A pain in the buttocks, lower back, hips or back of the legs may be sciatica. Our sciatic nerves – we have two, one for each leg – go from the lower part of our spine through our gluteal muscles, along the back of the thigh up to the outer edge of our foot . When the nerve, the longest part of our body, is pinched, it can cause pain, numbness and tingling throughout the lower body. This can be caused by an injury, pregnancy or contracted muscles.
To facilitate sciatica, practice opening hips and slow flexions, which strengthen the lumbar muscles. Be careful with the folds toward the front, which can exert pressure on the lower back and aggravate sciatica. If you have sciatica, avoid wrinkling towards the front and be careful in the folds towards the front.
These postures help loosen the hips, lengthen the spine and relieve sciatica.
HALF LORD OF FISH
This twisting of the spine gives the piriformis, a common culprit of sciatica, a slight stretch.
The move: Sit on the floor or the edge of a blanket with your legs extended. Cross your right leg to the left so that your right knee is pointing to the ceiling and your right foot is on the outside of your left knee. Keep your left leg straight with your foot flexed. Try to keep both bones sitting on the floor.
Inhale, lengthen the spine and stretch your left arm above. Exhale and turn left, releasing your left hand to the floor behind you. Inhale and stretch your right arm over your head. Exhale and twist, pressing your right elbow against the outside of your right knee. Continue to find the length across the torso with each inhale, being aware of not collapsing in the chest. Take 5-10 breaths and change sides.
POSE OF BIG TOE SUPIN
Tight hamstrings associate with a tight piriformis to exacerbate the pain of sciatica. Slowly loosen the hammers with this stump.
The shot: Lie on your back with your feet on the ground and your knees bent. Hug your right knee in your chest and loop a strap or towel around the ball of your right foot. While inhaling, start straightening the right foot by pressing the right heel towards the ceiling. Keep the shoulder blades on the floor and gently walk your hands in the towel. To deepen the stretch, extend the left leg directly to the floor. Take 5-10 breaths and change sides.
This pose really extends the piriformis, the groin, the glutes, the hip flexors and the psoas.
The Shot: Lie on your back and make an L shape with your legs so that your knees are on your hips and your feet are even with your knees. Cross your right foot on your left thigh, just above your knee. Stand at the back of your left thigh and gently pull both legs toward you. Flex both feet and keep your left foot at knee height or higher. Hold for 5-10 breaths and change sides.
If your hips can use a little more love – and who can not – the lizard is for you. The pose opens the hips, flexors of the hip, groin and hamstrings.
The shot: From bottom to bottom, advance your right foot in your hands. Pass your foot on the outer edge of the rug and turn your toes slightly. Bring both hands and arms to the inside your right leg . You can stay on your palms or deepen the stretch down to your forearms. If you are on your hands, make sure that your palms are directly under your shoulders. If you are on your forearms, make sure that your elbows are under your shoulders . You can keep the back leg raised and engaged or lower the knee to the ground. Hold the pose for a minute. Then heel-toe your right foot toward the center and press the dog down. Repeat on the other side.
READ MORE 5-POSE FIXED YOGA
Strengthening the back muscles can help relieve sciatica. The cricket, a light backbend, does just that.
The shot: Start lying on your stomach, your forehead on your mat, your arms around your body and your legs behind you. When inhaling, raise your head, chest, arms and legs upwards. Concentrate on lengthening your spine rather than on the height that you can lift. Keep your eyes looking forward to avoid compressing your neck. Hold the pose for five breaths and lower on an expiration.
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