Part of the holiday season often includes travel. Nothing irritates our sciatica more than sitting for extended periods of time. We recommend these Yoga stretches along with regular adjustments to reduce the risk of flair ups.
If your sciatica symptoms are caused by sitting or standing for long periods, stretching the outer leg can offer instant relief.
- Stand on your hands and feet in Downward Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward between your hands, and rise up into Warrior 1. Open your hips, arms, and chest into Warrior 2.
- Place your left hand on your left hip, and stretch your right arm straight out, creating length through the right side of your body. Shift weight onto your right foot, and lift your left foot up. Plant your right palm flat on the ground under your shoulder.
- Distribute your weight evenly between your right hand and foot. Lift your left arm up, and gaze toward your left hand. Hold for five breaths, and then release the pose, coming into Downward Dog. Then try Half Moon on the left side.
Seated Spinal Twist
Creating some movement in the spine through twisting poses can relieve pressure from the sciatic nerve. As a bonus, this pose also targets the oh-so-tight piriformis muscle.
- Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended in front of you. Bend both knees and place your left heel as close to your right sit bone as you can. Cross your right foot over your left knee and plant it on the floor so your outer right ankle is next to your left knee.
- Reach your right arm behind you, and place your palm on the floor. Cross your left elbow over your outer right thigh to gently increase the twist.
- Gaze behind you and over your right shoulder, staying here for five breaths. Then release the twist, straighten your legs out in front of you, and do this pose with your left knee pointing up.
Take this pose as deeply as you want to target the areas of discomfort around your lower back, hips, and thighs.
- From Downward Facing Dog, step both feet together, and bring your right knee forward between your hands so your outer right leg is resting on the mat. If your hips are more open, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat.
- Stay here with your hands resting on your hips or your right leg, or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.
- Hold here, breathing into any areas of tightness and tension, for at least five breaths. Then place your hands on the mat in front of you, tuck your left toes, and step your right foot back. Repeat Pigeon on the left side.