The psoas, along with many other functions, is a highly reflexive, emotionally rich, vital part of our human structure. It serves as a part of our protection--the startle response; it pulls our legs toward our torso when we're infants and our torso toward our legs as adults. It reflexively prepares us for fight or flight. [Note bene: sitting for long periods of time engages the reflex thereby draining our adrenals and immune system.] Conscious pelvic-abdominal work or stimulation [movement, manipulation, sexual expression and/or bringing awareness to this area as in the constructive rest position as talked about by Liz Koch] can help create an attunement to this area--a hightened sensitivity.
When bringing a hightened awareness to bear on a particular area of the body [the psoas is just one--one really rich part], it isn't uncommon to experience an emotional tone in tandem with the physical sensation of movement. This is a valid part of the experience. Whether we experience fear, shame, or a wave of general malaise in the midst of a conscious movement, if we can recognize it, bless it. This emotional message is your body's phone call to your vertebral, upright, evolved self. Even though it's an older message system [like a written letter], its a valid form of communication that should be received and read.
The Guest House
By Master Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes.
Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
Whether we like the message or not, it has helped us survive.
Whether we enjoy the emotional tone in the message or not, it has helped us through the last 100,000+ years of development. And it will continue to help us.
This brilliant excerpt from the Mondo Zen Training Manual drives it home:
Consider this ringing phone analogy: feelings are telephone calls bringing information. Answer this phone when it rings. Do not refuse to answer the phone (depression). Do not drag the phone around jumping up and down shouting “the phone is ringing” (anxiety). Do not hit someone with the phone (anger), or blame yourself for its ringing (shame). Do not run away from the phone, or get so intoxicated, busy or stressed that you cannot hear it ringing (disconnection, denial). Answer the phone! Get the message, the information in the feeling, then hang up the phone. Understand, and choose your response. Stop mindlessly, unconsciously reacting to the phone’s ringing. Utilize your new insight and respond mindfully when the emotional phone rings.