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Sciatica - It can be a pain in the butt.

Symptoms can include (but are not limited to):

  • Pain along sciatic nerve pathway – lower back, buttock, back of thigh or calf.

  • Numbness or loss of feeling in legs and feet

  • Tingling, burning, pinching or pins and needles

It can flare up when you bend over, run, sit, or transition from sitting to standing but when it happens it doesn’t matter why, all you can think about is making the pain go away.

Before you start trying to yoga your way clear of it, get your doctor to check out your spine. Pain in the low back that leads down your leg via the sciatic nerve can be an indication of a herniated disk.

Once you get an ok to practice, there are several poses you can practice for relief. Herniated disks are not the only thing that can cause sciatica. Many sciatica cases are related to the piriformis muscle and its tight grip which can press on the sciatic nerve.

How do you know whether it is your piriformis?

  • Lie on your side with complaining leg on top

  • Bend your knee and rest it on the floor

  • Lift the knee away from the floor with a small amount of resistance.

If step two and three hurt or you experience sharp pain then your piriformis may be causing your sciatica.

What poses help stretch the piriformis?

  • Seated twists – ardha matseyandrasana

  • Pigeon

  • Supine pigeon or seated pigeon

What poses help lengthen and strengthen the spine?

  • Downward facing dog

  • Bridge pose

  • Cobra

  • Sphinx

If you have additional questions about sciatica or want help with your practice – drop into class and ask your teacher to demonstrate or help you with your alignment.

Let your practice be joyful.



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