Yoga for Sciatica

Doing gentle yoga stiffness in the lower back and legs were causing my sciatica symptoms of sciatica include numbness and shooting pain in the legs sharp pains in the glutes and more Zoomers can easily get sciatica. Because we get stiffer as we age I’ve put together a yoga series that can bring relief to anyone living with sciatica. And you don’t have to be flexible or in good shape to do this we’ll start with an easy warm-up to release our hips men will free up space and release tension in the piriformis a muscle that attaches the spine to the lake will also create space in the lower back. And then will cool down by taking pressure off the legs this practice is so easy that you might wonder how effective it can be. But do the whole series or, if you’re busy just do one or two poses and you’ll see amazing results let’s start the healing joining me today Cheryl and Isabel and all of us would like to relieve some symptoms of sciatica. So we’re going to warm up with a seated position we’ll just take a chair. And we’ll sit on the edge of the chair the sit bones are grounded and there’s room for the femur. So we’re freeing up some of the back of the lakes there’s a little bit of freedom in the back of the legs we take the feet a little bit wider than hip width apart. And we spread the toes we let the in-breath come up the front line of the spine lifting everything in its path exhaling down the back line of the spine letting the shoulder blades come down grounding through the sit bones. And the feet now hands on knees. And it will just begin this gentle rocking back and forth. So we’re moving the heads of the femurs deep inside the hip sockets just starting to get a little bit of synovial fluid going and all of the muscles in the hip rotators back here these muscles and connective tissues are starting to release starting to let go of some long-held tension now we’ll come back to Center we’ll bring the toes heel toe heel toe into Center.

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And then the left foot is going to come up and over resting on the right knee we’ll just circle the foot a few times. And then we’ll come to this left glute underneath the gluts is a muscle called the piriformis muscle. And it connects the sacrum to the outside of the upper leg bone this is a muscle that gets very tight sometimes. Because we sit. Because our legs are always going forward. So this very gentle and passive rocking back and forth is going to free things up where the muscle attaches on the sacrum as well as on the greater trochanter on the outside of the upper leg bone. So just rocking the grounded leg back and forth be engaging dorsiflexion with that left foot heel strong toe spread wide apart spreading out all of the plantar fascia then we’ll take this leg down. And we’ll go to the opposite side. So the right foot is gonna come up and over resting on the left knee we will circle the foot around a few times now I’d like to extend the spine a little bit more so while we’re circling the foot let’s take the arms up breathing in lifting the ribs off of the pelvis creating space in the low back and exhale hands to heart one more time inhaling rising the arms reaching the ribs. And the fingers exhaling hands to heart space now let’s go to the grounded leg and begin to rock back and forth now just check out the difference between how the right side. And the left sides feel in many cases our pelvis is a little bit out of alignment. So the way that the spine rises up out of the pelvis could be compromised, if we’ve got more dominance on one side of the body maybe, if you would drive a lot. And your right side is really tense you know it’s just a wonderful way to bring some awareness to the difference between our sides and yoga helps bring some more balance please continue to enjoy this variation of rocking the knees in a seated position. And we’ll be back in just a few moments to work a little bit deeper into the low back. And the deep healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems hi my name is Cheryl and I’ve had sciatica for about three or four years. And it affects my life or it has affected my life was very painful it hurts to bend it goes down your leg just getting dressed just going to work driving getting into your car those types of things are very difficult just your day-to-day daily activities of living so doing yoga has really helped stretch the muscles and solve the issues and make it go away, if it’s acting up then I just do some more yoga. And it goes away welcome back we’re using a gentle yoga practice to relieve symptoms of sciatica Cheryl I wanted to ask you when you have a flare-up of sciatica where do you feel it and what’s going on Oh usually in my lower buttocks area. And it goes right down my leg oh yeah from yeah that’s position down to my foot we’re going to be using the next sequence of poses to get deep into that area and we’re gonna free up some space and relieve some pain. So we’re going to be coming into a modification of the cow face pose go mukha. So let’s take the right leg long and, if that is not comfortable of course just take the left side and make sure you stay out of the pains own and stay in the comfort / discomfort zone.

