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Yoga for Sciatica - Top Exercises (Videos)

Yoga is an ancient art that promotes the balance of mind, body and spirit. Through a series of exercises and poses, called asanas, each group of muscles is strengthened and stretched so that the body is balanced and good posture is easily maintained; this helps the body to function efficiently and properly.

Because many of the exercises in yoga focus on the core muscles of the trunk, yoga is an ideal activity for sciatica patients. Yoga promotes a clear mind, reduces stress, assists with sciatica pain control and strengthens your body in a low-impact manner.

Good core strength and flexibility is necessary to support the spine properly. When the spine is well supported, there is less chance of injury or damage to the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. This type of injury is a major cause of sciatica and sciatica pain. Regular exercise also promotes the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers, and serotonin, the body's 'feel-good' hormone.

The best way to start in yoga is to attend a class taught by a fully trained instructor. Talk to the instructor before you start the classes and explain about the symptoms you experience. There may be exercises and asanas that could irritate your symptoms and the instructor needs to be aware of your condition and limitations. You will probably find that after you have attended classes regularly for a while, positions and actions you found difficult or painful in the beginning, will become easier to do.

As well as the physical side of yoga, you will also be instructed in meditation and breath control. These two activities are very important aspects of the yoga philosophy and both will help with sciatica pain and other symptoms. Once you have mastered even basic meditation, you will be able to use the technique when you are in pain, to help manage and control the discomfort. Breathing exercises, which teach you breathe control, assist in meditation and also will help you with the control of sciatica pain and relaxation of tense muscles.

Each yoga asana targets a specific muscle or group of muscles as well as organs and glands in that area of the body. The benefit of such targeted exercise is an increase in the blood flow to the muscles which increases the oxygen and promotes healing, bringing relief from the tension that causes sciatica pain. Some asanas stretch the spine which will release pinched nerves and allow discs to re-align with the vertebrae.

The visualization techniques used in meditation and pranayama help to focus the body's energies on problem areas of the spine that may be causing sciatica symptoms. It is believed that these techniques infuse the area with renewed life energy, called prana, and assist in healing and relaxation of the muscles.

There are several yoga sciatica exercises and asanas that will help with sciatica pain and symptoms but these are best taught to you by a qualified teacher to prevent further injury. Basically, any position or exercise that works the muscles of your torso, including your abdominals and back muscles, turns out your legs, stretches your hamstrings and gently twists your body at the waist are the top yoga exercises to help relieve sciatica symptoms.

In summary, yoga asanas improve the flexibility of joints and muscles, strengthen muscles and body tissues, straighten and lengthen the spine and stretch the muscles in the hips, spine and buttocks. Learn from trained and accredited yoga teacher and start slowly to prevent injury. Before you start yoga classes, talk to the teacher about your condition.

Video: Yoga for Sciatica Part One

Video: Yoga for Sciatica Part Two

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