Sciatica is a common medical condition that causes numbness and, in most cases, pain, usually in the lower back. Many other symptoms can include tingling and weakness of the legs and feet, numbness or burning in the buttocks, scrotum, and perineum areas. If you have sciatica symptoms, these 7 yoga poses offer relief for this condition.
The most common symptom of sciatica is back pain. Typically, it can have adverse effects on one or both limbs. Other symptoms include tingling, weakness of the legs and toes, numbness or burning in the buttocks, scrotum, perineum areas, and calf muscles.
7 Yoga Poses for Sciatica Relief
1. Standing pigeon pose
First, stand on your right leg. Ensure your left leg is bent with your foot right in front of you. Flex your right hip and reach behind your back to grab hold of the left hand. Next, ensure that the outer edge of the left foot is firmly pressed into the floor – you don’t want it to slide out. Keep your gaze level with the top of your mat. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
2. Suitcase pose
Lay on your stomach with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor about 3-4 inches away from each knee, keeping them close to the floor (no more than 6 inches). Pressing into both knees, lift yourself onto both forearms without moving them from their original placement. We highly recommend holding for 7-10 seconds and repeating this exercise 2-3 times.
3. Cat/dog stretch
Sit on either side of a sturdy chair or other pieces of furniture that can support you while pushing down gently so that you feel a stretch in your back. Keep arms and legs straight, back arched. Hold for 10 seconds, then release and do the other side.
4. Dolphin crescent lunge
Stand up tall with a neutral spine, hands at heart position, palms facing down. Step forward into a lunge with one leg only; keep weight evenly distributed between both legs and keep hips level with thighs in line with shoulders. Keep your gaze level with the mat throughout this movement.
5. Legs up the wall
Sit on your mat with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle, feet flat on the floor about 3-4 inches away from your glutes. Bring both feet up onto the wall behind you so that you are sitting with both butt cheeks resting against the wall. Bring your gaze towards either foot. Hold for 20 seconds.
6. Gentle spinal twist
Lie on your back and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Ensure your feet are flat on the floor, 2-3 inches away from your glutes. Next, bring both knees into your chest. You want to ensure that your arms are wrapped around your knees to hug them in.
Take the left elbow and lay it across the right knee to form a “t.” Gently rotate towards the right side of the mat while holding for 5-10 seconds. Remember to repeat on the other side.
7. Floor lateral stretch
Lie on your back and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Ensure your feet are flat on the floor, 2-3 inches away from your glutes. Next, bring both knees into your chest. You want to ensure that your arms are wrapped around your knees to hug them in. Slowly get both hands to the floor on either side of your head or slightly behind it. Gently push with arms so that you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and hold for 10 seconds or less. Remember to repeat on the other side.
The idea is to do these exercises at least three times a week and to hold each position for as long as possible each time (at least 20 seconds). Simply put, you need to take care and watch over your body – it’s worth the effort! We’d also recommend getting up and walking around every 10 minutes or so to get the blood flowing again.
The Bottom Line
Sciatica is a common medical condition that can be treated if you stick to your desired treatment plan. Yoga provides several benefits like increased muscle strength and flexibility, better balance, and stress relief. Try these 7 simple yoga poses to relieve pain and other symptoms if you suffer from sciatica.