• Susan Singer-Alfonso

Psoas Muscle and Fertility


I know you probably have heard this muscle talked about in yoga class. “Release your psoas muscle, open up your psoas muscle, let go and breathe into your psoas.”


Do you even know what your psoas muscle is? Where it is? Yeah, before I became a yoga teacher, I had no idea. It sounded important though so once I got home after hearing about it and also hearing about so many students hurting their psoas muscle, I thought it would be a good idea to find out what this popular “yoga” muscle is and where it is. I knew it was somewhere around my hip flexors.


At that time, I didn’t realize the importance of this muscle. Not to mention the extreme importance it can play on your fertility.


World renowned teacher, author, and the creator of Core Awareness,™ a somatic approach to deepening the experience of the human core, Liz Koch devotes her work of over 40 years working with and specializing in the psoas muscle. Why so important?


“Your psoas is not merely a muscle. It is the primal messenger from the core of your being. This bio-intelligent tissue expresses your integrity on every level and may be perceived as the guardian of the Hara, commonly referred to as the moving center. Located deep within your core, your psoas is a source of inner power.


I encourage you to explore the psoas in order to know this mysterious body tissue and its influence on every aspect of your life. As the tenderloin, or “filet mignon,” of the human body, a healthy psoas is a juicy, supple, dynamic tissue that supports full body responsiveness.”


Daaaaaaaaaam. Let’s get into this.



The psoas is a general term, but most often it refers to the combination of two muscles, the iliacus and the psoas major muscle. This muscle is probably the single most important postural and structural muscle in the body.


It is located behind the abdominal muscles deep in our core. It spans from the solar plexus to the upper leg which is what allows us to lift our thigh and walk. Also, it goes right over our ovaries.


It connects the upper and lower half of the body. It is the only muscle in your body that connects your legs to your spine. It spans from the 12th thoracic vertebrae to the 5th lumbar vertebrae, traveling down the pelvis to the femur.


Because it lies on either side of our sacrum, in our pelvic bowl,  it is considered to be the center of our gravity, plus the place where we hold our emotions. Are you stressed? That stress leads to contracting the psoas which then creates tension in the diaphragm which causes shortness of breath which signals a fight or flight response (sympathetic nervous) activating stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.


Many people complain of back pain, hip socket and groin pain, digestive upsets, and menstrual cramps just to name a few. Due to the target of my work, I thought we would stick to understanding the key to how it can affect our fertility.


Having a tight psoas can directly impact your reproductive system. Like anything else in your body, stress can be related to your tight psoas muscle.


“The nerves of the reproductive organs embed throughout iliopsoas, and a tight psoas may pin down the uterus, creating painful menstrual cramps.  The ovaries, which can double in size during ovulation, also sit close to the psoas. A tight psoas can cause pain in the ovaries, restrict blood flow, and impinge reproductive nerves.” ~ Meredith Nathan Director of Massage, LMT


Your adrenals and kidneys sit on top of the psoas muscle. But, when this psoas muscle is imbalanced that exhausted feeling you might have could be from the lack of blood circulation to those organs. Your psoas contracts when you are startled, stressed, lack of the deep breathing (it’s hard to breathe deep when you are stressed). The deep breathing is what helps the diaphragm move and your psoas massages the organs.



Hope that helps explain what the poses muscle is and the importance it plays on a healthy balanced body.


If you have any of these systems below, lets think about the possibility that could be a tight psoas muscle.

  • Constipation

  • Tight lower back and hips

  • Intense menstrual pain,  an imbalance in your psoas muscles can be partially responsible for menstrual cramps as it puts added pressure in your reproductive organs.

  • Pain in your ovaries

  • Stressed, shortness of breath

I put together a short yoga sequence to help you release and open the psoas muscle to create a healthier spine and overall wellbeing.






Interested in learning more about the psoas, check these websites out.

Yoganatomy

Liz Koch, Core Awareness

Yoga International


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