Ease Sciatic Nerve Pain with Yoga
These yoga sciatica stretches can give fast and lasting relief from this painful and annoying condition.
Sciatic nerve pain can be really debilitating. Not only is it highly uncomfortable with sharp, shooting pains, but many people find they become very cautious and over-careful in their movements. Fortunately yoga for sciatica can quickly help bring back a sense of freedom in movement.
Sciatica is caused by compression of one or more of the nerve roots that together form the sciatic nerve. From the lumbar spine this nerve runs under each buttock, through the hips and down into the legs (this helps explain those horrible shooting pains).
There can be a number of causes of sciatica, ranging from traumatic impact, disc problems, to spinal tumors, so if you have any concerns it’s worth speaking to your trusted health advisor.
About 70% of sciatic nerve problems (according to the Journal of Neurosurgery) are caused by the piriformis muscle being too tight. The stretches that follow will help with that.
Yoga Sciatica Stretches
These yoga poses as best practiced as part of a full yoga routine, but you can do them on their own when you need some immediate relief.
NOTE: Be gentle in these poses, don’t force, gently allow your body to work at it’s edge, inhaling and exhaling through your nose.
Ardha Matseyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist) This is a great pose for gently stretching and lengthening the piriformis muscle.
Salabhasana (Locust Pose) A nice gentle backbend that helps strengthen the lower back.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) Another backbending stretch, taking things a little further, so do this after Salabhasana.
Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)(pictured) A nice, forward bend which helps stretch the back of the leg.
Method: Sit with both legs straight in front of you. Bend your right knee, bringing the foot as high up the inside of the left leg as you can, ideally with the heel against your perineum.Inhale, raise your hands above your head, and on the exhale fold and reach forward and grasp your left foot with both hands. (If you can’t reach your foot, don’t worry, use a towel round the foot) Very gently pull, with your head down. To come out, release your hands and inhaling bring your hands and body up, and then arms down on an exhale. Repeat on the other side.
Balasana (Child Pose) A nice one to finish with, or use between the other poses. A variation I would recommend would be to have your big toes together and take your knees out to the edge of your yoga mat (making a V-shape with your legs). Restful, and helps open up the hips.
These yoga poses if used regularly are perfect sciatica stretches. Hopefully if you’ve never tried yoga before then you will give these a try. You never know, once the pain goes, with regular yoga practice you many never experience sciatic nerve pain ever again.
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