6 Yoga Exercises for Lower Back Pain and Sciatica for Women

Yoga exercises can help prevent sciatica and lower back pain. (Photo by cottonbro via pexels)
Yoga exercises can help prevent sciatica and lower back pain. (Photo by cottonbro via pexels)

Sciatica is a severe pain caused by irritation, injury, overused muscles or compression of the lower vertebrae or sciatic nerve.

The pain starts from the lower back and goes through the deep muscles of the thighs and buttocks all along the legs. Sometimes the condition is just minor pain causing discomfort, but over time, it can lead to serious pain and other major symptoms.

The good news is that yoga can reduce lower back pain and sciatica. Yoga asanas combined with slow breaths can offer immense relief to lower back pain and also prevent serious complications that might occur in the future.

Of course, it's not a replacement for medications and other treatments, but practicing a few yoga exercises can be beneficial for people with low back pain.

Yoga Poses for Sciatica

Here's a look at six yoga poses that can give you relief from sciatica:

1) Child’s Pose (Balasana)

The Balasana is a wonderful yoga pose that helps relax your body and also stretches and lengthens your spine. It promotes flexibility and opens the muscles in your lower back, hips and thighs.


How to do it?

  • Take a tabletop position. Bring your hips back on your heels, and put your knees together.
  • Straighten both your arms in the front, and slowly bend forward falling into your thighs.
  • As you do that, make sure to loosen your torso, and focus on breathing naturally.
  • Stay in this posture for a few seconds, and relax.

2) Knees-to-chest Pose (Apanasana)

This yoga exercise helps stretch your lower back and reduces sciatica pain. It also stretches the piriformis muscles located deep in your buttocks.


How to do it?

  • Lie flat on a mat on your back, and keep your legs straight.
  • Bend your knees, and bring your thighs towards your chest.
  • Simultaneously, wrap your arms around your knees, and stretch as much as you can.
  • Stay in this pose for at least 20 seconds, and make sure to keep taking slow and natural breaths. Repeat.

3) Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

A Cobra pose is a relaxing pose in yoga that helps stretch your entire spine while also promoting overall flexibility and blood circulation throughout the body.


How to do it?

  • Lie down on your belly, and keep your legs behind you.
  • Place your palms next to you on the floor, and bring your elbows in towards your sides.
  • Inhale, and push through your arms as you raise your chest off the floor.
  • Make sure your back is arched, but your lower body should be pressed on the floor.
  • Stay in the posture for a few seconds, and breathe deeply.
  • Lower your body. Repeat.

4) Reclined Pigeon Pose (Supta Kapotasana)

This pose supports your entire lower back and helps reduce sciatica and lower back pain by eliminating pressure from your hips and spine.


How to do it?

  • Lie on a mat, and keep your knees bent. Your heels should be towards your hips.
  • With your left knee bent lift your left ankle, and place it at the bottom of your right thigh.
  • Hold this position, and feel a deep stretch in your lower back.
  • Hold for a few seconds, and do the same on your other side.

5) Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

The locust pose helps strengthen your thighs, spine and glutes. It stabilises the lower back and core while also reducing symptoms of sciatica pain.


How to do it?

  • Lie on your belly, and keep your fingers interlaced behind you.
  • Lift your chest, arms and head as high as you can do so comfortably.
  • Simultaneously, raise your arms, and extend them away from your body.
  • To deepen the stretch, lift both your arms and legs at the same time.
  • Hold for a few moments while breathing deeply, and relax.

6) Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This yoga exercise stretches the entire spine and relieves lower back pain tension and pain. It also engages your core, legs and glutes.


How to do it?

  • With your knees bent and heels towards your hips, lie on your back on a yoga mat.
  • Put your arms on the side of your body, and keep your palms facing toward the floor.
  • While lifting your hips high, slowly raise your spine as high as you can.
  • Hold at the top position, and relax.
  • You may place a yoga block between your thighs or knee to maintain correct alignment.


The yoga poses mentioned above may help reduce sciatica and lower back pain. However, be mindful when performing these asanas that you need do them gently and easily. Do not overstretch your muscles.

Visit a physical therapist if your sciatica pain lasts longer than a month or half or is coupled with other unusual discomforts or symptoms. Avoid doing yoga exercises that compress your stomach if you have lower back pain during pregnancy. Moreover, do not attempt twists or backbend poses, and always use cushions, bolsters or other yoga props to modify the asanas, as required.

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Edited by Bhargav
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