Treating Sciatica Pain With Yoga

By: Adrian Cruce

What is Sciatica?

Before talking about how we can relieve the pain caused by sciatica, we need to understand what sciatica is. A simple definition of sciatica is: pain along the sciatic nerve. Being the longest nerves in the human body, the sciatic nerves can cause pain in more than one place starting from the lower back and going down to the back of the thighs and through the outer edge of the legs and feet.

Sciatica occurs during the most common activities. Bending over, running, walking and even sitting can cause pain and discomfort around the sciatic nerves.

Symptoms of Sciatica

  • Pain along the sciatic nerve
  • Pitching, tingling or burning sensation along the sciatic nerve
  • Weakness in the knees when trying to stand up
  • Foot drop
  • Reduced reflexes in the Achilles tendon and the knee

Why To Treat Sciatica With Yoga

Yoga is perfect if you have sciatic nerve pain or tingling sensation along the sciatic nerve. When practiced daily or multiple times per week, yoga offers pain relief, it improves body flexibility, increases muscle tone and it also creates a healthy routine that people with sedentary lifestyles need.

5 Yoga Poses to Relieve Sciatica Pain

  1. The Knee Raise

The Knee raise

Lying on your back, be sure you keep your shoulder on the floor and bring one knee to your chest, keeping the other leg straight. Try to bring the knee as closer to your chest as possible, pressing gently with your hands. After a couple of minutes switch legs.

  1. Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog

Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Make sure your knees are directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Inhale deep and on your exhale lift your knees away from the floor. Keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor, at the beginning. Straighten your knees, draw your thighs back and lift the hips higher. Hold the pose for 2 minutes.

  1. Fire Log Pose    
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Sit on one edge of a yoga mat with the knees bent and feet on the floor. Shrug your shoulders up a little bit, roll the heads of your upper arm bones back and press the bottom tips of your shoulder blades into your back. Slide the left foot under the right leg and be sure the right ankle is outside the left knee, being perpendicular to the floor. On the exhale, keep the torso long and fold forward, making sure the belly is not rounded. Inhale and then repeat the process, folding a little bit deeper the second time. Hold the pose for one minute then release. Switch legs and repeat the entire process.

  1. Staff Pose

Staff Pose

Sit on the floor, keep the legs together and extend them in front of you. Keep the torso long and straight. If your torso is leaning back, sit on a blanket to left the pelvis up while keeping the legs extended in front of you. Hold the pose for at least one minute.

  1. Marichi’s Pose

Marichi’s Pose

Start in Staff Pose then bend the right knee. Keep the foot to the floor and bring the heel as close to the sitting bone as possible. Keep the left leg strong and press the right foot to the floor. Inhale and on an exhale rotate your torso to the right. Place the right arm behind your right hip bone and bring your left arm in front of your right knee, pressing with the elbow towards the knee. Keep the right leg strong, the torso elongated and hold the pose for one minute. When ready release and switch sides.

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