One of the most common physical complaints I hear from prenatal yoga students in class is that they have pain down the back of one or both of their legs. Sciatica is a common discomfort associated with pregnancy and there are several great yoga poses you can do to relieve the pain.
First, it helps to understand what causes Sciatica during pregnancy. Usually, it is because of swelling of and around the the piriformis muscle. In simple terms, the Piriformis muscle starts at the Sacrum, goes through the muscle of your butt/pelvis and then connects to the top of your femur or thigh bone. During pregnancy, as your body begins to create more fluid and everything in the pelvic area begins to swell, the piriformis muscle can tighten and put pressure on the Sciatic nerve. This pressure on the nerve can cause pain, numbness and tingling down the leg.
So, by stretching the piriformis muscle, you can alleviate the pressure on the nerve and help to relieve your symptoms.
Begin on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders. Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. The outside of your right shin will now rest on the floor. Slowly slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and descending the front of the thigh to the floor. Lower the outside of your right buttock to the floor. Position the right heel just in front of the left hip.
The right knee can angle slightly to the right, outside the line of the hip. Look back at your left leg. It should extend straight out of the hip (and not be angled off to the left), and rotated slightly inwardly, so its midline presses against the floor.
The Doula Darcy is a mother of three and a certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher and Yoga Birth Method teacher. She is also an experienced, certified postpartum doula and a member of DONA (Doulas of North America) and CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association). She has helped hundreds of new moms during the first 12 weeks home with a new baby. Having a baby soon? Join her free Facebook Group for new moms.