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Yoga poses for Sciatica

A few years ago I had some sciatic issues, this left me in agony and on my back for a few days. I used yoga to ease the pain and eventually was back to my previous fitness level in only a couple of months.  I am now working on a sequence of classes with back issues in mind, this allows me continued awareness of this area.  Amending poses, strengthening the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve and incorporating stretches, to soothe and prevent further strain.

This is not in any way a magic cure, but with these poses and help from a doctor or specialist, I really believe, because these poses have helped me so much, they could do the same for you. Please do consult your doctor or therapist before you start. Many back issues and sciatic pain are eased by strengthening and stretching the piriformis muscle, I will show you a couple of poses that can help with this.  The whole body, spine and posture may need looking at, especially the psoas, hips, glutes and hamstrings.  But one step at a time eh! :)

Once you have checked with your doctor try the following poses which are very simple but by really looking at how we get into the pose can make them extremely effective for helping the piriformis and in turn, mild sciatic pain/irritation.

Strengthening and stretching the Piriformis

The piriformis is a muscle underneath the gluteus maximus that starts at the sacrum and finishes at the top of the femur bone. If you’re like me you will experience your sciatic pain beginning here in this area;

As you can see from the images above the piriformis muscle runs across the sciatic nerve and so strengthening and stretching this muscle is very important.

 Virabhadrasana I

(Image borrowed from Pinterest)

Begin by standing in mountain pose,  

Step the right foot back about the length of your leg and feel the quad muscle engage (this protects the knee).  Rotate the leg slightly to the right, keeping the quad engaged and step the right foot down at about a 45% angle.  Place the hands on the hips and ensure that they are facing forwards.  Hold this position for about 5 breaths and then do the same on the other side.

You should feel instant relief with this pose, if not then feel into it and move around gently until you find that sweet spot ☺ ️, but PLEASE stop if you feel any extra pain.

Marichyasana III

Or Sage pose, this position Flexes and stretches the hip. (Image borrowed from MARICHYASANA III | formacionhathayoga (

Sit up straight with the legs out in front of you, and the sit bones firmly planted on the floor.  If the back is rounding please sit up on a cushion or block.  Pay attention to the front of the hip, where it meets the top of the thigh (this is the psoas muscle, if it is tight your leg may fall out to the side and cause damage to the ligaments.  Make sure that you engage the thigh muscles to hold them in place). As you lift the right leg towards you with the knee bent, hug it into the chest. Lift the right hand up, place it behind you and then continue to hug the knee with the left arm.  Take a few breaths and if you wish to go a little further take the left arm up and over the knee and push it into the outside of the right leg.  Keep the hips facing forward as you lift the chest up and rotate from the mid-back to the right and gaze over the right shoulder. Inhale on the lift, exhale as you twist. Stay here for 3-5 breaths and continue with the left side of the body.

I hope you find some relief and enjoyment from these poses,

Lots of love,

Danielle ❤️🌈🙏

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