How to stretch and tone the psoas

A previous post examined the role of the psoas in riding, noting the importance of stretching and toning these deep hip muscles.

While there are many poses that can be used to stretch the psoas, here are three of my favorites, with annotations on how to find correct alignment and direct your energy. They are part of our rider’s yoga sequence, Aequus Anima: Yoga Between Effort and Ease, which can be purchased as a digital download via Payhip, and is also available for Amazon’s Kindle. (The Payhip download is a PDF of 20 yoga poses, designed so that one can flip from one pose to the next one in the sequence on an iPad or computer, and one can also enlarge the image if needed, plus print the photos on a home printer.)

Please note: While these poses are appropriate for many people, they might not be beneficial, or even accessible, for everyone. For example, if your hips are very tight, you have knee problems, or you have had injuries to the muscles being stretched or the joints involved, please do not attempt the poses without the help of a qualified yoga teacher.

For those who do have any of these conditions and would like to have a private consultation with me via telephone or Skype, please contact me by emailing sylvia [at] I will be happy to advise you on modifications or alternate poses. Consultations followed by a personalized practice of 3-5 poses consisting of photographs with annotations (see example at the end of this post) start at $80/session.

Example of personalized practice pose (not for the psoas :):


Yoga in a transactional economy

“I practice because yoga is the most effective tool I’ve found for inner transformation. I teach because it’s the most authentic way that I can be of service.” – Pranidhi Varshney, The Business of Teaching Yoga (well worth the read!)

Yes. This is why I practice and teach yoga as well.

Yet, not living in a high-density area like LA, as the Pranidhi does, makes making a living by teaching yoga ever more difficult. While Middleburg, VA, where InBodied Living & Co. was based in the past, offered a unique atmosphere where enough individuals who could afford it were motivated to seek out the benefits of authentic practice through private sessions, the Ocala area empties of well-healed horse people once season ends in April. As it is, this area is low-wage, so even former Olympic riders charge just $85 for riding lessons, and yoga class packs can be bought for $10 per class. In such an atmosphere, making a living as a yoga teacher is not a viable option.

Thus, the time has come for IBL to evolve. Although we will continue to offer barn yoga as a service (and because it is Sylvia’s calling and love!), our donation-based classes are clearly not going to pay for the mortgage, farrier fees, or dog food. IBL & Co is refocusing on life coaching, and will offer sessions online via Skype and via telephone or Viber. We cannot wait to see what the future holds!