Sciatica is the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, a nerve that runs from the lower spine all the way down the leg. It can cause a sharp pain that radiates at different points along the nerve, from the lower buttocks all the way down to the feet. You should consult a doctor before starting a yoga regimen for sciatica.
The pain behind sciatica can go along the spectrum from uncomfortable to at times, crippling. Sciatica could have various causes including the compression of the nerve as it exits the buttocks area by discs that have moved out of alignment, or tightness in the Piriformis muscle in the buttocks, which puts pressure on the nerve. It's an injury that more and more of us deal with as we age, often times because we sit too much, putting pressure on that part of the body.
First off, I've said it before and I'll say it again. Listen to your body. If a pose causes shooting pain, don't do it. Yoga should never hurt. It can at times be challenging, but yoga should never hurt. The goal is to strengthen the area around the nerve without causing pain in the least invasive way possible.
Start with some deep ujjayi breathing. Holding our breath tightens the muscles and if we fear pain, we're even tighter. In order to allow the muscles around the lower back to soften, start by connecting with your breath. Release the fear that's associated with the sharp pains of sciatica.
Keep reading and learn about three yoga poses that can reduce the pain of sciatica without medication.