Hip pain and stiffness can be brought on by piriformis tightness. A condition known as piriformis syndrome can develop when the piriformis muscle presses against the sciatic nerve. This may result in localized buttock pain or tingling or numbness that radiates down the leg, which are sciatica symptoms. For those with this condition, stretching and releasing the piriformis can be therapeutic.
The piriformis muscle is the focus of a number of yoga poses. Six essential poses that can be quickly and easily practiced at home with little to no equipment in just a few minutes are collected in this post. It is a companion to the full online video class that focuses on a longer yoga sequence for this condition. You can view the video Yoga For The Piriformis by clicking here. Depending on how much time you have, you can practice both sides of each of the poses listed below.
Where is the Piriformis?
The sacrum, or front surface of the tailbone, is where the piriformis begins.
So, when you look at the drawing of the piriformis, this is a drawing of the inside of your pelvis.
The greater trochanter of the femur is where the piriformis attaches.
The smaller bone on the outside of your hip and upper thigh is called the greater trochanter. You can feel it if you use your fingertips to probe the area.
The Piriformis Muscle
One of the six external rotators of the femur bone, the Piriformis joins the quadratus femoris, gemellus inferior, superior, obturator externus, and obturator internus. This pyramid-shaped muscle arises from the joint capsule of the sacroiliac joint as well as the anterior portions of the sacrum and ilium.
It attaches to the greater trochanter’s upper medial portion (the top of the lateral femur). The piriformis muscle, the only member of the external rotator group to arise from the sacrum, also serves to stabilize the sacroiliac joint.
The piriformis not only externally rotates the femur in the acetabulum of the ilium but also abducts the femur when the hip is flexed, as in Vrksasana (Tree Pose) and Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Hand to Extended Big Toe Pose).
One piriformis muscle being tighter than the other can impair the sacroiliac joint’s balance and result in pain and/or instability. How then can a tiny muscle located so deeply within your hip cause such crippling pain? The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle, and on some people, it actually passes through the muscle fibers, as I discussed in the previous article in this series. The sciatic nerve can be pinched by a tight piriformis muscle. This is Piriformis Syndrome – also sometimes referred to as “runner’s butt”!
6 Top Yoga Poses for Relieving Piriformis Syndrome
Warrior 3 Pose
My pain increased when I tried to balance my body on the injured leg. While striking this pose felt awful, I liked how it looked. My glutes and piriformis just started to spasm wildly as soon as I put the other leg down.
Several occasions when I was unable to move for a short while are still fresh in my memory. I did nothing but wait there for the pain to stop.
Half Moon Pose
When you reach with your arm raised at this point, you’re switching from the warrior 3 into the rotation. I experienced more pain as a result of the rotational aspect and the additional difficulty of reaching up.
By performing a hip abduction while maintaining the gluteal contraction for the duration of the pose, you are doing this pose. I guess it was too much to ask for my piriformis muscle to support my hips while I maintain this pose.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Similar to the illustration below, except that you’ll be lying down: After lying on the floor with your back arched and your knees externally rotated for a while, your knees will begin to sink in to further widen your hips (which is the goal of this exercise). And, coming out of this was extremely painful…
…When I tried to move my hips, I was in excruciating groin and glute pain. I had to bend my knees and reach with my hands while doing this. Next, I twisted to the side and raised myself slowly.
Now, as opposed to this pose, I actually prefer the reclining variation. Instead of lying flat on the floor, raise your back with a few pillows or perform the exercise on the couch so that you can easily control your hips. Or try this hip-opening variation you can do sitting I posted above.
About 70% of the time, this popular yoga pose caused pain. My hips simply couldn’t handle the stretch. The 90/90 degree stretch, however, was a fantastic substitute for this. It is a gentler and simpler variation of the pigeon pose, and I do it all the time.
Knee to Chest Pose
My knee was comfortable in my chest when I was lying on the mat. But as soon as I released to straighten my leg, I felt a sharp pain in my hip. It wasn’t very good.
I slowly rotated my body, which was painful, but I was unable to stand up again. I had to use a couch or some other object to support my weight.
If you experience hip pain, I would not recommend doing this stretch at all. Instead of doing this, there are other ways to release your glutes. Additionally, most people shouldn’t even be stretching their glutes in this way because they have weak glutes.
I advise you to try it while standing up first. You won’t have to struggle to get back up off the floor because at least you’ll be standing.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana One
Place your right knee where your right hand was in dog pose (move your hand out of the way). Your knee should be a little bit out to the side (not directly in front of your hip)
A 45-degree angle separates your front shin bone from the mat’s edge. With your forearms resting on the floor in front of you, lean forward. Allow your bent leg hip to descend without your straight leg hip lifting up
Turning the front leg’s hip backward and drawing the back leg’s hip forward.
You’re in luck if you’re looking up piriformis syndrome yoga poses today because you’re trying to get rid of some hip pain. Try the six poses listed above!