Q: My sciatic pain has worsened over the last few days and it’s really painful. and excruciating that I feel as if my head is going to pop. I have been prescribed painkillers which make me drowsy and I am really suffering, I can’t get rid of it the flare ups happen every few months and it’s so bad. I’ve noticed the pain is bad but not as bad as when I was not doing yoga. My friend introduced me to yoga. I just wanted to let you know that yoga has helped me a lot and if there is any type of pose you think I should be doing. M. Burton – Bournemouth
A: I am sorry to learn of your pain. Sciatica is so painful and I have met many people whose lives are ruined by this pain. It’s also the area of the first chakra (root) so I always advise to work on the first energy centre to strengthen it. There are a number of yoga asanas you can perform to manage sciatica which no doubt you are doing as mentioned in your letter. Also, to strengthen the muscles around the sciatic nerve and bring circulation to this region. Some suggested asanas to practise
are: Adho Mukha Svanasana (DownwardFacing Dog) and Salabhasana (Locust), to help strengthen the lower-back muscles, as well as bringing circulation to the hip muscles. If you can’t master the full pose then try this variation:
Inhale; lift chest and legs, exhale. On the second inhale bring the legs apart, then exhale and bring the legs back together. Repeat five times at least. If lifting the feet causes pain, then part the legs with the feet moving along the floor. Other backbends like Bhujangasana (Cobra) and Dhanurasana (Bow) can also be beneficial, as can Child’s pose (Balasana).