Part Two: 6 Yoga Poses To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain

Reclined leg rest pose - hands on belly

Gentle and Restorative Yoga Sequence to Rest Muscles of Sciatica

In part two of this blog, we examine the muscle imbalances in the hip and buttocks muscles. Tight muscles that are either pulling or compressing other muscles, joints or bone in this area create pain. Tight muscles in this area can be from improper alignment, poor posture or sitting for long hours.

This blog will focus on resting the tightened muscles and bringing the pelvic area back into balance to ease tension, pain and discomfort. For maximum benefit and relief, practice the sequences of part one and two alternately twice per week.

To practice, find a quiet place with no distractions. If you choose to use props for the supported inversion, you will need 1 bolster and 2 blocks, 1 bolster and 2 blankets or 4 blankets. If you choose to use the couch or bed for your inversion, you will need 1 blanket.

Therapeutic Yoga For Sciatic Nerve Pain - Supported Inversion

Supported Inversion

  • Stack 1 bolster on top of two folded blankets or 4 folded blankets on top of one another out in front of you if you are using props
  • Facing the support, slowly, one leg at a time, drape the legs up over it so the calf muscles rest on top. When you are ready, gently lay down. Head and shoulders rest on the earth
  • If you are not using props, sit with one hip up against the couch or bed, lay back on to the forearms and slowly turn away from the couch or bed as you lift the legs up and rest the backs of the calf muscles on the couch or bed
  • There will be no support under the neck (If you have any neck issues and need a little support, make a very small roll with a blanket to use under the cervical spine – do not use a big or bulky pillow. If the neck is elevated too high, it may create more tension or pulling)
  • Rest hands on belly or arms by the sides. Turn your palms up for more of an opening in the chest. You can also bring the arms out to a “T”, bringing wrists and shoulders in a line
  • Close the eyes softly and breathe slowly
  • Allow the muscles to release as the weight of the lower body is supported by the props
  • Breathe deeply for 6-10 minutes
  • To release: inhale and take a full body stretch; on exhale, hug the knees into the chest
Therapeutic Yoga For Sciatic Nerve Pain - reclined half crescent pose

Reclined ½ Crescent Pose

  • Transitioning from the inversion: gently use the feet to move the inversion support off to the side
  • You may use a blanket under the head for support if you like
  • Lengthen the legs out on the earth
  • Bring both legs over to the right side. Cross the left ankle over the right ankle
  • Inhale and stretch the arms overhead. Bring arms and shoulders over to the right, creating a crescent shape with the body
  • Breathe slowly into the side body from fingertips to toes
  • To release: uncross the ankles and bring the legs back to center. Bring the arms and shoulders back to center and pause for a full body stretch
  • Come into stretching the other side on the next inhale
  • Hold each side for 3-5 minutes
  • Releasing and coming back to center, hug both knees in
Therapeutic Yoga For Sciatic Nerve Pain - Side lying quad stretch

Side Lying Quad Stretch

  • Transitioning from knee hug, gently roll onto the right side
  • Keep the right leg bent or straighten slightly
  • Bend the left leg and reach back for the foot
  • Draw the foot in close to the buttocks, stretching open the front of the thigh (for more stretch, draw the knee slightly back)
  • Release the foot and roll onto the back
  • Without rushing and being mindfully aware of movements, roll onto the left side
  • Gently bend the right leg and reach for the foot. Hug the foot in close to the buttocks. Soften shoulders and breathe into the stretch in the front of the thigh
  • Hold each side for 10-20 cycles of breath
Therapeutic yoga for low back pain - reclined knee down twist

Reclined Knee Down Twist

  • Transitioning from side lying quad stretch: mindfully roll onto the back and hug the right knee in briefly
  • With the left leg lengthened, step the right foot on the left thigh
  • The left hand draws the right knee to the left, coming into the twist
  • The right arm opens out like a wing
  • Keep the head at center, gazing up or turn the gaze over the extended arm to take the twist up into the neck
  • Breathe 10-20 slow breaths
  • Come back to center and switch sides
therapeutic yoga for sciatic pain - belly down half frog

Belly Down ½ Frog Pose

  • Come onto hands and knees, clear away any props and slowly lie down on your stomach
  • Bend the right knee and bring it in line with the hip (the leg will be at a right angle)
  • Rest the head to the right and rest the arms comfortably by your side
  • Close the eyes and breathe for 15-20 breaths
  • To release: straighten the bent leg, turn the head to the left
  • Bend the left knee, bringing it in line with the hip
  • To release: straighten the bent leg and slowly come back onto hands and knees
Reclined leg rest pose - hands on belly

Reclined Leg Rest

  • Slowly lie down on the back
  • Bring a support under the head and hug both knees into the chest for a few deep breaths. Lengthen the tailbone and press the low back into the earth
  • On an exhale, release the knees, keeping the knees bent and bringing the feet flat on the earth
  • Walk the feet out wider than hips width and rest the knees together
  • Hands can rest on the belly or by the sides
  • Close the eyes and connect to the image of the thigh bones settling into the hip sockets
  • Breathe into the belly, hips and low back for 5-10 minutes
  • To release: hug the knees in and briefly circle the knees in the same direction, releasing any tension in the low back. Pause and switch directions
  • Roll to one side and pause here for a few deep breaths
  • When you are ready, gently press yourself up to a seated position
  • Sit quietly for a few moments and notice how you feel before you get back into your day

MY BOOK: YOGA FOR LOW BACK AND HIP HEALTH

Yoga For Low Back and Hip Health - Cyndi RobertsThese poses are from my book, “Yoga For Low Back and Hip Health”. In it, you’ll find easy gentle and restorative yoga instruction that anyone can do. You’ll be feeling better in no time, without drugs or surgery. No experience needed: it’s perfect for beginners and advanced yogis alike.

What’s in the book?

  • Over 200 pages of in-depth and appropriate instruction
  • 43 restorative and gentle yoga poses
  • 15 practical and unique yoga sequences. Practice at your convenience—no pressure to get to a packed studio class at an inconvenient time!
  • Includes over 300 high-resolution images to help you along