For readers who work jobs that require them to lift heavy things, bend over a lot or be hunched in front of a computer screen, there’s a chance they’re familiar with lower back pain. Whether it’s sharp or dull, that soreness is often a result of stress on the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body which begins at the spine and runs all the way down the legs. All sorts of things can cause sciatic nerve pain and it can be tricky to get long-lasting relief for it.
Fortunately, there is a way: yoga. Now, we know what you’re thinking—yoga takes too much time, it’s too hard and you’re not flexible. We’re here to tell you that there are at least eight simple poses you can do that don’t require much skill and will give you the relief you need.
1. Standing Back Twist
This one is easy and doesn’t require too much flexibility—all you’ll need is a chair. To do this pose, lift your foot up onto the chair in front of you and put the outside of your opposite hand on your knee. Put your other hand on your hip and slowly turn your torso and upper body out towards your lifted leg while keeping your knees straight. Don’t go further than you’re comfortable with and repeat the process on the other side, holding for about 30 seconds in each position.
2. Knee Raise
Lie on the ground on your back pulling one knee to your chest and leaving the other leg straight out, toes up. Keep your shoulders on the ground and gently pull your knee into your chest, repeating on each side for a gentle release.
3. Two Knee Twist
Here’s another one to do on your back—first, lie down and spread your arms to form a “T” with the backs of your hands on the floor. While keeping your shoulders pressed to the floor, turn your knees over to one side of your body so that they touch the floor. Hold the position for a minute before repeating on the other side.
4. Single Knee Twist
As a variation on the position mentioned above, lie on your back while keeping one of your legs straight and bending the other knee over your body at a 90-degree angle. Put your opposite hand on that knee and keep the other arm straight out on the floor. Turn to face your outstretched arm while keeping your shoulders pressed to the ground.
5. The Twisted Lunge
This one is a little tougher than the others but still doable. First, step one of your legs forward and bend it at the knee with the other one stretched out behind you. Ideally, your feet should be one leg’s length apart. Once you’re in a stable position, turn your back and put your opposing elbow on the outside of your front knee. Put your palms together and look upwards while holding the twist for 30 seconds. Repeat on both sides for a good stretch.
6. The Seated Twist
To get in this position, begin with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend one of your legs at the knee and place it on the outside of your other leg by the knee. The leg beneath you can either be left outstretched or bent beneath you, whichever seems more comfortable. With one of your hands flat on the floor behind you, put your other elbow outside your bent knee. While keeping your legs pointed forward, use your arm to turn your torso backward for a deep stretch.
7. The Cat Pose
Start by getting on your hands and knees. After that, bend your back down and push your chest up as you breathe in and hold for 10 seconds. As you release, tuck your chin down into your chest and arch your back up as you exhale. Repeat this process for a minute or two for deep relaxation.
8. Child’s Pose
This one is a classic yoga pose that anyone should be capable of pulling off. To begin, start on your hands and knees before rocking back into your heels and stretching your arms out in front of you with your palms down. Breathe through this pose and feel the release through your entire back.
For a longer form yoga flow for beginners, check out the video below!
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