5 Yoga Poses to Soothe Your Sciatica
Sciatica is a condition that causes tenderness and pain along the sciatic nerve line. The sciatic nerve starts at the lower spinal cord and goes through the buttocks, down the back of the thigh, along the outer edge of the leg, and all the way down into the foot. So if you have sciatica pain, you can see that it’s really debilitating and can be felt throughout a large portion of the body.
Yoga can be used to heal your sciatic nerve pain. Check out the essential five poses below and be on your way to feeling like yourself again in no time!
By Allie Flavio
Seated Spinal Twist
Start in a seated position on the floor with both legs extended long. Bend the right leg and bring the heel to the outside your left glute. Bend the left leg and place your foot outside the right thigh. Place the left hand behind and close to the body. Bring the right hand to the right knee. You have options here. Either bring the elbow to the outside of the left knee or wrap the arm around the left knee. Use the inhale breath to grow tall and lengthen, and the exhale breath to soften into the space created. Focus your energy on the outside of the left leg, hip, glute, and lower back region. Stay aware of how deep your stretch is and if it’s healing your pain or deepening it. Practice the pose on both sides, holding for 5 full breaths.
Supine Figure Fold
Begin lying down on your back with knees bent and feet planted. Cross the right ankle over the left thigh, right above the knee. Interlace the hands through your legs and clasp the back of the thigh. Use the strength of your arms to gently pull the legs in towards your chest. Keep both feet flexed to protect the knees. Practice the pose on both sides, holding for 5 full breaths.
Forward Fold Variation
Cross the left ankle behind the right ankle and do your best to line the pinky toes up. Feel free to bend the knees as much as you need to to find the pinky toe alignment. Let the chest, head, and neck melt down to the floor. Let the hands rest to the ground or blocks and do your best to relax here. Send the breath to the outside of the left leg and up to the hip region. You’ll definitely feel this stretch, like a lot. So please – breathe deeply! Practice the pose on both sides, holding for 5 full breaths.
Standing Figure 4
Place two blocks in front of you on the highest height. Begin by crossing the left ankle over the right thigh (above the knee). Lower the hips and bring the hands to rest on the blocks in front of you. Keep your back flat and long. Send your breath to the outside of the left leg – thigh, glute, and hip especially. As the piriformis muscle starts to release, feel free to lower the block height and possibly bring fingertips to the ground. Practice the pose on both sides, holding for 5 full breaths.
Figure 4 with a Roller
Start seated on the ground and place a roller beneath your bum. Bring the body into a figure four stance. Place the hands behind you for support and stability. Before you roll, pick your glutes up and rest on the outside of the crossed thigh. Begin to move up and down on your roller, massaging the piriformis muscle. Breathe into the body as you massage it here, this is an incredibly deep sensation, so the breath is vital to it’s success. Practice this on both sides for as long as your heart desires. But please, be kind to yourself, and don’t overdo it!
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All images courtesy of Allie Flavio.