Yoga For Sciatica – Yoga With Adriene

– Hello everyone. Welcome to yoga with Adriene. I’m Adriene, and today’s
practice is yoga for Sciatica or for lower back pain, nerve pain. This is a really great practie
for anyone who has dealt with any flare ups in the lower back body. Perhaps you’re recovering from an injury, and you’re needing to
ease back into things. Be really mindful. If you are in pain now, you
might need to ask your doctor or you might need to check
in and just make sure you’re doing the right exercise, but this is a really yummy practice that’s going to balance
strengthening and stretching in a really kind and loving way. So, for today’s practice,
you’re gonna need a towel, a little towel if you have it. If you have a yoga strap, awesome, or if you have a tie,
you can use that as well. Just something about yay long that will help you find length. Alright, so hop into something comfy. Grab your towel or your strap or your tie, and let’s get started. (lively, bouncy strumming music) Alright, the first thing we’re gonna do is going to be a supine on our backs, and you’re gonna need your towel or your strap or your
tie, whatever you got. So, put it right to your side
so you can grab it easily, and then bend the knees, use your hands to slowly
roll down to your back. Get situated here. Connect with your breath. Knees are up towards the sky. Feet are on the mat. And take a second to bring
the hands to the belly or right to the hip points here, and just notice what’s
going on in the lower back. If there’s a space, if
you can crawl your hand between the lower back, see if you can make an adjustment to
bring your lower back flush with the mat. And if you have to adjust
your feet, please do. So the lower back is now
pressing against the mat and since we’re here to practice and go the extra mile, self love and care, take a moment to close your eyes, and deepen your breath. And then we’re gonna start
with this really, really fancy yoga move that a friend of
mine taught me the other day, reminded me of it in class. And it’s where you take the
two corners of your mouth and gently lift them up
towards your eyes or your ears. So chances are if you’re doing this video, you’re tending to a little back pain or maybe you’re wanting to prevent it, but we could all use a little
reminder to smile and breathe. You’re in the right place. I got your back. We’re gonna start by keeping the left foot on the ground. And slowly, nice and slow, lifting the right leg up high, so it doesn’t have to straighten. If it does, great, if not, no worries, but what we do want to pay attention to is the lower back body here. So, if it’s starting to come up, we’re gonna make adjustments, either by bending the
knee so that we can scoop the tailbone and keep the lower
back on the mat, et cetera. So take a second to notice
what’s going on in your body. And then we’re gonna grab your strap. In this case it’s a towel. So I’m using a towel because
I imagine that most people have a towel at home, but if you have a yoga strap, awesome. They’re really great. I’m gonna bend the knee
to slowly grab my foot with my towel, and then
find extension here. So, one arm has one end. The other arm has the other. Keep them like that, as
you loop the shoulders, snuggle the shoulder blades
underneath the heart space, and begin to breathe even deeper here. Big hamstring stretch. Articulate Adriene. Sole of the left foot is on
the ground for stability here. So, I am one girl talking to
a lot of people right now, so be really mindful of your
body and your breath here. For some, you’ll be able to really enjoy this stretch really nice. For others, this just getting here alone is probably quite a feat, so you need to be in
your breath and listen, listen, listen to the body. Right? Listen for signs. Don’t wait ’til it’s too late, ’til you’re already in the ouchie mode. Mmm-mm. Ain’t nobody got time for that, right? So, take good care. I just feel like it’s my duty
to keep reminding you of that, because we can get a
little bit lost sometimes trying to achieve something, when really we have to just be present. So this might be enough, again, you might be here
rockin’ and rollin’. You might be here. But lower back is flush with the mat. Take a second to close your eyes, and say the mantra quietly to yourself, “I am supported.” Then stay here, blood is
rushing opposite direction. Stay here or take the
strap into your right hand. Bring the left hand slowly, gently down back to that left hip point. And nice and easy, I’m
gonna inch my left toes out just keeping the lower back
on the mat, nice and slow, and eventually find extension all the way out long through that left leg. Hey-o, off the mat. Alright, so pay attention
