“The ultimate external sign of a strong and powerful body. Only after years of practice can a man or woman achieve a yoga butt. It is perfectly proportioned, very tight, high, and sculpted. A yoga butt means you also have yoga arms, yoga abs, yoga legs, etc. It is very sexy and it immediately turns eyes and makes people jealous or inspired”.
- Urban Dictionary. Com definition
Seriously, the above quote is what pops up when you type in ‘yoga butt” into Google and open up Urban Dictionary.
The term “yoga butt” is no joke, it's quite real, just check out the downward dogs all around you in almost any class. Yoga lets you sculpt, mold, and tone your lower body using just your own body weight. It is quite incredible really.
The perks don't just stop at having a super tight yoga butt. The strengthening moves within yoga also stretch you out, so you are elongating your muscles at the same time that you're toning them. You see how much yoga rocks? But you guys and gals know that already!
So now that we know that yoga can give us that ultimate kick ass booty, I am sure that you want to know which yoga poses in particular help you to tone up your butt!
The following yoga poses can be added to your favorite sequence, or made into a sequence that will help to sculpt that perfect derriere, as I have suggested below. Do each of the poses once a day and be prepared to feel the burn, and reap the rewards!
Yoga poses to justify your hot tight funky yoga pants!
This workout is all about the thighs, hips, and booty. Hop on your mat, and work through this sequence on the right side, and then repeat on the left. Or if you are short on time you can pick and choose the poses, making sure to do them on both sides to keep a balanced mind and body.
Take 5 minutes to warm up with some Sun Salutations.
Downward Facing Dog – 3 Leg
Then make your way into Downward Facing Dog pose. Lift your right leg high toward the sky, foot flexed, while keeping the hips square to the floor. Keep the neck long, and lengthen through the body as you reach the heel away from your hands. Hold for 5 breaths, keeping your shoulders parallel to the floor.
For a challenge, inhale and lift your leg high, then exhale to bring your knee to your nose, and repeat this cycle five times. The pose concludes in Downward Dog.
From downward dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, spin your left heel to a 45-degree angle, press into the outside of your left foot and reach your arms and strong fingers towards the sky with palms facing each other. Make sure the hips are parallel to the top of the mat, and try to lower your front thigh to be parallel with the floor.
Breathe here for five deep breaths.
Come from Warrior 1 into Crescent pose by turning onto the ball of the foot on the left leg, lifting the heel up. Hips and shoulders remain parallel to the top of the mat.
Bend the knee to a 90-degree angle while twisting the torso to the left; bring the right arm forward at shoulder height and reach the left arm behind you. Challenge your balance by taking your gaze towards the side of the room or the fingers on left arm. Hold for 5 breaths, before moving back to crescent pose or into optional additional challenge below.
Challenge yourself further by lowering the left fingertips to the back of the right thigh, while lifting the right fingers towards the sky with palm facing towards the back of your mat. Hold for 5 breaths before coming back to the original crescent pose.
Gently lower your left knee to the ground on your exhale, and on your inhale straighten both legs. Draw your tailbone down towards the ground as you slowly lower and lift. Repeat 5-10 times before moving to the next pose.
Take a big inhale in crescent pose, then exhale as you open your hips, arms and chest into Warrior 2 turning everything to face the left side of your mat. Your left foot turns to be parallel with the back of your mat. Right arm reaches forwards, left arm reaches backwards. You’re your right knee, keeping it in line with your right ankle. Draw your abs in and lengthen the spine, while you tuck the tailbone towards the mat. Relax the shoulders and hold for 5 deep breaths.
From Warrior 2 lower your left arm to your left leg, and slowly reach your right arm overhead and towards the back of your mat with the palm facing the floor. Keep drawing your right shoulder back to keep the chest open, and the knee above the ankle.
Hold the pose for five full breaths.
Extended Side Angle
Lift your torso and lower your right hand to the floor next to the inside arch of your right foot. (Can modify by bringing right elbow to rest lightly on right knee). Extend your left arm overhead, with the fingers reaching to the front of your mat and the palm facing towards the floor
For more of a challenge, come into bound extended side angle. Your right hand will come through your thighs, while your left hand reaches behind your back. Bending both elbows, bringing your right hand to clasp your left wrist. Stay in either variation for five breaths.
