Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Yoga Sequence for Psoas: Psoas Yoga Sequence
Often times, when yoga students complain of tiredness in their legs and stiffness in the lower back, it is caused by tight psoas muscles. These tight psoas muscles can also be a cause for stress and body weakness. Hence, yoga teachers should be encouraged to use yoga poses with side stretches and backbends to open and lengthen the psoas muscles for an overall feel-good factor.
These are muscles are buried deep within the center of the body; beneath layers of skin, muscles and organs. Generally considered the deepest of the core muscles - the very core; the human body has two of these muscles on either side of the body. These muscles connect the spine and legs, creating a bridge between the upper and lower body, making it a good hip flexor.
This yoga sequence for psoas muscles brings in Ashta Chandrasana Arms on Hips Vinyasa is an excellent way to keep psoas muscles active. In the human anatomy, these muscles connect to the sympathetic nervous system or the "fight-flight-freeze" response. Working on psoas muscles, thus, helps keep away lower back pain and hip stiffness while also strengthening your quadriceps which eventually strengthen the pelvic floor muscles as well.
Yoga Sequence for Psoas: Psoas Yoga Sequence: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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A. Begin to stan at the centre of the mat, with feet close to each other, in Tadasana taking a few breaths.
B. Extending the arms above the head stand here in Urdhva Hastotanasana for about 6 breaths. Inhale and rise up onto your toes to balance the body while extending the torso upwards.
C. Focusing on any one point, take the body slowly up while inhaling and stretch completely with exhalation. Keep the body loose while learning to balance. Release and repeat again to gain confidence with the balance.
A. To further warm up the body to increase the muscle strength, while opening them and to gain flexibility the practice of Surya Namaskar is essential.
B. Starting with the Tadasana pose, go step by step into the 10 steps and focus on the inhalation and the exhalation in each pose. Make sure that this sequence of Sun Salutation is done slowly, mainly to open the entire body and increase blood circulation.
C. Practice this in 6 rounds (3 pairs), going steady with the breathing and the movement of the body.
D. Extend the spine in each pose and watch for the the deep stretches at the shoulders and at the lower back.
A. From Tadasana variation, take the left foot and place it on the inside of the right thigh pressing the foot deep inside while placing the knees outwards, and take the arms above your head slowly in Anjali Mudra to stand in Vrksasana.
B. This pose helps to gain balance and confidence and hence take the gaze towards one point to remain in focus and balance here for about 6 breaths or more while ensuring the knees of the right leg are not bent.
C. Extend the arms high up and take the chest and the abdomen in a deep stretch.
A. Taking the challenge to another level, release from Vrksasana, and holding the toes of the left foot with your right hand, twist the hips to take the left leg extended towards the right side.
B. While taking the left leg towards the right side, extend the left arm outwards for better balance to stay here in Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana or Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose for about 6 breaths or more.
C. Here the twisting of the hips and the legs, helps to gain flexibility while also gaining balance with the twist. Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose can also be done close to the wall for someone who needs support if a beginner.
A. Release from Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana, and come to stand keeping the feet together and as you exhale twist the torso towards the right while taking the arms in Anjali Mudra to go into Parivrtta Utkatasana.
B. Placing the outer left elbow on the outside of the right knee, twist the upper torso and gaze upwards, feeling the twist at the hips and at the shoulders.
C. Stay here for about 6 or more number of breaths and make sure the balance is maintained.
A. From Five Pointed Star Pose, inhale extend the torso upwards and as you exhale, take the torso in a forward bend flexing from the hips to reach forward to touch the feet with your hands.
B. With complete exhalation, stretch down and go deep inside with the torso and get the balance right along with the alignment. Extend the body to go into Intense Leg Stretch Pose, with variation.
C. Pulling the belly in and using the abdominal muscles, go deep with the stretch feeling it at the hamstrings, hips, calves and the neck.
D. Remain here placing the feet firm on the floor/mat, and make sure the distance between the feet are comfortable. Stay here for about 6 breaths if possible more to gain more confidence with the intensity of the practice.
E. A great pose to strengthen the legs and improving in flexing the hips to gain balance. If holding the feet brings discomfort, place the hands on the floor in front of you and look up to gain better confidence and slowly with practice go deeper with the posture.
F. Breathing plays a great role here and also ensure the balance is maintained, hence focus on using the abdomen the right way with the breathing to hold the posture comfortably.
A. From Prasarita Padottanasana or Intense Leg Stretch Pose, move the left foot towards the left to be placed at 90 degrees, take the right foot inwards to be placed at 20 degrees, while twisting the hips to a comfortable position.
B. Extending the torso towards the left side while you inhale, exhale and place the left hand on the floor close to the left foot while extending the right arm upwards at shoulder level.
C. With complete exhalation come to Extended Triangle Pose or Utthita Trikonasana, while gazing at the right arm above.
D. Remain here for about 6 breaths ensuring the alignment of the feet and the hips along with the chest and the shoulders are perfect to hold longer in the posture.
E. With every inhalation loosen the body and as you exhale extend the torso to go deeper with the arms downwards. If gazing up causes discomfort, look down or straight depending on the comfort of the body and the breathing.
F. Extended Triangle Pose has many benefits, starting from improving balance and flexibility and including a lot of benefits to the internal organs of the body. Here practicing this pose, tones the legs and the hips improving in the posture making the body light and easy to stay.
A. Moving from Utthita Trikonasana, slowly bend the left knee while adjusting the distance between the feet and remain in balance.
B. Exhale and extend the right arm beyond the head and gaze up at the fingers to remain in Utthita Parsvakonasana or Extended Side Angle Pose.
C. A step ahead of the simple Extended Triangle pose, the bending of the knees here gives one the confidence to balance better while also strengthening the hips and the legs.
D. Make sure the foot is firm and steady to remain in balance for about 6 breaths in this posture. The pushing of the belly in while also pressing it against the thighs tones the entire upper body making it fit for next level poses.
A. Releasing from Crescent High Lunge Pose, inhale and bring the arms down to be placed at shoulder level, releasing from the first variation of Warrior Pose, to go into the second variation.
B. While the left knee is still bent, bring the arms at shoulder level, and go steady with the breathing to maintain the balance. Ensure the left knee does not go beyond the left ankle.
C. Proper alignment of the foot and the hips makes the pose far easier and beautiful. Stay here in Virabhadrasana II, for about 6 breaths or more and with every exhalation, bend the knees deeper and extend the arms wider.
A. Coming in a flow, release from Crescent High Lunge Shoulder Opener, and bring the hands to your hips, while look ahead.
B. Be here in this variation of Crescent Pose for about 1 breath, and as you exhale, bend the right leg behind you, almost in a dynamic lunge, flexing the knees.
C. Stay here for about few seconds and release to come up again in Crescent High luge Pose with hands on Hips.
D. Do this in a dynamic way from the High Lunge to the Low Lunge, going in a flow about 4 times for 4 breaths with each movement.
E. This pose while in a flow gives a deeper stretch to the quadricep muscles while using the maximum range of the psoas muscles. Feel the deep stretch while bending the legs behind you, and take control of the balance too.
A. Thus ending the sequence for the psoas muscles using standing poses and as a preparation of Ashta Chandra Arms on Hips Vinyasa. Come to lie down on your back, resting the entire spine on the mat, while resting the thighs above a bolster to encourage good blood supply towards the pelvic area and the lower abdomen.
B. Stay here for about 5 mins while the focus is slow deep controlled breathing.