to what’s going on in the full body. If the lower back is
starting to come up here, you’re gonna want to
come back to this shape with the knee up high. So I’m just offering
all different variations for all different levels here. Everyone breathe. So you’re either here… Or we’re working towards
deeper stretch here. A little action point, draw
the right hip crease down. Hug the lower ribs in, again, protecting lower back. Nice and long in the breath so see if you can extend your inhalations. Extend your exhales. If the left leg is extended,
really press through your left heel, engage quadricep, firm that thighbone down to the earth. Great, both hands come
to the towel or the strap if they are not already. And we slide the left heel back up. Sole of the left foot comes to the mat. We release the strap or the towel and slowly release, right hand back down. Take your strap, go ahead
and put it to the left. Hands come back to the hip points and we check in with the lower back. So a couple rocks of
the pelvis if you need. Return to the breath. Return of the mac. Always returning to the breath. Time and time and time again. It’s always there to guide
you, especially through pain in the body and also painful moments, right, in life, it happens. It’s gonna keep happening. So how we meet it and greet it is really what it’s all about, right? OK, here we go. Soles of the feet down on the earth. Keep the right foot there,
and when you’re ready, slowly lift the left leg
up high, nice and slow, and as you do that, so
rather than just jumping the gun here, see if you
can really pay attention to what’s going on in the lower back, in the pelvis, in the hips as you extend through the left leg. If you can straighten the leg, great. Not necessary. Tending to the lower back here, and keeping that strong foundation here on the right foot. Alright, awesome work my friends. We know where we’re headed. So moving nice and slow and mindful, take your towel, loopty loo, grab your partner, do-si-do, just kidding. Sorry. And we come into our stretch here. If you’re super flexible,
and you’re tending to back pain here, you
might bend your knee just to give yourself a little bit of time and space to heal. So if you’re used to coming here, wham bam, you might soften and use this time to find a
little balance in the body. And, find what feels good. Breathing, nice, long,
smooth, deep breaths. Notice if the lower back
has come off the mat here. So hug the lower ribs down. Create support. So nice, long, neutral spine here as we do this floor work, and in this case, and in all cases, neutral means supported. It means you are connected and supported. So hug the lower ribs in. And stay here, breathin’. Or take the strap into your left hand. Right hand to the right hip point, the right hip crease. And nice and slow, inching the toes out, slow as you can go, nice and easy like a little inchworm, breathing deep. Taking your time. And then maybe that right
heel eventually extends all the way out. Breathing deep. Snuggle the shoulder blades
underneath your heart space. Let this be about the breath here. Listen to the sound of your breath. If you’re familiar with Ujjayi breath, you might practice that here. (deep breathing) Firming the top of the right thigh down and really pressing into your right heel if that leg is extended. Big breaths. Left hip crease grounding
down to the earth. Close your eyes here. Keep breathing. (deep breathing) Great, then connect to your center here. Draw the navel down. Then we’ll slowly, nice and easy slide that right foot back up. Ground through the right foot, and then we’ll return the hands back to the strap, and release. Beautiful. Take the left foot right back down to where you started. We come to a little bridge variation here. Walking the heels up. Snuggling the shoulder blades underneath. OK, the second thing we’re gonna do are some slow bridges. So, heels are walking up
towards the sitting bones, and hands are resting gently at the sides. If you have a little block or something to put between the inner thighs here, it’s nice to squeeze, but not necessary. Just keep that in mind, maybe
a little imaginary block. K, press into your foundation here strong. Take a deep breath in. Long breath out. Keyword, slow hip bridges here so press into your feet, and start with the tail
as you slowly lift. Hips up high, nice and slow. As slow as you can go. Really slow. Then engage through the glutes. Squeeze that imaginary block. Knees draw towards each other. Press into your feet. You don’t have to come up super high here, and then slowly release down. We’re only gonna do three of these so the tempo’s really slow. I recently met a really awesome woman. She’s a chiropractor,
