Yoga Journal – Yoga Asana Columns – Back Talk

Yoga Journal – Yoga Asana Columns – Back Talk

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For the full article, please go to the website

From the article about Dr. Mary Pullig Schatz, M.D., offers the following information about sciatica in her book, Back Care Basics: A Doctor’s Gentle Yoga Program for Back and Neck Pain Relief (Rodmell Press, 1992):

<<snip>>If the sciatica is from a bulging disc, focus on improving posture and body mechanics in daily activities. Yoga practice should be modified so that the pain is neither created nor intensified. Good poses to work with are Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) and its modification, Push the Wall Pose, as well as Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose). Do several sets, holding each pose for a moment.

If a tight piriformis muscle is the problem, then it must be gently stretched. Schatz suggests Piriformis Stretch, a seated pose that resembles the leg position of Matsyendrasana (Lord of the Fishes Pose), but without the torso twist. Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) with the support of a table or countertop can also help. Do not overstretch or more spasm can result. These poses can help relieve both piriformis spasm and piriformis-related sciatica. Remember to always speak with a physician before beginning any type of physical exercise.<<snip>>

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