I Have been obsessed lately with teaching pulling the knee into the chest as you kick into handstand. This action works because the action of bringing the knee to the chest activates the psoas muscle.
I found this useful article on Yoga Journal and will help you to understand the movement of the psoas and how it works…
I find it useful to imagine that the psoas is a puppet string, originating on my inner thigh (lesser trochanter). The puppeteer (what good are puppet strings without a puppeteer?) is sitting on my lumbar spine and holding the other end. She can pull on or release it, depending on whether she’s raising or lowering my leg.
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor with your heels about a foot away from your buttocks. Focus on your right lesser trochanter. From here, in your imagination, follow the course of your puppet-string psoas through the pelvis and up to the lumbar spine, where your puppeteer is holding its free end.
As she pulls on the string, exhale and watch your right foot lift effortlessly off the floor and your right thigh close in toward your belly. (For now, keep your knee bent.) Pause when the hip is fully flexed, and inhale. As the puppeteer releases the string, exhale and lightly float your foot back toward the floor. But wait! Just as your tippy-toes brush the floor, pause to inhale. On the exhalation, the puppeteer will pull again, and your foot will rise up. Continue this up-and-down swinging for at least a minute. Pause at the conclusion of each movement to inhale; lift or drop your foot only on an exhalation. When finished, return your right foot to the floor and repeat with your left leg.
- The Incredible, Indelible Psoas: The Knee Edition (tiawellness.wordpress.com)
- The psoas is involved in most back pain! (rhvillegas.wordpress.com)
- Hip Pain: Is It Tendinitis? (everydayhealth.com)
- Massage Techniques: Treatment of Psoas and Iliacus Muscles (donmillermassage.wordpress.com)
- Psoas Stretches – Happier Low Back (flatbackyoga.wordpress.com)
- The Incredible, Indelible Psoas (tiawellness.wordpress.com)
- David Roche, Day 2: Agitation, Smells, Psoas (savasanaaddict.wordpress.com)