Yoga Asanas for Sciatica



Sciatica is essentially the irritation or discomfort caused in the longest and largest nerve of the body, known as the sciatic nerve. If you’ve been suffering from this daunting problem, you may be experiencing shooting or burning pain on one side of your lower back, radiating to the buttock and the backside of your leg.


Age, obesity, occupations involving lifting weights, twisting and driving, prolonged sitting, and diabetes are some of the leading causes of Sciatica. However, not many people know that this ailment can also be caused due to psychosomatic problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Up to 40% of people are affected by Sciatica at least once in their lifetime; hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this condition is fairly common. That said, it is often very painful, not much talked about and in most cases cannot be completely healed through medicines. All of this combined, makes Yoga a preferred treatment option for many, especially because apart from offering relief from the pain, yoga offers a holistic treatment that helps ease the underlying emotional stress which may have led to the ailment.


While Yoga is considered to be one of the most promising ways to deal with the pain and discomfort caused by Sciatica, in any given case, it is extremely important that you first visit your doctor, get the requisite tests done, and understand the causes and symptoms of the disease. Only after receiving a green signal from your doctor, should you opt for Yoga.


Yoga practice with a focus on gentle movement, flexibility, and improved posture may help decrease or even eliminate the symptoms you may have been experiencing.

Here are some asanas/postures to help you steer clear of the excruciating pain and discomfort that Sciatica usually brings along.


Katichakrasana


Also known as Standing Spinal Twist, it is a beginner level twist that helps in increasing the range of motion of the hips, spine, waist, and shoulders.

For Best Results – Do 5 Reps on Each Side


Matsyendrasana


Also known as Half Spinal Twist Pose, this sitting asana helps energize and stretch your spine, while also increasing the flexibility of your spine and hips.

For Best Results – Do 5 Reps on Each Side


Gomukhasana


Also known as Cow Face Pose, this is a sitting pose that helps remove stiffness and pain in the hip joints and lower extremities.

For Best Results – Do 5 Reps on Each Side


Uttanpadasana



Also known as Raised Leg Pose with Belt, Scarf or Dupatta, this lying down asana helps strengthen the back and thigh and thereby proves helpful in relieving back pain.

For Best Results – Do 10 Reps

In case you suffer from high blood pressure, simply place a thin cushion/pillow/blanket under your head, while lying down and performing the asana.


Supta Eka Pada Galavasana

Also known as the reclining pigeon pose, or Supine Figure 4, this is again an asana where you need to lie down. This pose helps in enhancing the flexibility and mobility of the hips, glutes, and piriformis.

For Best Results – Do 5 Reps on Each Side


Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Also known as Supported Bridge, this asana is practiced to promote deep relaxation, to soothe the nervous system and to relieve anxiety, depression and irritability.

For Best Results – Do 3-5 Reps


Elevated Savasana


This sequence of Yoga Asanas will help you find respite from the searing pain caused due to sciatica and will alleviate some of the persistent symptoms. Once you are done with the set, make sure to practise Shavasana (sleeping asana), preferably followed by a 10-minute meditation. Shavasana helps you appreciate each part of your body while helping you re-energize after a workout, and is therefore extremely important!


Precautions to keep in mind

  • While doing the asanas, stay alert of your symptoms. If you experience any increase in the symptoms, make sure to stop right there.

  • Make sure to stretch your body, only if it feels comfortable. Don’t go so far into any pose that it ends up causing any discomfort or pain.

  • Avoid slouching while performing any of the sitting or standing asanas.


Anjali Seernani, the Founder of Aum Shanti Yoga is a renowned Yoga Instructor from Mumbai. She specialises in crafting unique sets of asanas various diseases, just as the ones we discussed right now. Stay tuned to Nth Sense for more Yogic tips and techniques from Ms. Seernani.


Author: Yoga teacher Anjali Seernani.

(Aum Shanti Yoga).