If you hit the gym and lift heavy weights, have a child at home and have to bend over a lot, or have to sit in front of a computer for hours on end, then you must be no stranger to lower back pain. If you experience a sharp pain every now and then or a consistent dull sensation in your lower back, it may be a result of stress on your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve begins at your spine and runs all the way down to your spine and is the longest nerve in your body. Popping a painkiller or applying pain relief ointments on the areas you experience pain can only give you short-term relief from sciatic nerve pain. To get a long-lasting relief, you need to perform exercises that strengthen your back over time. Luckily, yoga has many asanas, or poses, that target your lower back to help you overcome your problem. You may be reluctant thinking that yoga is time-consuming or that you are not flexible enough to practice the different postures. But, you don’t have to fold yourself into complicated shapes like a pretzel. There are simple poses that are easy and don’t require you to have much skill, and the best part is that they require only 15 minutes of your time. Here are a few easy yoga poses that will help relieve sciatica pain.
1. Knee Raise
Lie on the ground or on a yoga mat and slowly bend one knee toward your chest while keeping your other leg straight. Keep your shoulders on the ground and hold the bent knee against your chest for a few moments. Come back to the original position and repeat with the other leg.
2. Two Knee Twist
Lie down on the ground and spread your arms out to form the shape “T” with your palms facing upward. Keep your shoulders firm on the floor and bend your knees. Slowly twist your lower body and bring your knees to one side so that they touch the floor. Hold the position for a minute and repeat on the other side.
3. Single Knee Twist
This is a slightly more difficult variation of the two knee twist. Lie on your back, keep one leg straight and bend the other over your body at a 90-degree angle. Place your opposite hand on the knee and stretch the other hand out on the floor at a 90-degree angle to your torso. Keep your shoulders pressed to the ground and turn your face toward the stretched arm. Hold the position for a minute and repeat on the other side.
4. Child’s Pose
Start on your hands and knees, rock back into your heels, and stretch your hands in front of you with your palms facing down. Try and touch the floor with your forehead and breathe deeply to feel a calming sensation on your back.
5. The Cat Pose
Get on your hands and knees, look straight ahead, bend your back down, push your chest up, and inhale and hold for 10 seconds. Slowly exhale while tucking your chin down to your chest and arching your back up. Repeat the process for 1 or 2 minutes.
6. The Seated Twist
Sit upright with your legs straight in front of you. Bend one knee and bring it as close to your chest as possible. Place the opposite elbow on the outside of the bent knee while placing the other hand flat on the floor behind you. Twist your torso as much as possible for a deep stretch.
7. The Twisted Lunge
This is the most difficult pose out of all the other poses but can still be done. Step one foot in front of your as much as you can and bend the knee at a 90-degree angle while keeping the other leg stretched behind you. Press your palms against each other in front of your chest. Maintain balance, twist your torso, and place your opposing elbow on the outside of your front knee. Look upward and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat the process on the other side.