Paschimottanasana: Relieve Sciatica

PaschimottanasanaThe yoga pose Paschimottanasana can help relieve sciatica. If your sciatica is caused from piriformis tightness and not a spinal nerve issue, this forward bend could become your new best friend. Unfortunately, if your sciatica is caused by an issue with your spine, this yoga pose may not bring you any relief.

To make sure this pose is safe for you, please talk to your doctor first.

If your hamstrings are so tight that you can’t bend forward, try doing this pose with a bend in the back of the knees. Bend the knees enough so that you can comfortably bend forward and feel the stretch in your lumbar spine (low back) and/or in the back of your hips.


  1. We will use ujjayi breathing.
  2. Begin in Dandasana. Make sure that your femurs are medially rotated and that you can feel your SITs bones pressing firmly into the ground.
  3. Lift out of your hips and allow your pelvis to hinge forward. Keep a straight spine while you let your pelvis hinge.
  4. Place your hands on your calves, ankles, or feet. If this feels uncomfortable, place your hands beside you. Wherever you place your hands, make sure that you are not grabbing anything. Grabbing will cause injury.
  5. When your pelvis cannot hinge forward anymore, allow your spine to soften forward.
  6. As you inhale, think of lengthening the spine and allowing the pelvis to rotate further. On your exhale, think of softening into this pose.
  7. To create a nice traction for your legs, think of pressing your SITs bones down and back while you reach away with your heels.
  8. Hold for 8 breaths.
  9. On your last exhale, draw the belly button to the spine, lengthen, and come up to your starting position.

Paschimottanasana Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

For those with sciatica, have you noticed relief from doing this pose? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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