With computer work becoming part of more and more jobs, sciatica and pain along the hip and outer thigh can get intense when you do a lot of sitting. These areas can also be difficult to stretch.
Here are some simple yoga stretches to deal with these hard-to-reach areas.
1. Reclining Pigeon
A low-impact pose that is great pre- and post-workout, or to simply relax before bed, the reclining pigeon is a deep stretch for all levels.
Start on your back with knees bent. Fold one foot over the other knee. Thread your arms between your legs and gently pull your legs toward your body. You should feel a deep stretch in your glutes.
2. Open Lizard
Not only is it good for your hips, the lizard pose also stretches your hamstrings — an important area to target for sciatica-related pain.
Start in a normal lunge or in downward dog. Begin to move your forward foot to the side, slowly, while lowering your elbows to the ground. Breathe and sink (don’t collapse) into the position while keeping the forward leg from swaying out. Have a blanket ready for your elbows if needed.
3. Forward Pigeon (Pigeon variation)
While the full pose entails a lot more, this variation to the pigeon pose helps release tension in the lower back, hips, legs and knees. This is considered a deep release pose, which means staying in it for long periods can help physically and emotionally release stress.
Starting in a lunge or downward dog, lower the shin so that it’s parallel to your mat while lowering your back leg to the ground. Keep your hips square. Use extreme caution that you don’t twist the knee or that there is any knee pain (stick to reclined pigeon if there is). Extend the arms up or leave them rested on your leg.