pages: 1 | 2 | 3


I was so confused until I realized the word were opposite of the picture. I'm a very visual person so would love to see more pics that match the description.


Everyone is different! For me I need to stretch my Siactica nerve to release tension! The muscles around the Siactica are usually to blame for nerve inflammation. I always tell clients listen to your body! You know more than anyone about your own body! Namaste


Bravo Lesley Dike, you are absolutely correct .
Muscles need stretching.
I was living and practicing yoga with sciatica pain, and finally one intelligent doctor told me NOT to stretch my nerve.


Tom, YouTube the pose, the video explains it better than this.


@Tom: you can rest the elbow on the floor ;-)

Lesley Dike

I am a UK physiotherapist (20 years) and yoga teacher (30 years) and spend about 30% of my working life dealing with sciatica. I train yoga teachers in anatomy and the topic of sciatica and 'tight hamstrings' comes up all the time. Because the path of the sciatic nerve mirrors the path of the hamstrings (and the calves), we need to know whether the problem is coming from the muscle or from the hamstrings/calves. This is because it is important to differentiate between muscle and nerve as they need to be rehabilitated differently. Muscles need stretching. INFLAMED NERVES DO NOT. Stretching inflamed nerves will make the problem worse. Supta padagusthasana will not help the majority of people with sciatica. I have treated a lot of yoga teachers and students who have unwittingly made their problems worse by stretching the hamstrings and the calves. Inflamed nerves need gently mobilising. Please consult a suitably qualified body worker before attempting to treat your own sciatica.
Lesley Dike
Anatomy trainer in 'Is your yoga getting on your nerves?'


When taking the leg out to the side, do you let your elbow of the arm holding the belt rest on the floor? Or does the leg support it's owm weight?


Where is the small of the back - A. When leg is extended upward & B. When lowing straight leg? Small of back arched or pressed flat to the mat?


Karl, you may not feel the release of the femur bone more deeply into the pelvis, even if you are doing it, esp. if yoga is fairly new to you. If you can keep breathing and while breathing, bring your attention to the top of the femur you may feel or "sense" that the top of the femur is moving into the pelvis. It helps me often feel and sense these type of things when I look at an anatomy book, check out the femur, and pelvis and how they meet up and fit together. Good luck!


I think this pose may reverse the motion of apan vayu which is helpful for easy menstrual flow , so it may not be advisable in this period

Return to article page

Stay Connected with Us!

Yoga Journal Live events
ep14 YJ LIVE! Colorado
Estes Park, Colorado
Sep 14-21, 2014
florida YJ LIVE! Florida
Hollywood, FL
Nov 13-17, 2014

More Events

Join Yoga Journal's Benefits Plus
Liability insurance and benefits to support
teachers and studios.
Learn More
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 4 FREE GIFTS
Your subscription includes
Yoga for Neck & Shoulders • Yoga Remedies
Yoga for Headaches • Calm, Cool, Collected
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Yoga Journal
and my 4 FREE downloadable Yoga Booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions