I am a yoga junkie. According to the Huffington Post, I am not alone.
More than 20 million people practice yoga.
Lady Gaga, Madonna, Dr. Oz, Jon Bon Jovi, Brad Pitt and Sarah Jessica Parker are just a few of the many celebrities who “find their inner balance” studying the ancient practice.
My girlfriend is a distance runner and has sciatica issues. She swears by Bikram yoga. Bikram yoga is a series of poses and breathing techniques conducted in a seriously hot room. I mean seriously hot.
As someone who suffers from sciatica issues, I was hoping to find the same relief as my girlfriend and decided to attend a hot yoga class. Personally, I was dripping in sweat when I left the Bikram class. Also, I may have lost a few friends because my deodorant wore off.
This is not my favorite type of yoga class but if Brad Pitt has decided to attend, I may have to reconsider Bikram yoga.
It is important, though, that you avoid this type of yoga if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant.
After attending the class, I researched yoga and sciatica issues. In Yoga Journal Magazine, yoga instructor Sarah Powers recommended these yoga poses for individuals with sciatica issues:
• Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
• Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
• Sun salutations
• Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Pigeon Pose
• Twisting in Ardha Matseyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
According to Powers, “Using your practice to heal the condition is possible with patience and specific sequencing. It is important to strengthen the muscles around the sciatic nerve and bring circulation to this region. First, I suggest you bend the knees when in standing forward bends and Downward-Facing Dog to assist in the forward pelvic rotation. Also, moving in and out of poses increases the circulation to the area.”
For Powers sequencing of yoga poses for sciatica, you can go to: http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/812/
Women Fitness.net recommends these yoga poses for your sciatica issues. You can view the detail of these poses at http://www.womenfitness.net/top10_yoga_exercises.htm/
• Supta Padangusthasana variation (Foot on the block)
• Utthita Parsvakonasana (Intense side stretch)
• Ardha Chandrasana (Half-moon pose)
• Bharadvajasana (Torso twist)
• Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand)
• Savasana (Corpse pose)
If you have never tried yoga, check out Groupon, Amazon local deals, Living Social or Deal Chicken for special offers on a yoga class near you.
You can call a yoga studio in advance and ask them if you can take a “sample” class or if they have a discounted rate for first-timers to their studio.
Before you do run off to the yoga studio, it is a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure that your sciatica won’t be aggravated by certain poses, particularly if you have disc problems.
Otherwise, yoga can be a great way to become stronger and more flexible.
Yoga Journal – Yoga. Expert Q&A- Coping With Sciatica. Yoga Journal: Yoga Poses, Classes, Meditation, and Life - On and Off the Mat - Namaste. Retrieved June 7, 2012, from
Top 10 Yoga Exercises to relieve Sciatica. Women Fitness | Women's Fitness . Retrieved June 7, 2012, from http://www.womenfitness.net/top10_yoga_exercises.htm
Yoga Postures For Sciatica | LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM - Lose Weight & Get Fit with Diet, Nutrition & Fitness Tools | LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved June 7, 2012, from
Celebrities Who Love Yoga. Huffington Post. Retrieved June 7, 2012, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/26/celebrities-yoga_n_1299402.html
Reviewed June 7, 2012
by Michele Blacskberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith