Each and every day, I am approached by people who experience physical pain on a regular basis and one of the most common I hear stories about, is sciatica. This is a pain that most often begins with pain in the leg or an irritating tingle that starts in the buttock where the nerve ending is pinched and continues down the leg all the way into the foot. The cause of this common issue can be multiple factors including: stress, over working, tight hamstrings, an injury, piriformis syndrome, spinal stenosis, or athritic conditions. Though using over the counter drugs may help to numb or eliminate the pain temporarily, this is one of those conditions that can be treated naturally with the care and supervision of a professional body worker or physical therapist. Just last week, I had a client come to me with a severe case of sciatica. After a deep session of yoga alignment, we were able to eliminate the pain completely for a total of five days. On the sixth day, my client began to feel the pain again. What is the secret to a successful yoga practice? Well, as the late Patabi Jois said, the grandfather of Ashtanga Yoga, "Yoga is 99% practice, 1% theory." Through consistency of 3-6 days a week, I have seen people recover from this ailment completely and manage it. From managing it through consistent yoga practice, several of my clients have been able to compete as long distance athletes. The challenge more often than not for people suffering from this condition, is to slow down, rest and rejuvenate. Today, we explore three highly beneficial postures for people who suffer from sciatica: Pigeon, Reclined Leg Extension, and Extended Cross Legged Pose. This series will give you just the right kick in the asana and will leave your legs feeling ready to take on the world one step at a time. Take it slow and remember when going into those uncomfortable places, breathe deep.
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. ~B.K.S. Iyengar
You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state. ~Sharon Gannon
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