From extended side angle pose, straighten the right leg, lift your torso and turn both feet to face the side of the mat initially. Then turn both feet out, so that your heels are pointing in at a 45-degree angle. Bend your knees and elbows (framing your face with your hands) and sink into 90-degree angle. Drawing your tailbone down, lifting up through the crown of your head with an open heart.
Hold for 5 breaths. To challenge yourself further, come onto tiptoes for 5 breaths also before lowering back to the mat.
Vinyasa flow your way to lie flat on your belly.
Bring your arms next to the sides of your body, palms facing up. Inhale to lift your legs and torso off the floor, coming into Locust pose. Lengthen your spine as much as you can and hold for five breaths.
Lower yourself to the ground and make your way onto your back.
Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on the ground hip-width apart with your arms on either side of you reaching toward your heels. Press into your feet through your tailbone and lift your hips. Interlace your fingers behind your back and draw your shoulders closer together one at a time, rolling onto the outside of each shoulder. Stay here for five deep breaths.
For a challenge, lift your right leg toward the ceiling (as pictured), stay for five deep breaths and then repeat for five breaths with your left leg lifted.
For a further challenge, lift your right leg toward the ceiling, and on your exhale lower your bottom towards (but not touching) the ground, and inhale the leg back towards the ceiling. Continue to lower and lift with the breath for 5 – 10 breaths.
Move to the other side
Once you have completed the cycle on this side, move swiftly to the other side.
Some additional booty poses for those yogis who want to work a little harder...
Do the above workout, and then take a moment to stretch. Perhaps even throw in another round of sun salutations to loosen everything up a little. Then move into this sequence.
Get ready to feel this pose everywhere!
From a standing forward bend, step your right foot back to crescent landing on the ball of your left foot. Transfer your weight to your right foot, putting a slight bend in your right knee, and float your left leg high behind you. Reach through your left heel and internally rotate your left thigh so your toes point toward the ground. If you feel steady, reach your arms forward keeping your torso parallel with the ground. Stay here for five deep breaths
Moving from Warrior 3, slowly bend the left leg and reach back with your hand to take hold of arch of your foot.
Gently lift the foot towards the sky, introducing a backbend as you raise your torso and right hand towards the sky. Draw the belly towards the spine, and stay here for 5 deep breaths. Gently lower down into forward fold and take a few breaths here to catch yourself.
A pose that is sure to give you glutes of steel!
From forward fold, bend your knees, sink your hips, and reach your arms high to frame your face. Make sure that you can see your toes in front of your knees. If you can’t, sit back further until you can. Stay here for five deep breaths
For a challenge, come onto the balls of your feet for five deep breaths.
For a further challenge, try the twisting chair pose taking your hands to heart center and twisting to the right so that your left tricep meets the outside of your right thigh. Then move to the other side for 5 breaths. Finish the pose by coming to mountain pose.
From mountain pose, ground down through your left foot, lifting the right foot from the floor and wrapping the right leg around the left thigh. Tuck the toes around your lower left leg.
Cross the left elbow over the right and bring your palms together.
Sink down into your legs by introducing a gentle bend into the knees, and hold like this for five breaths, lifting the elbows as high as you can, bringing your gaze towards the hands.
Eagle Warrior 3
From Eagle pose, keep the elbows crossed, uncross the knees, and kick your right leg behind you, bringing the torso parallel with the floor.
Actively extend the arms away from you, and engage the abs for five breaths. Lower down into forward fold and take two breaths before stepping back to Downward Dog.
A fabulously hard yoga pose!
Start in downward dog, lift right foot off mat and extend behind you, foot flexed, hips parallel to the ground, forming a straight line from head to heel.
Turn toes to the right and bring right leg directly out to side at hip height, keeping leg parallel to floor and foot flexed. Hold for 5 counts.
Move to complete workout on the other side of the body.
Enjoy and remember to feel super proud of your fabulous new yoga booty!
All of these poses are fabulously challenging yoga poses which are guaranteed to get your booty working hard, and to get the glutes, hamstrings and quads fired up and ready to go!
Images via: @roxanacolony