Anjaneyasana. Likely you'll appreciate the common name of this one, since it's a lot easier to pronounce: Low Lunge. This pose is fantastic for a number of reasons. Just from the picture, you can see how this pose opens the hips, tones the arms and core muscles, and builds strength in the thighs. These translate into the therapeutic applications of this posture for sciatica.
What you may not realize is just how well this posture opens up the heart, lungs, and chest. With the weather turning cooler, we often begin to round the back and hunch forward to gather heat from our inner core. Just cross your arms like your shivering, and you'll see what I mean. We need to actively counter this tendency in order to keep the heart open and avoid building tension in the neck and shoulders. Keeping the lungs open also helps to expel that disgusting mucus that comes with all the colds prevalent this time of year. Yuck.
Here's the breakdown:
1. From Downward-Facing Dog, step your right foot between your hands on an exhale. Be sure to align the right knee over your right heel to avoid putting pressure on the joint. Lower your left knee to the floor, keeping the top of the left foot pressing against the floor.
2. Inhale and lift the torso up as you sweep your arms up towards the sky. Shrug your shoulders back, and lift your chest up just a bit more.
3. If your neck feels comfortable, look up slowly, being careful not to compress the back of your neck. Reach just a bit higher, and then exhale your hands back to the floor.
4. Root your hands into the mat. Tuck your back toes under, inhaling. With an exhale, step back to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat on the left side.
Feel free to put a blanket under cranky knees, and just work your way slowly into the full posture. It may be your intention to express the full posture right away, but hey, it's just an intention. Be flexible in your mind, and your body will eventually follow.