Read our full article on Piriformis Syndrome including the anatomical definition, symptoms, causes and relief techniques.
Enjoy this Yoga for Piriformis Syndrome sequence to help relieve the tension in the piriformis muscles. The main thing to remember when practicing is that if something doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t. Our language in this flow is for the prenatal yoga student, but anyone will benefit from it. If the issue persists it is best to find a health care professional who specializes in treating piriformis syndrome.
In this Yoga for Piriformis Syndrome sequence you can hold each pose for five breaths to five minutes. Remember to listen to your body. Don’t move into anything that increases pain or discomfort. Yoga should feel good.
Yoga for Piriformis Syndrome
- Peanut Butter Jar Ribs
Sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position on the floor – circle the rib cage, like you are scraping the inside of a peanut butter jar. Hands hold the knees and circles can be as big or as small as comfortable.
- Cross-legged Forward Fold
Uncross the legs and cross them in the opposite way. Inhale and lengthen the entire spine. Exhale and let the heart lead the movement as you slowly lean forward. Allow space for your breath and for baby. Maintain your low back curve.
- Cat Cow
Move into table pose with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Keep the hands active (hasta bhandas). Exhale and curl inward with the head and pelvis. Inhale and soften the upper back and spine as the heart comes forward between the gates of the arms.
- Child’s Pose
Sink hips back towards heels as the knees move away from each other, making space for baby. Allow the forehead to rest on the floor or up on a bolster.
- Seated Eye of the Needle
From sitting, bend both knees, planting your feet on the floor in front of you. Cross one ankle over to the opposite knee, creating a “figure 4 shape”. Keep the foot active. Bring hands behind you, opening through the heart. For more of a stretch you can bring the foot that is on the floor closer to you. Repeat other side.
- Rock the Baby
From a cross-legged sitting position lift one leg by the ankle and knee, keeping the foot flexed to protect the knee. Rock the leg gently. Repeat other side.
- Knee Down Lunge
From table, step one foot forward and bring the hands to the inside of the foot. Hands can be up on blocks or on the floor. For more of a stretch, start to lower onto the forearms on blocks, a bolster or the floor. Repeat other side.
- Pigeon Pose
Bring one knee forward between the hands, keeping the foot active to protect the knee. The other leg is extended out behind you. Make space for baby and use a blanket under the hip on the bent knee side and/or a bolster under the forearms if needed. Repeat other side.
- Half Cow Face Pose
Cross on knee on top of the other knee as close to the midline as possible. It may be easier to move into this pose from table and/or sit up on a block or blanket. Repeat other side.
- Fire Log Pose
Stack the legs over each other with the ankle over the knee on one side and the knee over the ankle on the other side. Keep the feet active to protect the knees and allow the legs to be where you feel comfortable. It might be that one knee is much higher. Repeat other side.
- Forward Bend
Sit up on the edge of a blanket. Extend both legs out to straight. Inhale and lengthen spine, exhale and fold forward slightly. Use a bolster for support. Maintain the low back curve.
Bring a blanket or pillow between the knees or under just one knee and lie on your side. Feel nurtured and relaxed. Stay here as long as you wish.
Thank you to our photographers – Carolyne Yeoman-MacDonald of See Why Photography and Kim MacDonald-Heilandt and to our beautiful pregnant yogis – Amanda Lovie and Nicole Anderson.