Nurturing Your Psoas Muscle

Unleashing Vitality through Nia Technique

05 July 2023
Pia Poppy and Mia Steyn

Here at Nia Africa, we are passionate about exploring and sharing the fascinating world of holistic movement, ecstatic dance, and mindful dancing with you. Today, we dive into the depths of an essential muscle in our bodies, the psoas muscle, and unravel its significance concerning the transformative Nia technique.

woman doing holistic movement on a rock for nia africa

Do you ever feel that your lower back needs a really good stretching or needs some good revitalising? The psoas muscle is a muscle that needs to be nurtured constantly. Taking good care of this muscle could assist in relieving some tension in your lower back and spine – which effects everything else in your body.

Understanding the Psoas Muscle

The psoas muscle, often referred to as the “muscle of the soul,” is a deep core muscle located deep within our pelvis. It connects our upper body to our lower body, spanning from the lower spine to the thigh bone (femur). The psoas muscle plays a crucial role in both stability and mobility, acting as a bridge between our torso and legs.

Person bending backwards to strengthen their psoas muscle for Nia Africa
Silhouette of a person dancing in front of a light-up joy sign for Nia Africa

Strengthening and Weakening the Psoas Muscle

A strong and balanced psoas muscle is essential for overall well-being, as it supports proper alignment, posture, and healthy movement patterns. However, due to sedentary lifestyles, prolonged sitting, stress, and emotional tension, our psoas muscles can become weak, tight, or imbalanced, leading to discomfort and restricted movement.

Fortunately, there are various ways to strengthen and nurture the psoas muscle:

1. Mindful Movement and Body Awareness

Engaging in mindful practices such as the Nia technique can help us develop a deeper connection with our bodies. By bringing awareness to our psoas muscle during movement, we can consciously activate and engage it, allowing it to regain strength and flexibility.

2. Core Strengthening Exercises

Engaging in exercises that target the core muscles, including the psoas, can be highly beneficial. Pilates, yoga, and functional fitness exercises are excellent options for strengthening the psoas muscle while enhancing overall stability and balance.

3. Stretching and Release Techniques

Gentle stretching and release techniques can help relax and lengthen the psoas muscle. Incorporating practices such as yoga, foam rolling, or specific psoas stretches into your routine can alleviate tension and increase flexibility in this vital muscle.

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The Psoas Muscle and the Nia Technique

Now, let’s explore the profound connection between the psoas muscle and the Nia technique. As a holistic movement practice, Nia combines elements of dance, martial arts, and healing arts. It embraces the joy of movement and invites us to explore our bodies with freedom and mindfulness.

In Nia, the psoas muscle serves as a gateway to accessing our core vitality and the wisdom held within our bodies. It is through the activation and strengthening of the psoas that we can unleash our authentic expression and experience a sense of aliveness during Nia classes.

The Nia technique incorporates specific movements, such as core undulations, spirals, and hip isolations, which actively engage and strengthen the psoas muscle. As we move in harmony with the music, tapping into the rhythm and flow, the Nia practice becomes a gateway to awakening and nurturing our psoas, allowing it to become supple, strong, and dynamic.

By consciously activating the psoas during Nia, we create an opportunity to release deeply held emotions, stress, and tensions stored within this powerful muscle. As we dance and move mindfully, the psoas muscle becomes a conduit for the exploration of our body-mind connection, enhancing our overall well-being.

Closing thoughts

Activating and strengthening the psoas muscle through Nia can bring about numerous benefits. These include improved posture, enhanced core stability, increased range of motion, and heightened body awareness. Moreover, the release of emotional and physical tension held within the psoas can lead to a sense of freedom.

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