Sciatica Yoga – 11 Poses You Must Try for Sciatica Pain Relief

April 07, 2021

Sciatica is a condition caused due to irritation or injury of the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back into the limbs. The pain caused by an injured or inflamed sciatic nerve can range from mild throbbing to excruciating agony. Many physical activities can worsen sciatica pain, but there are several sciatica gym exercises that can help soothe the condition. There are also specialised yoga asanas for sciatica pain, with proven long-term results.

Sciatica relief yoga works on the principle of soothing, stretching, and strengthening. Most yoga poses for sciatica pain exercise multiple muscle groups around the sciatic nerve while causing minimal strain. Regularly practicing yoga for sciatica pain can not only provide pain relief, but also strengthen your muscles and prevent relapse. Sciatica pain relief yoga could also reduce your need for medication, depending on your specific condition.

Here are the poses of yoga for sciatica pain you can try at home.

Balasana: Child’s pose

Balasana is an exceptionally soothing sciatica yoga position that allows you to centre yourself while stretching out your spine and opening up your hips and lower back.

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your knees close together
  2. Lower yourself back onto your heels while keeping your arms extended in front of you
  3. Relax your torso onto your thighs, and focus on your breath

Adho mukha svanasana: Downward-facing dog

The “downward-facing dog” pose is a great way to align your spine, core, and limbs, while stretching out all major muscle groups. The pose also helps boost strength in your core muscles, which makes it one of the ideal poses for sciatica pain.

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your feet slightly apart
  2. Push your hips back towards the ceiling as you extend your arms
  3. Drop your chin towards your chest, and slightly bend your knees to push your pelvis forward

Ardha chandrasana: Half-moon pose

While stretching your spine, glutes, and thighs, ardha chandrasana relieves tension in your body and improves your overall flexibility. One of the most favoured yoga asanas for sciatica relief, it is proven to improve strength and agility with long-term practice.

  1. Stand upright with your right foot in the front, and slowly lower your weight onto your right foot
  2. Reach your right hand down towards the floor, slightly in front of your right foot
  3. Lift your left leg so that it is parallel to the floor, and then rotate your torso and open your hip
  4. To extend the stretch, raise your left hand towards the ceiling and gaze upward
  5. When you release this position, start by bending your right leg before lowering your left leg to the floor
  6. Repeat this for the other side

Bhujangasana: Cobra pose

Bhujangasana stretches and strengthens your spine and helps improve overall circulation and alignment. Include this in your sciatica yoga workout to increase flexibility.

  1. Lie on your stomach with your palms on the floor beside your shoulders
  2. Inhale, and squeeze your elbows into your body as you lift your head, chest, and shoulders towards the ceiling
  3. Keep your chest open and your shoulders slightly bent
  4. Repeat this position up to 10 times for greater effect

Salabhasana: Locust pose 

One of the most effective yoga exercises for sciatica, salabhasana is a great way to strengthen your core while engaging your thighs, glutes, spine, lower back, and core. It also improves hip flexibility and reduces stiffness.

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms back and your fingers interlaced at the base of your spine
  2. Slowly lift your head, arms, chest and legs as high as you can
  3. Unlock your fingers as you do so and lift them away from your body
  4. Repeat this up to 5 times for greater impact

Pawanmuktasana: Wind-relieving pose 

This post relieves tension in your lower back and glutes, while opening up your hip muscles. It also improves digestion, can prevent muscle cramps, and can help relieve digestive disorders.

  1. Lie on your back with your legs together and draw your knees in towards your chest
  2. Bring your thighs up to your chest and keep your ankles together
  3. Bring your arms around your legs and try to interlock them if you can
  4. Enhance the stretch by tucking your chin into your chest and touching your forehead to your knees

Supta kapotasana: Reclining pigeon pose 

Practice the reclining pigeon pose for sciatica pain relief, since it realigns your core to put less pressure on your hips and lower back. It also stretches out your glutes and hips.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, in line with your hips
  2. Bend your right knee toward your chest, and place your right ankle on your left thigh
  3. Extend the stretch by raising your left leg in towards your chest
  4. Repeat this for the other side

An easier variation of this asana can be done while sitting upright on a chair. Practice the sitting pigeon pose for sciatica that is more painful or if you’re relatively new to yoga.

Setu bandha sarvangasana: Bridge pose

The bridge pose stretches the spine, and relieves pain and tension in the lower back, hips, and thighs. It is also a good work-out for your core and is said to improve overall circulation.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, and your arms by your side
  2. Place a block between your knees to maintain alignment
  3. Starting with the base of your spine, slowly raise your hips towards the ceiling, and hold for up to 1 minute
  4. Repeat this position up to 10 times to work out your glute and thigh muscles

Ardha matsyendrasana: Half lord of the fishes pose 

This pose twists your muscles from your lower back up to your shoulders in a soothing stretch that relieves pain and tension. Regular practice can improve muscle function, making it a go-to form of yoga for lower back pain and sciatica relief.

  1. Sit upright with your legs extended in front of you
  2. Lift your right knee and place your right foot beside your left thigh, keeping your knee pointed forward or slightly to the side
  3. Bend your left leg so that your left foot is beside your right thigh
  4. Place your right hand on the floor behind you, and wrap your left arm around your right thigh
  5. Lengthen your spine as your inhale, and move deeper into the pose with each exhale
  6. Repeat this for the other side

Raja kapotasana: King pigeon pose 

Practice the king pigeon pose, also known as the forward pigeon pose for sciatica relief and overall lower body strength. In addition to being a great workout for your piriformis muscle, this is the ideal form of yoga for sciatica leg pain.

  1. Start on your hands and knees
  2. Bring your right knee forward and out to the right, resting your right foot by your left thigh
  3. Keeping your right leg at a 45-degree angle, and your right foot flexed, gently walk your left back so that it is extended straight on the floor
  4. Lower your upper body over your right thigh, keeping your hip level with the floor
  5. Repeat this for the other side

Viparita karani: Legs up the wall

One of the most soothing yoga poses for sciatica, viparita karani is restorative, relaxing, and a great recovery pose to end your workout.

  1. Sit with your right side against a wall and your legs extended in front of you
  2. Lower your upper body to the floor as you raise your legs against the wall
  3. Your back should be on the floor and your legs should be pressed against the wall in a 90-degree angle, with your hips pushed against the wall
  4. Gently raise your hips with the support of your arms
  5. You can also use a cushion or pillow to support your hips in this pose

Before you begin practicing yoga for sciatic nerve pain, make sure to speak with your physician about your specific case. While yoga for sciatic nerve relief can be helpful and soothing, it can also cause complications when done incorrectly, or if your condition is compounded by another health issue. Make sure you also know which sciatica yoga poses to avoid based on your medical history. Also consult your physician before replacing or complementing your medication with sciatica ayurvedic tablets.

For easy access to a physician, you can use the Bajaj Finserv Health App. This app is loaded with telemedicine features. You can use it to search for the best doctors near you and book appointments at their clinics online. You can also consult doctors via video or chat should you prefer remote care to a physical visit. You can use the app to safely store medical records, set medicine reminders, and more. To have these benefits at your fingertips today, simply download the app for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store.