Yes, we’ve heard about sciatica, and when you’re not affected you don’t really get it! My boyfriend used to have these horrible lower back pains, and he was always telling me, every time I jumped on his back “Auch, my sciatica”! And I was like, “oh, sound just like my grandpa”! Well, I take my words back, because sciatica is pretty painful! Well, not anymore since I practice yoga. But, everyone who has faced with such pains can understand what I’m talking about.
What is sciatica? This bothering nerve that stems out from the spine, running deep into the buttock, and traveling down to the back of each leg, and it seems that it’s the longest nerve in the body.
There are plenty treatments to get rid of sciatica, but no one works like yoga, except surgery, but I kind of avoiding it! Practicing yoga will diminish considerably the pain caused by the sciatic nerve, and the following yoga asanas are the best to relieve sciatic pain.
Image Credits: Dandasana
Sit with your legs extended straight in front of you.
You want to be sitting on your sit bones as much as possible. To that end, take hold of the flesh of each buttock and move it out of the way. This results in a much more grounded feeling.
Engage your thigh muscles and flex both feet. Your heels may come up off the floor.
Stack the shoulders directly on top of the hips. Release your shoulders away from your ears.
The ideal version of the pose has the arms straight and the palms flat on the floor on either side of your hips to support your spine. However, arm lengths vary so there is some discretion to bend your arms slightly or shift the placement of your palms.
Inhale to lengthen your spine.
Try to stay for five deep breaths with the legs fully active.
Image Credits: Rajakapotasana
The pain usually occurs when a muscle in the buttock area puts pressure on the sciatic nerve while pushing it against the tendons below it.
This instantly sends a shooting pain in your legs.
The Pigeon Pose works wonders to relieve the pain because it stretches that muscle that puts pressure on the nerve, thereby releasing the built-up tension.
3. Ardha Matsyendrasana
Image Credits: Ardha Matsyendrasana
Bend the right leg, placing the right foot near the left knee, keep the toes of right foot face forward. Keep the left leg
Place the left elbow next to the right knee keep the upper arm straight.
Slowly twist the trunk to the right as far as you can comfortably along with neck.
Bring the right arm behind the buttock (close to the body) placing the palm on the floor.
Gaze straight over the right shoulder at a fixed point. Relax the body taking deep and slow breaths.
To return, reverse the movements one by one. Repeat on the opposite side.
Image Credits: Salabhasana
The Locust Pose strengthens the lower back and promotes healthy circulation in the lower hip area. This helps release the sciatic pain because when there is a lack of circulation, pressure builds up in that area.
5. Setu Bandhasana
Image Credits: Setu Bandhasana
Begin lying on your back with your arms straight at your side with palms down. Bend your knees, placing your feet parallel to each other, hip-width apart, so that your heels come just to the tips of your fingers.
Take a few breaths to inflate your body, and soften any tension.
Press your feet even more firmly into the floor as you slowly lift your spine, vertebrae by vertebrae, similar to lifting a strand of pearls, one pearl at a time, until you are resting on your feet and upper back vertebrae.
If not too uncomfortable, clasp your hands together under your back, pressing the chest upward and the shoulders together beneath you. Ideally the line between your knees and shoulders should form a straight plane.
Feel the support of your legs and feet. Feel the spine connected and energized by the support. Feel your chest open.
Breathe deeply and hold for at least three complete breaths.
Return your spine to the floor, again one vertebrae at a time, at last relaxing the buttocks and allowing the feet and legs to relax. You can keep the knees bent if you wish to repeat the pose, or allow them to lie flat on the floor.
Take a few moments to feel the energy and relaxation coming into your chakras, coming into your body.
6. Supta Padangusthasana
Image Credits: Supta Padangusthasana
This asana induces a basic hamstring stretch. The stretch opens up the buttocks and thus helps reduce the pain. Since it stretches the calves and legs, it also promotes circulation below the torso.
7. Salamba Sarvangasana
Image Credits: Salamba Sarvangasana
The Salamba Sarvangasana is an inverse yoga pose. It promotes proper blood flow and relaxes the muscles in the buttock area. It is an incredibly effective asana to cure sciatica simply because of the amount of blood and oxygen that is pumped into the sciatic region, thereby healing it.
Image Credits: Bhujangasana
Start by lying prone on a nonskid mat. I like to place a folded blanket under my hipbones. Place your palms flat on the floor with your fingertips pointing forward and aligned with the tops of your shoulders. Lengthen your legs back and press your knees and feet into the ground. Draw the heads of your thighbones back into their sockets. As your upper body lifts, resist the temptation to push higher with your hands—remember that snakes don’t have hands.
Lengthen the back of your neck, allowing your head and neck to follow the natural trajectory of the rest of your spine. It’s important not to throw your head back. Throwing your head back causes neck strain and causes your vital organs to collapse forward into your front body, which can strain your spinal muscles. Picture a dancing cobra and think of the wide hood that encases its head. Spread the back of your skull and neck like a cobra hood.
Image Credits: Beyogi