And then the left leg is going to come up and over resting on the opposite side. So we could actually take the foot a little bit further. So that the knee kind of drops here we’re getting a little bit of an external rotation with this left side. So the hip rotators are starting to ring out the sciatic nerve is starting to have a little bit of space around that piriformis muscle that may have been spasming for a while. And then we’re just going to take our breasts on to the front line of the body. So we’re lifting everything on the front line I mean we’re exhaling down the back line of the body taking the shoulder blades down taking the sit bones down and, if you feel like going into an open twist this might feel really wonderful it’s important to create a lot of space in the spine just visualizing the discs of the spine puffing up like marshmallows and that’s really important. Because sometimes we get dis compression as we move into our wisdom years. And we need to create more space and more openness in order for all of the nerves to be operating well. So this twist feels wonderful we’re bringing out the hip rotators and we’re getting lots of length on the front of the spine creating lots of room in between the discs now you can slowly come out of that twist keep the legs in the same position. And then take the long leg the right leg. And just see, if you can bring it underneath now bring the sole of the foot to the ground.

And then see, if you can let the in-breath come long on the front line. And then exhale perhaps you’d like to twist into the opposite direction now this is an optional idea twisting is really healthy for the spine we’re wringing out lots of long held tension we’re wringing out all kinds of old energy old prana and we’re making room for fresh breath fresh oxygen and fresh life force to come in letting go of that coming back to Center unraveling. And then we’ll switch sides will switch over onto the opposite side. So the right foot is going to come up and over resting on the outside of the left knee. And just allowing there to be a little bit more rest on the baby toe side of the foot so we’ve got this very mild external rotation happening here we take a long slow smooth in-breath lifting everything on the front of the spine getting nice and long exhaling everything down the back line going into that twist, if you feel like that’s a good idea coming back to Center. And then taking the left leg bending it over we’re going into muts ardha matsyendr Asana another variation. And then we can just let the sole of the foot rest on the ground just find a place where the sole of the foot can rest a little bit more on the ground and inhaling lifting everything on the front of the body exhaling moving into a twist in the opposite direction. So we’re moving into a closed twist again wringing out the spine it’s like a dishcloth you bring it out one way. And then you wring everything out the other way this is a very healthy back practice, if you can wring your spine out once a day you will be so rewarded let’s come out of that twist take a moment. And then we’ll come off the bolster onto our back we’re gonna thread the needle with a ball. And this is going to get deep into the piriformis let’s take the right foot up and over on to the left knee.

And then we’ll just rock this knee back and forth a few times. And then the grounded knee could be rocking back and forth a little bit. And then we’re gonna find a place underneath the buttocks where you can rest a little bit of your weight you can come on down Cheryl how’s that there might be a little bit discomfort at first. But as you start to use the breath to go into that place where the ball is at you will start to feel a release of tension you could be doing a couple of variations like rocking this knee back and forth up and down and using the breath breathing in light and spaciousness opening up some more territory for the breath for prana to come into the area around the sciatic nerve letting the out breast be complete dropping that tension down into the ground releasing all of the tension that’s around sciatic nerve around the piriformis all the way through the layers of the gluts. And the other deep six muscles in there a couple of other variations would be to let your foot come off of the knee. And then just begin to circle your leg around a few times one way. And then a few times the other way. So we’re getting into some deep tissue here take your feet onto the ground. And just roll the ball around on the bottom of the pelvis and see how that feels maybe you’ll find a few new spots now please try this on the other side while we take a break. And we’ll be back in a few moments to work more deeply into the gluts. And the spine Healing Yoga Yoga for real people with real problems a castor oil pack on any inflamed area caused by sciatica can help reduce pain and increase lymphatic flow cover some white flannel fabric with castor oil apply it to the area affected and add a hot water bottle for the night welcome back we’ve been working with relieving symptoms of sciatica with our gentle practice. And now we’re gonna go deeper into the glutes deeper into the spine and we’re gonna take a pose called pigeon pose.

So we come down onto the ground maybe you’d like to use a rolled up blanket or a rolled-up towel we come into a lunge the right foot comes forward the left leg stays back. And then we’re taking the foot heel toe over to the left and dropping the knee over to the right you can see I’ve got this yoga bolster that’s gonna support my knee. And the upper leg I’m trying to get a parallel shin to the edge of the mat in front now that’s not the only way to take the pose you could also be letting your foot come back a little bit more towards the left hip and squaring off the hips is a really wonderful idea we take the right hip back. And we let the left hip open up at the front Sharyl is very flexible here she’s coming all the way down she’s getting a wonderful wringing out a very deep and intense wringing out of the piriformis that’s creating a lot more space around the sciatic nerve now, if you’re having trouble with this pose you can take a much more gentle version you can see Isabella’s using a chair and her knee is bent she’s got that external rotation going on with the right leg and there’s this wonderful idea of creating space sure her arms are rising up here and she’s creating a lot of space in her spine we work with the breath long slow smooth and complete in breast lifting everything on the front of the spine long slow smooth and complete out breaths dropping the shoulders dropping the sit bones wringing out a little bit more deeply a wonderful practice is to pause at the end of the out-breath using those periods between the out-breath. And the in breath is. So Important to cultivate a little bit of calmness in the mind now, if you’re doing this pose at home please make sure that you go to the other side. But we’re gonna be going directly into a backbend after twist back bends feels so wonderful. So we’ll come up very gently out of the pose. And then we’ll bring our sails down onto our bellies. And we’ll take the upper leg bones inwardly so one leg at a time rolls inwardly. So the knees are rolling in the toes are rolling in and we’re creating a little bit more space in the SI joints this is a wonderful practice for sciatica then we take the pubic bone. And the hip points. And we press them down we go to the top of the hamstrings where they meet the sit bones. And we press down there the arms come out to the sides palms facing the outer thighs. And we rest down now come up on the elbows and draw the ribs away from the top of the hips you can just rock from side to side creating more space in the low back.

