Psoas Stretches – Happier Low Back

Stretch 2

Image by FurLined via Flickr

I’ve been gone for awhile, but …

First of all, I think I need the Angel Sisters’ Art of Yoga Cards – I would definitely have used these with my kids! They are so lovely and fun!

Secondly & Once again – Time for Two of my favorite Psoas Stretches. I recently came across some fabulous video clips on Ardash Williams’ website SmartStretch. I am not familiar with Ardash, but I do like the videos I’ve seen so far – in particular – the Psoas Stretches, the Full Back Series, the Neck Series, and the Rhomboid Stretches.

Check out those four SmartStretch video clips and more here.

Why I love Lunges such as  Ajaneyasana or Cresent Pose:

I find Crescent Pose to be particularly helpful because even though I am unable to achieve a significant backbend or spinal hyperextension needed for other asanas which stretch the psoas, Ajaneyasana increases the flexibility of my psoas muscles, and involves my low-back muscles and thighs too. The way it stretches and strengthens, greatly increases my low back range of motion and  really ranks high on the ‘Must Do’ list, for keeping my Flat Back at bay.

My flat back posture is the result of a surgical intervention which eliminated my natural lordosis, and resulted in the flat back and its issues which I have been working on ever since. Although it took me many years to realize I would not be able to correct my posture, all my yoga efforts helped prevent the progression of the syndrome.

When I see the incredible loss of range of motion others suffer from, even to the extent of being bent over frontward at a 90 degree angle, I am grateful beyond words for my yoga practice and all those who have inspired me along this path! The chart below indicates some of the areas I have focused on stretching and strengthening.

The main thing to remember is – Just Keep Up!

Types of posture Alignment Tight/ overactive muscles Inhibited/ weaken muscles Possible musculoskeletal issues
Flat back Forward head postureThoracic kyphosis – decreased

Lumbar lordosis – decreased

Neutral to Posterior (pelvis rotating backward)

Hips – increased extension

Knees – hyperextended

  • Normal or tight rectus abdominis
  • Glutei
  • Psoas
  • Extensors
  • Multifidus
  • Iliacus
Pain or discomfort in prolong sitting, standing, sleeping, bending, drivingCommon complications: Degenerated disc Herniated disc above or below spinal fusion


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