Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Help needed

Attention all blogosphere inhabitants!

My friend Cathrine has requested help/advice from the cyber-shala about an issue that she is facing in her practice. She has given me permission to solicit feedback from all of you. Here's what she said:

"I have been trying to master Navasana and I think I may have aggravated my sciatica. Could this be possible? And if so, what comparable poses could I do that don't rely so much on balancing on my tailbone to get to my abdominal muscles?

I am doing a lot of Gomukhasana to relieve the pain in my sciatic nerve and that is helping a little (ouch- I sit a lot during the day)but I need core work while I recover.

Thanks in advance for any help! Cheers, Cathrine"

You can reply to Cathrine by your comments on this post (she reads my blog regularly). Actually, I'll also take this opportunity to publicize her blog further. Do stop by her blog and visit for a bit if when you get a chance.


  1. Thank you so much Nobel. I think the cow face postures I did this morning really helped - I am no longer in pain. But I still would like some core postures that don't involve my tail bone.

  2. sciatica has to be one of the worst pains ever! literally a pain in the butt! ;) i would imagine that your piriformis muscle is the one that is causing your pain. the piriformis sets deep to the glute muscles and sits right against the sciatic nerve. when the piriformis gets tight it can push against the nerve causing horrific pain. pigeon pose (all versions - laying on the floor, seated and also supine) will be extremely helpful in helping the piriformis to relax and lengthen back out.

    i would also recommend visiting a massage therapist - shameless plug i know :) - that can assist in getting those muscles to release. if you have further questions i'd be happy to answer. send me an email:

    hope you and your sciatic nerve feel better soon! hugs!!

  3. Hi Melita,

    Thank you so much for the information. Tee, hee about it being a pain in the butt!

    I plan to do pigeon in the morning along with my cow face postures. I remember now that pigeon is a good one for sciatica. Side plank used to work for me as well, but not with this recent bought.

    Yes, well, I am in need of some good body work, and plan to do that when I go home for the holiday break! Cheers

  4. David Keil's yoga anatomy site might be helpful. Nobel, I saw this today in the NYT and thought of you.

  5. The dolphin plank is a killer core strengthener. If it's too much for your back, go on your knees. Another one is "turbo dog" - go into downward dog, and then bend your knees so that your shins are parallel to the ground. Draw your navel in and up in both poses. Remember to breath :)

  6. Thank you all for your help and suggestions! I am most appreciative! Cathrine