and she’s very smart, and we talk a lot about
stabilizing lower back, sacrum area with slow hip bridges. She really recommends that and I do too. So, here we go. Second one, nice and slow
and steady wins the race. Please keep your gaze all the way up so now that you know what we’re doing, keep your gaze up. No need to look to the side
and turn the neck here. Keep it nice and long. On an exhale, slowly lower down. So just one last reminder, we’re not coming into bridge pose, just finding a gentle lift of the hips up on a big breath in, pressing
into all four corners of the feet, drawing energy up through the front body, and then letting it fall as we lower the back body down. Beautiful, once you
land, soft landing here. Nice and easy, press into your palms for stability and support. Lift the heels and then hug the knees up into the chest gently, very gently. Great, the next thing we’re gonna do is a little reclined one-legged pigeon. So softly place your left
foot down on the earth, and inhale, right leg up high. On an exhale, bend the right knee. Cross right ankle over
the top of the left thigh. And just keep it soft and easy as if you’re moving through water here. So sometimes you do this in yoga class, and you’re warm, and
you’re just coolin’ off, but here we want to keep
it really soft and easy. So you might just stay here gently using your right
hand to guide the top of the right thigh out, finding that rotation. Breathing here. Or, we’ll thread the needle by taking the right fingertips in between the legs. Hey-o! Inappropriate. And interlacing behind the
back of that left thigh. Now you have your towel
here or your strap here so you can use it to help with this if the first variation is not comfortable or in your body, or if you want to be super
mindful about your back pain. Perhaps you’re accustomed to a little bit of Sciatic flare up,
and so you’re working on some stabilization and preventative care. You might just stay here. So wherever you are, you know what I’m gonna say, right? Breathe deep. Keep energy and awareness
through both feet, protecting the knees
and staying connected. So Sciatica is not actually, we often think of it as
a diagnosis of one thing but really Sciatica is a
symptom of something else going on in the body, and it can be a plethora
of different things, right? Some are way more severe than others. Some are small and can just happen. You know, pick something up the wrong way or get out of bed the wrong way, or maybe you were doin’ somethin’ else the wrong way, just kidding. (laughing) Hopefully you’re breathing here. Right, it happens. And then last but not least, and this is gonna depend
on where you’re at in your body. You might just stay exactly where you are or you might extend that left leg up high. We’ve already warmed
up the hamstrings here. This is optional, it can be bent too. Breathing deep. There’s an action of the tailbone here, lengthening out long. It’s not really a big move, just more of an action, an activity. Breathe deep. Then slowly release one step at a time, nice and slow, staying connected to your abdominal wall, core, as you move in and out of these postures. Super helpful. Let’s take it to the other side. Plant down firmly through the right foot. Inhale, left leg up high. Exhale, bend at the left knee. Cross left ankle over the
top of the right thigh and just check out this side. Right, each side’s gonna
be a little bit different. Finding that rotation here. You’re using the hand if it helps. Staying connected to your lower back. Super mindful. Might just stay here. Or you might press up off the right toes. Thread the needle once again here. Again, you can take this strap here. A lot of people like to
interlace here which is fine if you really want that,
need that, it’s fine, but for me, I tend to, I kind of got out of that
habit just to protect a little hyper extension in the knee, and just create good yoga
habits, stretch habits, so I do it behind the thigh here. Also really great to press
the hamstring against that hands here for hamstring stabilization
and strength as well. So we stretch ’em a lot
but we rarely stabilize ’em so it’s good, good
little two-for-one here. Lot going on. Breathe deep. Close your eyes. So there are many
different bus stops here, again, if you’re back is aching you, you might just be here. If you found a spot that
feels good, close your eyes and deepen your breath. Last little stop or
last little action here that’s optional, to
extend the leg up high, really brightening through both feet here. Lots of energy in both feet. And you could commission