And then we come down resting next time an in-breath comes along press down with the pubic bone. And the hip points exhale. And then another inhalation we’ll lift the chest we’ll lift the feet long slow smooth in-breath lengthening the front of the spine long slow smooth and complete out-breath squeezing everything on the back line of the body squeezing the glutes squeezing the hamstrings spreading the toes active feet active hands reaching the shoulder blades down the back as you breathe opening up the collarbones. And then we draw the arms forward we let the arms come down we let our temple rest on the stacked arms that feet are resting here. And we recover one more round coming up on the elbows inner spiral of the upper leg bones creating more space in the low back and in the sciatic area. And then just moving from side to side and bringing the ribs away from the top of the hips please continue to enjoy any of these variations of either pigeon or a backbend Shahla by sana locust pose we’ll be back in just a few moments to wanton healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems welcome back we’ve been working really hard deep into the glutes. And the sciatic nerve opening up space extending the spine making more space and Isabel how do you feel about the practice so far I feel very relaxed I feel especially when we did the ball exercise I felt all the muscles just loosen up. And the breathing I just love the deep breathing I find that when I breathe deeply I can increase the stretches in my poses oh that is so wonderful well we’ve worked so hard. And now we’re just going to come into more of a restful type of sequence and we’re gonna just sit in easy pose. So the legs are crossed and I really enjoy sitting up a little bit higher. So that the hips can be a little bit higher than the needs and we’ve got a set up here for Isabel a chair with a blanket. Because we’re just going to be grounding through the sit bones inhaling and lengthening on the front of the spine. And then exhaling coming forward we’re creating a sense of restfulness here at the same time that we’ve got this wonderful passive stretch this wonderful passive ringing out of both sides of the glutes.

So we let the out-breath be complete and at the end of the out-breath we just pause for a moment and have this sense of the mind emptying the mind is just letting go it’s wonderful to have the forehead supported and a little bit of weight on the forehead it helps us ground it helps us clear the mind it helps us feel a little bit more open and spacious in the whole body now Sheryl is doing a more advanced version of the pose you can see she’s very flexible and she has a wonderful way of being able to come all the way forward. And this is giving the back a wonderful sense of traction we’re creating lots of space deep inside the spine now some of us will not be comfortable in this pose and of course we don’t want to end up in the pain zone we come back between comfort and discomfort. And we use the breath there so maybe you have some support maybe you have yourself coming all the way down whatever way works for you and everyday might be different so don’t be really locked on to or attached to any particular variation of the pose use the wisdom of the body and let your body tell you what it wants very easily come back up to your natural stance. And we’ll get ready for shav Asana you can have a little bit of support underneath the knees which will take some pressure off the low back and in Isabelle’s case we’re just going to move this chair into the opposite direction you can come off the bolster having the legs supported on a chair is a wonderful way to come down and let’s come onto your back Isabel. And we’ll place the feet into the chair I’m gonna bring the chair a little bit there we go wonderful so giving the legs a little bit of an inner spiral is a wonderful practice to set the SI joints give them a little bit more space. And then once that inner spiral is established then you can just let go of your legs everything is set on the back of the hips. And you can rest and release now allow your breasts to become a little bit deeper let the out-breath give you a sense of widening out flattening out there’s a more connection that you’re making with the ground and bring your awareness to the whole back line of the body and take a long slow smooth in breath breathing in light and spaciousness all along the back line of the body exhaling tension exhaling holding and pausing at the end of the out-breath now you can continue on here and move into shav Asana or you can remove the bolsters remove the chairs and lie down flat continue to work with the breath breathing in light and spaciousness and exhaling tension hoping please continue to enjoy chef Asana for at least another 15 minutes see you again next time on healing yoga namaste you.

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