back pain

Psoas Awareness for Back Pain & Stress Reduction & Better Births

Psoas Awareness for Back Pain & Stress Reduction & Better Births.


Those who are in my classes and take private yoga therapy with me know that the condition of the psoas (pronounced so-as) muscle is of primary concern if the student has back and/or neck pain, knee pain, stress, anxiety, pelvic imbalance, sacro-iliac dysfunction, scoliosis or poor posture. Women in my prenatal yoga & labor readiness class create more space in their womb for their little one to grow and have easier births with attention to releasing the psoas as well.

The psoas muscle, clearly a core muscle, runs down from the lateral and front surfaces of the lumbar spine and pelvic bowl and insert into the inside of the upper thigh bone on right and left sides. Besides needing this muscle for standing, walking, and good posture, it is core to our flight or fight reactions. The psoas is keenly in touch with our emotions and stress. It’s mass is so large running through the inside of the pelvis, it rivals the size of the gluteus maximus. I jokingly call the psoas the “inner ass!” All this, and yet we can not see the beautiful workings of this muscle like we do our quadriceps or biceps.

Besides working with me to explore this muscle to improve your well-being, I will be hosting an introductory workshop called Neurogenic Yoga which is a unique approach to improving psoas function for mind and body health on Sunday May 19th, 2013. Check it out!


Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Quarterly on Yoga Therapy

I was recently interviewed by the Alumnae Quarterly to give my comments on yoga therapy as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

In the interview, I shared along with several other CAM practitioners about how our fields are helpful in specific areas of healthcare, ie; stress reduction and back pain reduction. There is a growing acceptance of CAM in conventional medicine as it becomes more evidence-based.  The International Association of Yoga Therapists has greatly contributed in recent years to this effort to fund research and promote the findings. To find out more go to: Specifically, the research on techniques in yoga therapy that I am closely aligned with have excellent trials in stress and back pain reduction.

In 1997, it was at Mount Holyoke College that I first studied yoga therapy during my college semester abroad in India. I had already been teaching yoga since 1992, but I wanted understand more how to serve my students. This was a fabulous and unforgettable experience, truly the pinnacle of my college career giving me my life course. I studied two yoga therapy centers, The Yogic Institute and Kaivalyadhama, that were immersed in research and application which involved interfacing with modern medicine. After graduating in 1999 with a degree in South Asian Studies and Cultural Anthropology, I immediately furthered my training and became certified in Structural Yoga Therapy in 2003. Read more.

MHC Frances Perkins Scholar