your left elbow here to press out through the
left thigh a little bit. One more breath. And then nice and slow,
stay connected to your core as you release. Tighten the belly as you unravel, staying connected. Awesome work. Big breath in. Exhale out through the mouth, let it go. Alright, next we’re gonna
walk the feet together. And then press up off the toes and slowly engage the abdominal wall here, again, to hug the knees
all the way up and in. It doesn’t have to be a big squeeze. If you’re craving that, go for it, but again, better safe than sorry, keeping it nice and easy here. I’m coming into Gomukhasan
legs or cow legs, so I’m gonna slide the
right toes all the way up and cross my right leg over my left as if I were sitting in a desk here. And I want to remember where we started with that awareness, that
attention on the lower back so scoop the tailbone up here so that your lower back
is nice and supported, flush with the mat. You might just stay here. You might need support by bringing the fingertips to your sides or we might take the hands and grab, either the big toes or the
outer edges of the feet coming into our Gomukhasan, our cow legs. Big breaths here as I anchor down through my hip creases. Keep the chest, heart open. So now we’re getting really
nicely into the piriformis. Again, our Sciatica is
usually or really always I should say, just in different ways, a reaction to something else, right? A symptom to something else. And that’s what’s causing that pain, which is sharp and severe sometimes. So, depending on where you’re at, be really mindful. Can’t say that enough. Big breaths here. And your last breath here, if it’s available to you, see if you can kick your feet
into your hands even more. Kick your feet up into your hands. Great, and then to release, connect to your center, your core. Draw the navel down,
release the hands first. Bring them to the mat and then unravel. So I’m really connected to my core here. Really important if we
want to tend to back pain to find that strength in
the core in the front body. Alright, here we go. Same thing on the other side, sliding the left toes
up, crossing it over, hugging the lower rib cage down. This side will be different so just notice what’s going on. Breathe, breathe, breathe. And then maybe we take the hands to the big toes here. Ooh yeah, this side’s different. Or to the outer edges of the feet. Working to get the feet
kicking up into the hands, but you gotta just work
where you are today. And sometimes that’s just grabbing one foot at a time. Mmmmmmm. So awesome for anyone
who works at a computer. This sequence can be rad for you, really, really great. Really great for everyone
in this day and age to really tend to the
lower back with love. Take one more big breath here, you got it. Exhale, draw the navel
down towards the earth. Connect to your abdominal wall so tighten the belly a little bit here as you release the hands first, fingertips or palms come to the mat. Shoulders relax down and we unravel. Sweet. Slowly take both feet up. Find extension, then bend the knees to lower with control down one foot at a time. (deep breathing) Okey dok, doin’ awesome. So just one more thing before we take it to rest and relaxation and restoration. So we’re gonna come up to seated now, but to do that we’re
gonna come onto our side so any side that rocks your world. Come into a little fetal position. And then this is good
awareness just for getting up and out of bed, especially
if you have a flare up or if you are feeling a
little achy in the lower back. Come onto your side first. Connect to your center
so draw the navel in. Connect to your core, supporting the back, and then roll up. So especially if you’re
going to other yoga classes to tend to back pain, watch
it in those transitions. Super important to stay connected to your center. Alright, so this next little
twist we already know, but we’re kind of going
at in a more gentler way. Kinder way. So we’re gonna extend
the left leg out long, and hug the left
knee–that’s my right, whoa. Extend the right leg out long and hug the left knee in but give yourself lots of space, about a
palm’s width of space between your right leg and your left heel. Now you should note that
if you are in the moment dealing with Sciatic pain, you will probably want to skip this twist. I would, but you’ll know. Your body will tell you, especially if you have that sort of pain. You know what I’m talking about. It speaks. It tells no lies. So in that case, you might just work in Dandasana or you might
do a forward fold here. Or you might cross the legs and sit in meditation pose
