The Psoas and I

May 18, 2011 § 1 Comment

To answer your first question: so-az. To answer your second question: it’s a muscle that connects your lumbar area to your hip, more or less, and mine is tight as the strings on Mr. Scrooge’s purse*.

Figure 1.

Foraying boldly into TMI territory, I will tell you that even though I’ve been doing more or less consistent yoga ever since gay Paree, my psoas is stubborn as shit. Every morning is like a battle to get the damn thing to unclench, relax, release, lengthen, etc. etc. The perky-yet-soothing voice of Jackie or Lisa or Dawnelle guiding my yoga-flow through my earbuds has me to a T. “Hips are one of the tightest places in our body,” they coo as I feel my leg begin to shake with uncontrollable tension like an old bungee cord that’s been stretched a mile and a half. “We store our stress and emotions in our hips. Melt into the pose. Let go.” Lady, I am trying.

But it’s damn tough. I can’t do lunges, I can barely touch my toes, and half-pigeon makes me want to cry (but in a hurts-so-good kind of way, so, victory?). It’s gotten so bad that sitting for extended periods of time (which, as a desk-worker-cum-college-student, is like, all the time) makes my butt and lower back hurt, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to make it settle down and stop screaming in discomfort. I end up shifting in my seat a lot. This does not make me look more normal.

However, I want the takeaway message of this little whinefest to be this: it’s okay! It’s kind of even the desired result! Six months ago, I didn’t even know what a psoas was.** And now I at least know that it’s a “problem area” for me, to use the totally non-yogic terminology. In other words: I’m tense. But I know where, and I suppose that’s a start, and one of these days I am going to do the most beautiful Bird of Paradise you’ve ever seen. 

Next time: The awkward and embarrassing reason I hate doing shoulderstands!

*Yes, I just made a reference to the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol. In May. DEAL WITH IT
**Four minutes ago, you didn’t either. Admit it!

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