Yoga butt. It might not be the primary reason I practice yoga, but it’s a benefit that I happily accept. Obviously strengthening our booty can help us feel more confident. But beyond the visible impact (like looking bootylicious in your yoga leggings!), investing in strong, balanced gluteal muscles is important for stability and longevity in our practice, our sports and hobbies, and simply living in our body. These muscles play a role in our low back and hip health and can be the culprit of low back pain when they’re weak or unbalanced. So whether you’re just looking to rock your new bikini, or live more happily in your body – these five yoga poses will kick your booty!
Come into chair pose on the edge of your mat, with your right foot on the mat and your left foot on a blanket or a towel. If you are practicing your yoga poses on carpet, a paper plate works surprisingly well. Lean half way forward, and slowly slide your left foot into crescent pose. Keep your core strong and supportive of your low back. Slowly slide the left foot back into chair and repeat for 10 slow slides, before switching to your second side.
Settle into plank pose and take a few breaths to find your alignment and stability. Shifting the pose as little as possible, begin to lift your right foot straight up off the ground without dumping into your low back. Only lift the foot to a point where you can maintain a neutral, square pelvis. Hold for 5-10 breaths and then repeat on the second side for an equal length of time.
High Flying Warrior 3
Stand in mountain pose with your right foot on a block, and left foot hovering as though it is on an equal block. Take a moment to make sure your hips are even. Try not to let the right hip pop out to the side or the hips become uneven as you slowly move your left foot forward and back 6 inches each direction. Do this for 30 seconds before heading into warrior 3 – again keeping your right hip hugged in and your hips square. Hold for 10 breaths and then repeat on the second side.
Find standing forward fold with your hands comfortably on the floor or blocks beneath your shoulders. Wrap your right peace fingers (index and middle fingers) around your right big toe. Shift your weight into your left foot and hover your right foot off the floor. Minimizing how much your lean into your left leg, begin to lift your right leg straight out to the side any amount. Find a depth that you can maintain, hold for 5-10 slow breaths and then slowly release. Repeat on your second side.
Set up with a wide stance, toes pointed out, heels turned in, knees pointing down the middle of your feet. Sit down and back with thighs heading toward parallel to the ground. Hold for 10-15 breaths and then slowly straighten the legs.
– Mikki Trowbridge