Yesterday I posted a little about the Yoga Anatomy workshop I attended yesterday. One of the issues I currently have and was brought up during the workshop was sciatica. Sciatica is a numbing or painful feeling down one or both legs when the sciatic nerve is irritated in some way. It can also present as pain in the lower back or rear. Most of the time it is when a disk in the back is forced out of alignment and then presses on one of the nerves.
In our natural state, our lumbar spine should curve slightly forward. This gives us that sway in our back, down to our rear. For those of us that have a desk job, it is easy for us to lose our proper posture, which not only gives us that slump, but forces our lumbar region to curve out toward the back. Doing this forces the connective tissue around our spine to work harder, but also allows for any of the disks to slip a little. When this happens, we end up with some malady and usually pain.
Sadly for me, it is the sciatica, so this has helped me to work on that. One suggestion I got was to sit less. Of course that would be lovely, but my desk is not set up to stand, so I will need to get up more often and stretch a little. Aside from that, I should work on poses that force the lumbar spine into the natural resting position a little bit more, such as backbends including Locust and Bridge. They are a great counter to sitting with the huge curve in my spine all day. I can also do poses such as Tadasana or various lunges that force my body to stack properly.
I find that when it flares up, I have difficulty with any forward folds or even Downward dog, so I tend to just back up on those and not force them as much as some of the others. I also find that twists are good as they are taking the focus off the lower back and placing them on the upper back.
Love and Light,