Archive | February, 2015

Loving your Psoas

psoas-muscle_cjweb

Image courtesy pulpbits.net, a biological science picture library.

Loving and caring for your psoas (pronounced so-az) is a worthwhile intention in your yoga practice.

The psoas muscle lies deep within, connecting to the spine and leg bone. It is a large and intensely important muscle that connects the top half of your body to the bottom half, and the back of the body to the front.

A healthy, flexible psoas has much to do with ease of movement; alleviating lower back pain, including sciatica; and healthy breathing.

One of the best illustrations of the psoas and how it works is a post by Todd Norian, linked below. I have taken a number of workshops with Todd. He is terrific, and I thank him for sharing his knowledge.

See Todd’s post here.

Judy Gudmestad shows us how to locate, strengthen and stretch the psoas in this article.

“How to Stretch and Strengthen the Psoas”

Parkinson’s Disease and Movement

Kripalu Center for Health and Yoga in Stockbridge, Mass., partners with the National Parkinson Foundation to offer programs specifically for Parkinson’s patients. You can see scheduled 2015 programs at Parkinson’s and Yoga.

Insights found from NPR regarding various movement therapies to address Parkinson’s disease: Fight Parkinson’s: Exercise May Be The Best Therapy

Parkinson’s disease afflicts about a million Americans — more than multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and ALS combined. Every year 50,000 more get the diagnosis, a number that’s going up as the population ages. They face a gradual loss of control over their muscles, leading to tremors, loss of balance and difficulty walking or speaking.

And boxing, it turns out, is only one of an expanding array of movement therapies gaining in popularity as antidotes to Parkinson’s. Other Parkinson’s patients are drumming, dancing to a Latin beat, practicing the ancient Chinese art of tai chi or golfing.

Dr. Daniel Tarsy, director of the Parkinson’s disease program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston sees meaningful change in a lot of patients who go into these exercise programs.

“I’m a believer,” Tarsy says. “Patients look a lot different walking out an hour later than they did walking in. They literally have a bounce to their step.”

Tarsy says patients often report that their movements become more fluid. That’s the opposite of the rigid, jerky movements typical of Parkinson’s.

“There is a growing consensus among researchers about the short- and long-term benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease,” the National Parkinson Foundation says on its website. “Research has shown that exercise can improve gait, balance tremor, flexibility, grip strength and motor coordination.”