Helpful yoga postures for sciatica patients

When the spinal nerves get inflamed and compressed due to the inflammation, they cause pain in the hips, legs and lower back. This condition is known as sciatica and it remains a permanent ailment if not treated in its early stages. Various yoga postures if practiced every day would help in relieving the pain due to the condition and also would reduce the inflammations and compressions. Yoga exercises like ardha chandrasana, salamba sarvangasana or sdhomukha svanasana are the best known exercises for treating sciatica. They need to be practiced daily for at least 1-2 mins each and you would see the results in a few days. All these yoga poses should be done only after learning from an expert and after knowing the exact way of doing them. Take help form your tutor while doing some postures to ensure you do not get injured if you do them incorrectly.

Ardha chandrasana or halfmoon pose

The ardha chandrasana or the half moon pose is one of the best yoga poses for relieving pain due to sciatica. In this pose, you need to balance on one foot and raise the other foot to a 90 degree angle between the two legs. One hand should touch the ground and be parallel to the foot you are standing on and the other hand should be in the air above your head. Hold this position for about a minute and then release. Repeat this pose one more time for best results. This asana helps in relieving the pain in the lower back and relaxes the muscles around the spine. Some people might feel giddy while performing this pose; hence they should stop immediately and rest for some while.

Butterfly pose or titali asana

This is an easy yoga pose which you can do by just simply sitting down on a hard floor. You have to bend your legs in the knees and touch both the bottoms of your feet to one another near the pelvic region. Your knees should face out and you should sit in a straight posture. Then like the wings of a butterfly, move your knees up and down without losing the contact of the feet bases with each other. Hold your feet with both your hands so that it becomes easier to do this asana. This asana exercises the back and lower back and prevents any kind of pain in the hip areas. Make sure you are sitting straight and your back does not get humped while doing this asana.

Salamba sarvangasana or shoulder stand

This is a little complicated asana and should be done with the help of your tutor or someone stronger than you. You need to lie down on a firm mat, on your back. Then slowly ask your helper to hold your feet and you need to lift your legs slowly. Then lift your hip by holding your palms below your buttocks and slowly pick your back up. Make sure you are giving support to the back and hip and ask your helper to hold your feet firmly. Move upwards till you are resting on your shoulders and your neck gets bent a bit. Hold your feet straight in the air and hold this position for a minute or two. Slowly come back to your original posture by lowering the back and then legs. This asana would help in reducing the inflammation on your spinal nerves and hence reduce sciatica complications.

Pigeon pose or eka pada rajakapotasana

In this yoga pose, your hip and back would get bent and hence this relieves the pain in the lower back and thighs. For this pose, you need to sit with your right leg bent in the knee and the knee touching the ground. The other leg should be stretched backwards in a straight line. Press the hips towards the ground and lay your palms flat on the ground. Now slowly bend backwards from the hip and form an arch to the back. Hold the position for a minute or two and come back to your sitting position again. This is an excellent posture to relieve the pressure on your back and hip.

Adhomukha svanasana or downward facing dog stretch

This position is done by going on all fours. When in the position, it looks like a dog standing with head down, hence the name. This posture stretches the back and legs in such a way that all pain in the shoulders and legs get reduced and you will get relief from sciatica problems. For this posture, you need to place your hands on the floor and feet flat on the floor. Then slowly walk towards your hands and keep your head bent inside. Make a posture in which it looks like an inverted ‘V’. Stretch your hands and legs towards the ground and hold this posture for one minute. You can do this posture two times in a day and this would help reduce pain due to sciatica.

Uttiha trikonasana or extended triangle pose

Some people face stiffness due to sciatica and pain in the back and legs. Stretching is needed in such a condition and the extended triangle pose is the best pose to relieve the stress on your back. You need to stand with your legs wide apart. Then bend in the hip on the right side and place your right palm flat on the ground. The right foot should face outwards. The other hand should go in the air, above your head. Face upwards and hold this position for a minute. Then get to the standing position and bend on your left side in the same way. Repeat the same poses two more times and do them slowly.

Bharadvajasana or torso twist

The hip and the back can be twisted to make a torso twist posture. In this posture, you need to sit with your knees bent and legs backward. Place your hands on your knees and twist to the right from your waist. Your head should turn as well and try twisting as much as possible. Hold the twisted position for some time till you feel comfortable and then twist your upper torso to the left. This helps relieve the pain in the lower back and releases the tension in the back caused due to sciatica.

Supta padangusthasana or reclined big toe pose

When you face pain in the back and lower back, this posture can be done for about 30 seconds every day. In this asana, you need to lie down on your back and keep both legs straight. Then pick up the right leg in the air in to a 90 degree position. Now hold your foot with your right hand and bend the leg sideways and touch the ground. There should be a 90 degree angle between both your legs now and hold the position for about 30 seconds. Your head should face in the opposite direction and the left hand should stretch outward. Then bring the right leg back to its original position and do the same exercise with your left leg.Do this exercise slowly and stretch your legs only as much as you can.

Setubandha sarvangasana or bridge pose

In this posture, your body is bent towards the back and hence helps increasing the flexibility of the back. It provides strength to the back and helps relieve pain due to
sciatica. For this posture, you need to lie on your back and bend your legs in the knees. Your feet should be flat on the ground. Then lift up the hip and back slowly and do not pick up the head or neck. Then slowly take your hands below your body and interlock the fingers with each other. Try to lift the hips and back as high as possible. Hold until you feel comfortable and then release the position slowly. You can also hold your ankles with your hands if you can bend your back so much, instead of interlocking your fingers. This helps in stretching your hands as well.

Utthita parsvakonasana or intense side stretch

In this position, you need to stretch both your back and legs. Your hands get stretched too and hence this position helps release all the tension in the muscles around the back and spine. For this posture, you need to stand with your legs wide apart and then twist on the right side and face your right foot outwards. Then bend on the right knee and place your right hand flat on the ground. Your left leg would get stretched and your left hand should stretch over your head. Hold the position for sometime and come back to standing position. Repeat the same posture by bending the left leg on the knee and stretching the right leg and right hand over the head. You can lose your balance while doing this posture hence do it slowly.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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