11 Yoga Poses for a Great Butt
If you do a Google search for “yoga butt,” a number of things come up. The first result is the definition from Urban Dictionary: “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.” Who wouldn’t want that?
I confess: After my first yoga class, I had a total girl crush on my instructor. I wanted a butt just like hers and was determined to take her class as much as possible in order to make this happen.
The best way to attain a yoga butt? Through yoga, of course! Here are some poses that will help sculpt that perfect derrière. Do each of these once a day, and you will be well on your way.
Warrior One: From down dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, spin your left heel down with the foot slightly angled out, press into your feet, and reach your arms to the ceiling, framing your face. Breathe here for five deep breaths and then repeat on the left side.
Warrior Two: From down dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, spin your left heel down with the foot slightly angled out, and windmill your arms open, left arm reaching toward the back of your mat and right arm reaching to the front of your mat. Bend right knee, keeping it in line with your right ankle. Stay here for five deep breaths and then repeat on the left side.
Warrior Three: From a standing forward bend, walk your hands under your shoulders, placing them on the floor (or on blocks if the floor is to far away). 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, lift your hands off the ground and frame your torso with your arms reaching back toward your heel. Stay here for five deep breaths and then switch sides.
Chair Pose: From standing, bend your knees, sink your hips, and reach your arms high to frame your face. (You should be able to see your toes in front of your knees. If you can’t, sit back until you can.) Stay here for five deep breaths. For a challenge, come onto the balls of your feet for five deep breaths. For an extra challenge, from there, reach your arms forward as you reach your butt back, pancake your torso to your thighs, and flex your palms toward the front of the room (as pictured). Stay here for five breaths.
Diver’s Pose: From standing, put a soft bend in your knees, come high on the balls of your feet, and start to hinge forward from your waist, keeping your arms on either side of your torso. Allow your head to dive toward the ground, and stay here for five deep breaths.
Elevated Wide Squat: From standing, step your right foot way out to the right, turn your toes out, sink your hips, and bend your knees until they are directly over your ankles. Then come high on the balls of your feet, frame your face with your arms, and stay here for five deep breaths.
Upward Facing Plank Pose: From a seated position with your legs long in front of you and together, take your hands behind you, fingers pointing toward your body. Press into your palms as you lift your hips high. Allow your head to fall back if that feels natural for your neck. Stay here for five deep breaths.
Bridge: 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. Pressing into your feet (especially into the big toe mound), lengthen through your tailbone and lift your hips. Interlace your hands together underneath you, and, if it feels good, wiggle your shoulders closer together one at a time. 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.
Locust Pose: Lie facedown on your mat, big toes together. Clasp your hands behind your sacrum, and use a big inhale to lift your chest and your feet off the ground. Stay here for five deep breaths.
Down Dog Split: From down dog, lift your right leg high toward the ceiling. You can keep your hip opened or closed, depending on which feels better for you. Stay here for five deep breaths. For a challenge, inhale and lift your leg high, then exhale to bring your knee to your nose (as pictured), and repeat this cycle five times. Then repeat the entire knee-to-nose with your left leg five times.
Single–Legged Plank: From plank, lift your right foot about a foot or so off the ground so that your right leg is in line with your spine. Stay here for five deep breaths, and then repeat on the left side.
Photos: Vera Boykewich