Updated: Jun 7, 2021
If you have ever taken a class with Megan Haligowski you undoubtedly have experienced the incessant integration of Crescent lunge pose (Ashta Chandrasana) in many variations. This is not by accident or a coincidence. Crescent lunge is extremely effective when practiced with good alignment and muscle integration to stretch the Psoas. The psoas muscle (pronounced SO-as) may be the most important muscle in your body. Without this essential muscle group, you wouldn’t even be able to get out of bed in the morning! In fact, whether you run, bike, dance, practice yoga, or just hang out on your couch, your psoas muscles are involved. That’s because your psoas muscles are the primary connectors between your torso and your legs. They affect your posture and help to stabilize your spine.
Our fast paced modern lifestyle chronically triggers and tightens the psoas – making it literally ready to run or fight. The psoas helps you to spring into action – or curl you up into a protective ball.
If we constantly contract the psoas to due to stress or tension , the muscle eventually begins to shorten leading to a host of painful conditions including low back pain, sacroiliac pain, sciatica, disc problems, spondylolysis, scoliosis, hip degeneration, knee pain, menstruation pain, infertility, and digestive problems.
A tight psoas not only creates structural problems, it constricts the organs, puts pressure on nerves, interferes with the movement of fluids, and impairs diaphragmatic breathing.
In fact, “The psoas is so intimately involved in such basic physical and emotional reactions, that a chronically tightened psoas continually signals your body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system.”
FUN FACT: The Psoas is often referred to as “The muscle of the Soul”