A life coach talking about muscles? Why would I do that…? Well, I believe that your mind, body and soul are all intimately connected. And dis-ease in one area could be symptom of dis-ease in another. And its for that reason that I believe that there are muscles that you do not need to exercise.
I have been going a lot to the local gym recently, usually I exercise outside but here in Devon its easier because of the wind and rain 😉 I loved exercising at School and kind of never stopped. It makes me feel alive in my body, gets my energy levels high, my sleep patterns regular and I actually love it for it’s own sake. (BIG TIP – you should do everything because you love it for it’s own sake, not just because of a goal).
And here at the gym, I super appreciate all the classes from Body Pump to HIIT, Combat, Yoga, Pilates etc etc. The instructors are brilliant and the classes are full. However there is one trend that I find scary for us which is common across most of the classes around the world now. And that is to go hard & fast. No breath. No mindfulness. Little care and attention. The likes of Insanity and CrossFit are the main pushers for this. The last time I did a HIIT class, it was fun, but after I had a headache for a day. All because I basically tensed up all the wrong muscles in order to get through the class – instead of working on the muscles that needed it most, the psoas muscles took the strain. This is your main stress muscle and one that you do not need to exercise.
According to Dr Christine Northrup, “Your psoas muscles are vital not only to your structural well-being, but also to your psychological well-being because of their connection to your breath.”…. Basically, the Psoas muscle is connected to the diaphragm and so when you are walking and breathing they interact and to how you respond to FEAR and EXCITEMENT…. “When you are startled or under stress, your psoas contracts. In other words, your psoas has a direct influence on your fight or flight response! During prolonged periods of stress, your psoas is constantly contracted.” (See more at: http://www.drnorthrup.com/psoas-muscle-vital-muscle-body/)
So imagine if you are constantly contracting this as you are under stress and then you give it another pounding at the gym on top? Your poor body will be under a great deal of tension as it processes the emotional and physical stress.
Liz Koch is has written two books on this muscle alone as it’s seen as so important in our deep-seated wellness. To help release it, she recommends “to work with the psoas is not to try to control the muscle, but to cultivate the awareness necessary for sensing its messages. This involves making a conscious choice to become somatically aware.”… So the first step would be to start to become more aware…“ By tuning into the psoas through awareness rather than deploying invasive techniques or manipulative releasing approaches, enables a person to gain a deep sense of calm, integrity, and empowerment.”
That said, they are people may need to strengthen or lengthen their psoas. However, in today’s stressed, busy society where you are doing a lot of hard exercise, it’s more likely that you are over-working this muscle. And so it’s a muscle that you do not need to exercise. The key is to bring awareness to what you are doing and with this mindful awareness you can feel what feels right for you.
I really love to help bring more awareness for my clients so that they are empowered to make the choices that are right for them. As my client, Jessica said “Kelly somehow manages to be strong, sensitive, challenging and encouraging all at the same time…. I feel much stronger, more alert and aware of my body and posture than before. Thank you Kelly – you’re a star!”
We are all unique and its by bringing your attention to yourself, to feel what’s right that you, that can start to make the necessary adjustments naturally.