Yoga for Sciatica

“Nowadays, a large number of people are facing the problem of sciatica. Unfortunately, most of those people don’t take any action about it. They simply continue to live with that pain. Pain greatly affects the quality of their lives.

Observing from the point of view of someone who has been working with people for many years, I can freely conclude that the main reason people give for not being able to solve their sciatica problem is lack of time.

I can’t even remember all the people who pointed out this fact to me: “If I had time, then I would solve that problem.” However, these are just excuses and nothing more. The pain will not go away on its own in this case. You will always have twenty-four hours, not a minute more. You have to commit to yourself; no one else is going to do it for you.”

Sciatica – How Does it Occur?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. The nerve itself consists of five smaller nerves. These nerves branch from the lumbar-sacral part of the spine down, down the legs, to the upper leg, knee, calf, foot, and fingers.

When inflammation of this nerve occurs, most people face very unpleasant pain in the lower back. The consequence of that pain can be the blockage of a good part of the locomotor system. Consequently, people who deal with sciatica also deal with very limited movement in the lower back.

Sciatica can also occur due to disc herniation, injury to the lumbar spine, pregnancy, narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back, tumor, or infection.

Statistics, Symptoms, Causes

It is estimated that approximately 25% of the human population faces the problem of sciatica. Most solve the problem in a few weeks. However, a certain percentage of people have faced this problem for several years.

The Main Symptoms Related to Sciatica are

  • pain in the lower back, pain that can increase with prolonged sitting
  • pain that spreads from the lumbar spine to the back of the legs
  • feeling of numbness and tingling
  • pain in the hips
  • pain in the glutes
  • difficulty walking

The Main Causes of Sciatica are

  • long and very uncomfortable sitting position
  • poor posture of the whole body
  • smoking
  • tumor
  • stress
  • obesity
  • osteoporosis
  • lifting heavy objects in an inadequate manner
  • constant performance of physically difficult jobs
  • abscess
  • blood clots
  • other neurological disorders

If the sciatica problem is not dealt with on time, this procrastination can only cause even bigger problems. Sciatica puts pressure on a nerve in the spine. If it is not resolved in time, the pain itself may increase, a more serious form of a disc herniation may occur, permanent nerve damage, loss of sensation in the leg or weakness, or loss of bladder or bowel function.

Yoga and Sciatica

Just in America, about a million people practice yoga simply because they have a problem with lower back pain. It has been scientifically proven through various studies conducted over many years that practicing yoga greatly relieves people of sciatica pain after just one month of practicing yoga. Close to 80% of people felt significant relief in their lower back after just one month of yoga practice.

A very gentle yoga practice can be very helpful in dealing with pain caused by sciatica. Accordingly, hatha or yin yoga is recommended.

In addition to the yoga poses themselves, people who are dealing with sciatica are advised to breathe consciously. The best breathing of this type is three-layer breathing. This breathing includes breathing through the stomach, lungs and tops of the lungs. It can be practiced in segments.

Usually, up to seven cycles per position are practiced (between five and seven cycles). In addition to breathing by segments, you can also practice complete three-layer breathing, where these three segments are joined into one complete inhalation and exhalation. Make sure that your exhalation is twice as long as your inhalation, regardless of whether it is segmented breathing or full breathing.

My warm recommendation is to definitely practice segmented breathing, especially belly breathing. The main reason is that through belly breathing, we completely get rid of stagnant air from the lower part of the stomach and toxins that usually cannot be expelled by normal breathing. This is very important for the simple reason that these same toxins and stagnant air in the lower abdomen can be one of the factors that lead to inflammation of sciatica. Toxins accumulate there due to an unhealthy lifestyle and stress; stagnant air remains in the lower abdomen because most people do not breathe at their full capacity. Seen from that angle, they harm their body in the long run.

The 8 yoga poses I recommend for people with sciatica are Downward Facing Dog Pose – Adho mukha svanasana, Lizard Pose – Utthan pristhasana, Sphinx Pose – Salamba bhujangasana, Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana, King of Fish Pose – Ardha Matsyendrasana, Fish Pose – Matsyasana, Bridge Pose – Setu bandhasana, Pincer Pose – Paschimottanasana.

Sphinx Pose, – Salamba bhujangasana

You are free to practice these poses in the order I have listed them. In case you cannot do these poses completely, practice their variations, mainly preparatory postures.

You can apply this entire series in two ways. The first involves the usage of the yin methodology in practice itself. So, try to stay in each of these poses for at least 3 minutes. If you are able to stay up to 5 minutes in each pose, that would be great.

The second way involves practicing these positions through hatha yoga, staying in the pose for a shorter time, but the transition from one pose to another is very easy.

No matter which style you choose, don’t forget to breathe.


Sciatica is just one of the problems that can be solved by practicing yoga. Be sure of this if you have decided to solve your sciatica problem with the help of yoga. Time and patience and the results will come. Your pain will go away.

About the author

Urosh Martinovic

Urosh Martinovic is a yoga and mindfulness teacher. He has experience in more than 7,000 guided classes. His work includes 1 on 1 online classes and workshops. Uros is a founder of holistic portal for Balkan Moja Solja Joge (My cup of yoga).