Sciatic nerve pain has been reported chronically for people since as far back as the 5th century. Thankfully, there’s also a time-honoured practice that can triumph over sciatica. Specific yoga postures can be used to target the areas affected by sciatica, giving you the relief that you seek.
Sciatic Nerve Pain Symptoms
Sciatica varies between individuals. Common symptoms are:
- Pain in the lower back, gluteal muscles, hamstrings, and calves;
- Numbness or feeling loss in the legs and feet;
- Inflexible ankles;
- Knee-buckling weakness;
- Reduced reaction in your Achilles tendons and knees.
Sciatic Nerve Pain Yoga Postures
Feel free to sit on a blanket or block.
Begin seated, in a cross-legged position. For a mild stretch, simply cross the right leg over the left so that the right foot is outside of left knee. Guide the left foot towards your right hip. Keep your weight balanced between both hips. For a fuller version, integrate a spinal twist. Bring your upper body close to the lifted knee, hugging it close. Inhale to lengthen, exhale to twist deeply.
From Ardha Matsyendrasana, as comfortably as possible for you, stack your knees on top of one another. Guide the heels towards your sit bones. Maintain a long, neutral spine. Don’t grip the hips. For a modification, extend the bottom leg out straight and shot energy from the heel.
Raja Kapotasana (King Pigeon Stretch)
The ultimate stretch for the sciatic nerve. From an all-four position, bring the right knee forward and set it down diagonally in front of you. Slide the left leg straight back behind you. Now, if you want a less passive stretch, keep the toes tucked and lift your hips off the ground. Arch your thoracic spine up. For a more mild version, allow the hips to release down into the floor. Lower you lower body towards the floor by walking the hands out. Breathe and settle.
Modified Low Lunge
A problem with many low lunge examples is in the hips. You will often see the pelvis tipped forward to create extra length in the rear leg. However, while it feels good, it’s not doing you any favors. Instead of over-stretching the psoas and aggravating the piriformis, try this modification instead. Right leg forward, make sure the knee is directly over the ankle, forming a 90-degree angle. Your torso and hips should be a straight line down to the left knee. Press the top of the left foot into the ground and gently arch from the thoracic towards the sky. Don’t allow the pelvis to tip forward or back. Hold for at least a minute.