Q & A: How To Recruit Psoas Not Superficial Hip Flexors?

Q: I have been working with your book for about three weeks now. I am a pilates and yoga teacher and practitioner but was injured skiing three months ago- broken ribs, collarbone sprained sterno-clavicular joint. I am aware how much I use my superficial hip flexors for everything – I imagine instead of the psoas – so I get terrifically tight through the rec fem and have sacroiliac pain. I am trying to come back to movement by trying to recruit my psoas instead of cheating by using my rec fem and quads. I also practice Bartinieff fundamentals – leg slide and femoral fold but it is extremely difficult to flex the hip without grabbing in the front of the thigh. Please advise – thanks!

A: There are several areas I wish to address  One is that your injury has a trauma aspect to it – the falling reflex and survival response is the psoas and so there will be a reaction from the accident that needs addressing and it will be an important apsect of your healing.  It is not about controlling the core but resolving the disruption.  I recommend the fetal curl (on your side) exploration. You can more described under my article section (Trauma articles)

  • Psoas Health & Trauma Recovery (Massage and Bodywork Magazine)
  • Iliopsoas – The Flee/Fight Muscle for Survival (Positive Health Magazine)
  • The Iliopsoas Muscle (Deep, Complex and Mysterious Part One: A Bio-Reverent Approach (Massage Magazine) and The Iliopsoas Muscle Part Two: A Practical Approach (Massage Magazine)

Second – for the psoas to function well, the sacral iliac joints must function coherently by regaining stability and balance.  I believe you need to rethingk your perpsective regarding the psoas.  You are correct that behind the flexors is this delicious bio-intelligent tissue you will want to access and you are mistaken that you need to engage or in your words recruit the psoas.  Allowing the psoas to inform you is a being and awareness capacity verses a controlling/doing event. I hope you can join me for a workshop…

(Update: Watch for my new article – The Psoas Is NOT A Hip Flexor)

Q & A: Psoas Pain After Giving Birth – What’s The Connection?
Q & A: Why Does Sitting Cause Psoas Pain?

Welcome to Core Awareness™

Liz Koch is an international educator and author who seeks to dissolve the objectification of “body” in order to re-conceptualize human beings as biologically intelligent, self-organizing, and self-healing. Employing biomorphic and embryonic paradigms, Liz redefines psoas as smart, expressive tissue that is both elemental and universal.

Core Awareness fosters core integrity and self-efficacy as creative and expressive human beings.

Here at Core Awareness you’ll discover new ways of understanding the psoas. In addition to the blogs there is an educationally rich sourcing free for the taking. Explore my videos, articles, podcasts, interviews, FAQ’s and community links and let yourself go wild!