while we do this twist. So, palm’s width. And I’m gonna sit up nice and tall. Interlace the fingertips,
not directly on the knees, just bad yoga habit to do that, put pressure on the knee
when you don’t need to. So just below the knee. Loop the shoulders and
lift up through the chest. Hug the navel in just slightly. Tighten the belly and
just support the back. And we’re breathing here. So now we’re gonna go and get
into the piriformis again. And again, all those intrinsic muscles that are around the lower back body and the hips, and the nerves, and everything that’s
connected to your spine, a little bit deeper. So again, avoid this if
you’re already having lower back pain. I know I keep saying that, but I’ve actually avoided
doing a video like this because it’s such a
tender and specific thing, but I might just stay here, interlace, or I’m gonna hug the elbow into the knee and kind of press the knee into the elbow so I’m not letting it rock in, yowch. I want a supported stretch not a crank. Left fingertips come behind for support if you hug the elbow. Otherwise, you just stay here with it, fingertips interlaced. Notice I have a nice
energy in my right toes. Benji hair. And we’re here breathing. (deep breathing) Once you feel like you
gotta shape that feels good, even if it doesn’t look
anything like mine, see if you can soften your
gaze or close your eyes. And really listen to the
sound of your breath. You might repeat the mantra
again, “I am supported.” Then take one more
breath wherever you are. And use an exhale to
slowly come back to center. Use the hands behind you for support as you send the left leg out long. And then we’ll slowly do the same thing on the other side,
sliding the right leg in. No need to narrow it here. Keep a nice, palm’s width distance. And then interlace the
fingertips just below the knee. Sit up nice and tall. You might just stay here or you might find a
little twist in the spine. Really, really great. And maybe we hug the elbow. Maybe we take the fingertips back, but really working
sensation over shape here. Big time. Close your eyes and breathe. Then wherever you are,
take one last breath in. Use the exhale to come back to center. Release the hands behind you. Send the legs out long. Big breath in. Big breath out. Great, use the hands to guide you especially if you are
feeling a little bit achy, all the way back down. Bring the feet onto the
ground for stability first. Then use the hands, the arms, the elbows to walk you down. Stay connected to your core. And now would be the time
where you grab your pillow. And either put it underneath the head or for this particular video, it would be really great to put support underneath the backs of the knees. K, so a little supported supine posture to close this off here. It seems so simple, I know. This isn’t the best pillow for this, but you can get a towel or a blanket and roll it up,
put it up behind the knees. Actually, this is awesome. Shoulda trusted you pillow. Right behind the knees, and then extend the legs out long. Hands can rest gently on the belly, the tops of the hips, or out at the sides. So if you’ve ever had
back pain or a toothache, certain kinds of things that really wear you out. All kinds of pain, right? It can be quite exhausting. And so it’s important, especially ’cause we’re
dealing with our nerves here. It’s important to take
this last pose seriously. Don’t skip it. Find support, you can use your towel here for a little eye cover. Oh yeah, now we’re talkin’. Game changer, hello. I know I’m putting this on YouTube, but you cannot beat this. Take a deep breath in. And exhale, release. Inhale in again. And exhale, release. And one last time. Say the mantra quietly to yourself. “I am supported.” So by doing a mindful practice like this, not only is it physically
beneficial to the body, but I think energetically, and hell, even spiritually
if you’re open to that, it’s your way of kindly
combating pain and saying, “I acknowledge you. “I’m learning from you, thank you.” And now I release it. Move through, pass on. And then you can work to
prevent things like that. Body aches, pain, headaches, accidents, all these things will happen. So how we meet them and greet them and tend to them is everything. Thank you for sharing
your time, your energy, and your practice with me. Leave questions, comments below, but for now we’ll take
one last big breath in. And on your exhale, relax
the weight of your body completely and fully into the mat. Shavasana. Stay here for a minute or two. If time allows, even longer. Take good care. Namaste. (bouncy drumming, acoustic guitar music)

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