Many of us know the pain associated with sciatica. It can be debilitating! Typical symptoms are low back pain with even more intensity radiating down one, or both, legs. Sufferers also describe a pins and needles sensation, or electric shocks running down their legs. Whatever your symptoms are, they are sure not to be fun! Below is a list of several yoga postures that you can add into any sequence to help alleviate the pain associated with sciatica.
1. Downward Facing Dog
Place feet hip width apart. Spread fingers wide, press into the hands. Lift hips toward the ceiling, while grounding down through the heels. Knees may be bent and heels may be off the floor. Think extension! Do this posture several times for a minimum of five breaths each time.
Forearms are on the floor, fingers spread wide. Keep lifting the hips and pressing down through the heels. Engage the shoulders. Breathe!
Step feet approximately arms width apart. Place front foot facing one end of your mat. Turn the back foot in at a 45 degree angle. Extend your torso toward the front leg as far as you can reach and then drop the arm to the leg or toe. Do not compromise extension of the rib cage. Bring the other arm up towards the ceiling, palm facing front. Repeat on the other side.
Lie on your belly with feet hip width apart. Place your hands directly under the shoulders. On an inhalation, press into the arms and lift the chest. Drop the head back as much as is comfortable. Arms may be straight or bent depending on flexibility. Be sure to ground down through the pubic bone and lift the pelvic floor to protect the low spine.
5. Bound Angle
Bring your feet together and pull them in as close to your pelvis as is comfortable. Press your knees outward, not downward. This helps turn the bottoms of your feet up towards the ceiling, peeling them apart like you are reading a book. You can stay here, or fold forward with a straight spine.
6. Reclined Eagle
Lie on your back, cross one leg over the other. Toe may tuck the behind the calf, or may not. Cross the opposite arm over the top of the second arm, coming palm to palm or back of hand to back of hand. Lift the arms towards the front edge of the mat, while pressing down through the shoulders towards your hips. Feel the full spin connect with the mat.
7. Reclined Twist with Straight Leg
Lie on your back. Using a strap around the ball of your foot, bring the leg across your body while holding the strap with the opposite hand. Extend your free arm directly out from the shoulder and look towards that palm. Repeat on the other side.
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