dull aches, shooting pains and overall somatic imbalances.

Here, in our sacred womanhood sanctum, we turn to the celestial scripture of yoga as the ultimate salve, recognizing that the beauty of our bodies transcend physicality, and reside in the realms of energy and spirit. In reducing the burden on the psoas major, Asanas, such as Anjaneyasana (low lunge), Supta Matsyendrasana (supine spinal twist), and Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (one-legged king pigeon pose), form the holy triptych. These postures provide a rhythmic dance of pressure and release, a loving whisper to the psoas to uncurl, stretch, and breathe anew.

Under the dappled shadows of rustling Bodhi leaves, we begin with Anjaneyasana. Standing in the archway between heaven and earth, we soften our gaze to the middle distance, stepping one foot forward while the other retreats, planting itself firm. The front knee gently bends as we sink our hips, extending the hand of invitation to the psoas to release, to awaken. Pulses of pranic energy ripple through our being as we surrender to the divine serenade of the universe.

Transitioning softly into Supta Matsyendrasana, we lie supine on the earth’s chest, folding one leg over the other enfolded at the knee. Arms spread out like the wings of a resolutely resting Garuda, we slowly rotate our lower body, feeling the gentle tug of release in the psoas, the song of relief that runs like a sacred river through our body.

Finally, cradling ourselves into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, we surrender one knee forward as the other foot rests by the hip. Our body takes the shape of a humble offering as the psoas finally blossoms, stretching in a gratifying sigh of release. Our breath hums in the rhythm of the universal mantra – So Hum (‘I am that’) – infusing our body, our sacred temple, with the vibration of healing and tranquility.

Yet, the healing journey transcends the physical. Diet forms the cornerstone of our natural remedy soiree, and mindful consumption of magnesium-rich foods like almonds, black beans, and spinach serve to soothe the overworked psoas. Meditation with focus on the second chakra or Svadhisthana also supports healing, tapping into the realm of our existence that governs our emotional and creative energies.

Thus, within the veil of nature’s wisdom and yoga’s divine serenade, we find our pathway to soothe the psoas major. Easing its burden, aligning our physical and spiritual bodies, we find ourselves floating on the silent river of wellness, dancing in harmony with the melody of the universe, embodying the divine principle of ‘ahimsa’ – non-violence against self. The body, in its divine wisdom, reveals itself to be not just a vessel, but an altar of healing, a sacred testament to the interconnected sanctity of mind, body, and spirit.

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