Anatomy: Illiopsoas

Before this course I had a very basic understanding of our muscles and bones; I knew what they had taught me in school but never had the chance to connect what I learned in a book to what I learned with my body in yoga.

The illiopsoas, one of the most powerful muscles in our hip flexors, was definitely something I had never learned about before. But ironically it’s one of the more important muscles that we use in our daily life and in yoga. It is made out of two muscles, the psoas major and illiacus. Both of these two muscles joint movements are flexing, laterally rotating, and abbducting from the hip. The psoas major’s orgin site is at the lumbar vertebrae and it’s insertion site is the lesser tronchater. The illiacus’s orgin site is at the illiac fossa and insertion site at the lesser tronchater, same as the psoas major.

Back to the illiposoas, one of the consequences of a weak illiposoas is a flat back posture. When the line of gravity falls a little bit posterior to the hip, it can create a extension movement at the hip. But normal and healthy illiposas usually counteracts this movement by creating a internal flexion. The stress on hip joints from a flat back posture can lead to instability in hip joints as well as muscle imbalances. When your illiposoas is strong your body will feel more relaxed and grounded.

 

Some yoga poses to strengthen or stretch this muscle are the lunge pose, pigeon pose, navasana, and lying on your back and individually lifting your right and left leg straight up and stretching the hamstrings. These will help create more of a balance in your body while helping your muscles feel nice and stretched.

Lan Otani 200HR YTT