In my early 20’s, I was in a bad car accident that resulted in over 10 years of sciatica pain. At the time of the accident, I was a dancer and had the privilege of dancing in 3 National Tours. Between long travel days, sleeping on a bus, and performing 8 shows a week, I put a tremendous amount of stress on my lower back and my sciatica pain worsened. By age 28, I was forced to hang up my dancing shoes due to the amount of pain I was in. That’s when I turned to yoga in search of some relief.
I’ve since become a long time yoga practitioner, and over the years I have discovered many tricks that have been extremely helpful on my own personal journey towards healing. I’ve also learned what NOT to do when you’re experiencing pain, which is crucial because certain types of yoga practices, such as flow, will only increase discomfort and leave you feeling worse.
For those who don’t know what sciatica is or perhaps have sciatica but don’t know what causes it, here’s a little explanation. When there’s too much compression in the low spine due to trauma, poor posture, sitting too long, repetitive stress movements, or general wear and tear on the spine, we run the risk of injuring or even damaging our discs. As a result of a bulging disc, a herniated disc or disc degeneration we sometimes experience nerve pain known as sciatica. Sometimes the pain is localized in the low back and buttock region, and sometimes it radiates down the back of the leg and into the foot. Sensations can either be a dull throb or a hot piercing sensation, and pain levels vary. If this sounds familiar to you, keep in mind sciatica pain is simply the result of something else going on in the body — an MRI can give you clarity as to where the pain is originating from so you have a better understanding of how to treat discomfort.
These are three of my favorite poses for sciatica relief:
Thread the Needle
Practice these poses and more online with my 30 minute Sciatica Sigh of Relief class on myyogaworks.com (if you’re not a subscriber, try a 2 week free trial), and join me at my upcoming workshop, Sciatica Sigh of Relief, on Nov. 6th 2:00-4:00pm at YogaWorks Pasadena.
As always, you can visit me at any of my 4 weekly therapeutic classes at YogaWorks Valencia or YogaWorks Pasadena.
Dani Ibarra is a YogaWorks Trainer/Mentor leading local and export trainings, ERYT-500, Urban Zen Therapist, and Advanced Reiki Practitioner. Dani specializes in Restorative and Therapeutic Yoga combining breath work and her passion for mindful movement to create an environment in which physical and emotional healing can occur.