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Soothe Your Sciatica With These Simple Poses

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Suffering From Sciatica? These Poses Can Help

Sciatica can be very painful. Many suffer day to day with this condition. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, which is why it can cause pain almost everywhere in the body. So what can we do to help ease sciatic pain?

The following article will educate you on sciatica while providing tips and restorative yoga poses that you can do to ease sciatic pain. Be sure to share this with anyone you know that could use some relief from sciatic pain.

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Sciatica is a condition that causes tenderness/pain anywhere along the sciatic nerve line. And guess what – the sciatic nerve is the longest damn nerve in the body (no wonder it’s such a troublemaker).

Your next obvious question should be, what causes sciatica?

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, I don’t have any medical certifications, and I’m a fresh out of the oven yoga teacher. I’m wholeheartedly sharing my experience, my pain, and my journey to healing to inspire your journey. Please take what you need from this and leave what you don’t.

Sciatica is caused by two common culprits – the lumbar spine and the piriformis muscle.

The lumbar spine is the lower back area that connects the thoracic spine (middle to upper back) and the sacral spine (the tailbone).

The piriformis is a sneaky muscle located deep within the buttock, it attaches your sacrum to the top of your femur (thigh) bone.

If the pain is starting from the lumbar spine and aggravating the sciatic nerve here, then you’re dealing with sciatica. But if the pain is starting in the booty area and then aggravating the sciatic nerve, then you’re dealing with piriformis syndrome.

So how do we heal our beautiful selves?

Cut out the deep backbends, the advanced whatever, put your knees down, take child’s pose frequently, and start to use yoga as medicine (its true purpose).

Below was my method of healing and how I’m still healing:

Rest

I stepped back from my yoga practice. I re-evaluated why I step onto the mat. I let myself soften for over a month and then came back to my mat with a renewed sense of awareness, purpose, and appreciation for my body.

Massage Therapy

Massage is a must-do. Massages will help relax the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve and de-stress the body overall.

Restorative Yoga

I started doing restorative yoga as well as teaching it, and have now fallen head over heels for the practice. You can practice a short restorative sequence with me – I offer this in another article in my column, Flow and Grow With Allie, so be sure to check it out!

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist)

allie-seated-twist

The How-To:

  • 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. Let it act as a kickstand to support the spine and the integrity of the posture.
  • 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. The deciding factor is how your body is feeling today. If the pain is heightened, take the gentle hug version. If your pain is absent, explore the deeper elbow to knee connection.
  • 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.

 

Forward Fold Variation

allie-fold

The How-To:

  • 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.

Recommended Modification:

-If your sciatica is derived from a spinal issue, I recommend skipping this posture altogether. Like, don’t even try it, it’s not worth it.

Standing Figure 4

standing figure four

The How-To:

  • 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.

 

 

To your health and wellness!

Click here for the original article from yogiapproved

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