I had sciatica during both of my pregnancies, and I did this pose every day.
The sharp, searing pain that ran from my low back all the way down the back of my right leg became a familiar feeling in my third trimester with both of my pregnancies. It was always there, constant and tingling, whether I was walking, standing, sitting or sleeping. My hips would ache deeply every night while I was sleeping, and the pain would often startle me awake. (The pillow between my knees didn't work for me.)
These were part of my body’s response to growing babies. And I am so grateful to have the experiences to be growing and carrying babies, which is why I did the best I could to make peace with my sciatica.
Because of this simple pose that changed my life when I was pregnant, I taught yoga until I was eight or nine months pregnant with both of my babies. Whether you’re pregnant or not, it can help you, too. And it’s not just for sciatica. It can help your hips and low back.
Practice It: Seated Hip Stretch With Forward Fold
Begin seated with your feet on the ground, ankles below knees.
Place your right ankle on your left thigh and your hands on your inner right thigh. Gently push downward on your thigh. Fold forward from your hips, leaning your upper body over your lower body to deepen the stretch. If the fold is too intense, skip it.
Linger here for as long as you need, and then switch sides.