Sciatica is the pain that emits along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. The interesting thing about sciatica is that it affects only one side of your body.You’ll have a bright idea if you watch this animated video.
Sciatica occurs when a herniated disc bone spur on the spine or the narrowing of the spine compresses part of the nerve. This action causes pain, numbness, and inflammation in the affected leg. You may experience severe pain linked to sciatica. You can resolve the problem with nonoperative treatments in a few weeks’ time, but some people do require surgery.
How Can Yoga Help?
Yoga is one of the best preventive measures to considerably lower your debilitating pain of sciatica. A steady yoga practice helps the spine in its six natural movements of flexion, extension, twisting left, and right and lateral flexion left and right. Yoga requires articulation, undulation, and revolution of spines.
These yogic movements create a much-needed space between the bones and help the vertebral discs to receive nutrients and remove debris. This action increases both the strength and suppleness of the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support the spinal column.
Yoga Routines to Relieve Sciatica
Bharadvaja’s Twist Pose (Bharadvajasana)
Tutorial: DiTuro Productions
Kneel and bring your right heel toward your outer right buttock in half hero’s pose also called the artavirasana. Lift your left knee externally, rotate in the left hip and place the left heel into the right hip flexor.
Gently begin to twist to the left. Bring your right hand to the outside of the left knee sitting up tall. Breathe, inhale and exhale and turn to the left shoulder. Again inhale, exhale and twist. Inhale back to the center slowly.
Extend your left leg first. Then slowly lifting your right buttock bring the right leg out. Lift your left heel into your left outer buttock. Bring the right heel right into left hip flexor. Rotate your left hip slowly externally rotating your left knee down.
Twist to the right left hand to the outside of the right knee. Keep your right hand behind the back inhale and extend. Exhale and twist. Again inhale extending your spine. Twist and exhale. Inhale back to center. Extend your right leg and then the left foot.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Tutorial: Zoya Yoga
Lie down and place your palms under the shoulders with the fingertips in line with the front of the shoulder. Place your elbows close to the torso. Keep your chin on the floor. Press the tops of your feet down to the ground.
Inhale and bring the torso up without using your arm strength. First, do the low cobra. Hold in this position for some time. Take three to six breaths and then as you exhale lower down slowly relax and take a breath.
Press the tops of the feet, the thighs again, and pressing your palms to continue your journey upward. Stop at a comfortable level. Move further up and even in the highest position, don’t straighten the elbows and now look forward. Hold and take 6 to 12 breaths.
Slowly come down to provide rest to your vertebrae. Now move into a child’s pose. Sit back onto your heels and lower your forehead to the floor. Relax your neck. Slowly come up and relax.
Bound Angle Pose
Tutorial: Yoga Journal Poses
Begin the pose by sitting on the front edge of a folded blanket. Bend your knees and place the bottom of your feet together. Gently bring your heels close to your pubic bone.Wrap your legs deeply, and you will feel a light stretch in your inner legs.
Pressure the fingertips into the floor next to your hips and lengthen up from your hips to the crown of your head. You can sit on another blanket if your pelvis slumps back and your lower back collapses.
Now press your heels together and enclose the top of your thighs to release toward the floor. Separate the top edges of your feet like two halves of a book. Gently draw your abdominal muscles towardyour spine to support the length of your torso.
Initiate the forward bend by rocking your spine forward. Keep your spine long and walk your hands infront of you to support the weight of your upper body.
Continue releasing into a forward bend until you feel a moderate stretch in the inner thigh and groin. Place your outer heels together, lengthen your inner knees away from your groins hollow your lower belly and move your chest forward. Breathe slowly and deeply. Relax your facial muscles and jaw as you draw your attention inward.
To release the pose inhale as you slowly lengthen and lift your torso back to vertical.
To begin the dolphin exercise start with the child’s pose. Raise yourself up, cross your arms and grab hold of your opposite elbows. Place them directly in front of your knees. Extend your forearms and interlace your fingers.
Slowly come up on the balls of your feet.Sink your heels down. Slowly take a deep breath in and as you exhale lower your chin down towards the mat in front of your hands. Exhale when down and inhale back up.
After you’ve completed the routine, lower your knees back down to the mat and come into child’s pose and relax.
This step is a slightly easier variation of the dolphin pose. Cross the arms, interlace the elbows. Bring your elbows further away from your feet. Extend your forearms and interlace your fingers. Inhale and lift your hips up and as you exhale bring your chin forward and over your hands.
As you lower down exhale and inhale back up. After finishing rest back in child’s pose. You can do this exercise up to twelve times.
Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
Tutorial: Ekhart Yoga
Start lying on your stomach. Bring the arms next to the body and palms facing up. Keep your feet hip-width apart. First, we’re going to ground the legs, press your toes down toenails. Pull up along the front of your legs, so your knees and thighs lift up a bit.
From the hip push back through the heels. Keep your lower body stable. Lift your shoulders up and let in a breath. Lift your head up. Keep your neck long, lift from the back of the neck, and you can also lift your arms up.
Draw your arms into the shoulder blades without shoulders lifting up into the upper back. Keep your navel in and keep breathing. Come down and rest for a moment. Put your head on one side, pull up your legs activate them. Keep your toenails into the floor. Inhale and come up.
Lift your legs up and move your big toes. Lift your inner thighs and extend from the hips out through your feet. Reach forward with the heart. Lift your arms up and bring your upper body down.
Keep your legs raised that’s it. Keep raising the inner thighs and give lengthening through the legs. Stay for 30 seconds like this. Release,with this you have done three variations of this locust pose.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
Start the exercise by gently lying on your back with your feet hip-width distance apart. Pretend that there is a glass ball in your midsection and you are pressing your hands into it especially the index knuckle. Press into that imaginary space, from there relax your glutes.
It’s going to be tempting to tense your glutes up. Relax your glutes gently and allow the lifting up to come from your tailbone. So as the tailbone starts to lift up to the sky keep your arms there. After taking the tailbone up. Move your shoulders back and down as your hips come up.
From there you can reach your fingertips underneath you interlace your palms and wrap them. Press the pinky side on the floor and stay there. Breathe, inhale and exhale.
To release your hands first, press your hands down, and then you can slowly start to roll down on the back. To come to a resting position knock your knees together keep one hand on belly and the other hand on heart.
To begin this exercise come into the Utkatasana chair pose, so you can just layer on later. Bend your knees. Reach your arms up and overhead. Bring your hands to your thighs and internally rotate the leg muscles, the flesh back and through the legs.
This action will allow you to have a softer groin. So you can use the tailbone forward to bring your belly on the play. Lift up your heart; then you can reach up your arms overhead. These are the elements of the chair pose.
Next, you’re going to add eagle pose to this. Reach your arms out to the sides. Open up your chest and exhale. Take your right arm underneath, wrap up your elbows and then wrap up your wrist.
If you find it difficult, just hold onto your shoulders.Otherwise, when you bring your elbows down, and your forearms away from your face.You’ll feel an intense internal rotation of your shoulder. It should feel good.
Come into the chair pose internally rotating your thighs. Curl your tailbone forward. Put your body weight slowly into your left foot. The nest step is to come onto the tippy toes of the right foot. Squeeze the knee towards the chest.
The higher you get the knee towards the chest, the easier it’s going to be to wrap. Bring your toes down onto the floor or even onto a block. Or you can covera second time. Slowly sit down wrapping back and then pretend that you have a thumb in the hip crease pulling this hip crease back.
Use your abdominals to pull the hip crease back. And then just sit down low. Another variation of this posture is to take a sleeping eagle. Bow over your legs and come down. You may touch your first knee or maybe the second knee.
To unwind this posture slowly with your gaze walk yourself up and then undo the arms. Untie the legs. Open up the hands this is your eagle pose.
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
This exercise is a simple seated twist. Sit with your legs extended in staff pose. Bend your left knee and bring your right leg underneath you. Once you have the right leg bent, take the left leg and fold it over. Draw the left arm behind you. Inhale and lift your right hand when you exhale start the twist.
Bring the outside of the right arm to the outside of the left thigh. Twist on each inhale and extend through the spine and on exhale you twist a little more. Inhale to lengthen and exhale to twist.
Inhale to lengthen and exhale to twist. Once you’ve turned to the amount that you’re comfortable take a few four count breaths. When you’re ready to release, on an exhale, go ahead and release the pose. Repeat on the other side.
If you have tight hips or weak and tight lower back muscles you’ll find that straight leg forward bends aggravate or even create sciatica.If you lift and separate the sitting bones, it results in the forward tilting of the pelvis.If it does not tilt forward correctly in a forward bend, the result can be either a strain or pull off the sacroiliac ligaments or sciatica. This case happens more often in seated forward bends.
It is, therefore, wise to avoid seated forward bends as well as any pose where a shooting pain develops. Patience and accurate sequencing are essential to healing sciatica. For best results strengthen the muscles around the sciatic nerve and bring circulation to this region.
The poses we have discussed boosts your spine health and brings soothing relief to your pain. Continue with these poses even after the symptoms have disappeared. Avoid seated forward bends because re-injury is common the first few months after sciatica has healed.