Most yoga enthusiasts will have come across the expression ‘Yoga-Butt’ at some point in their journey, and while yoga is about so much more than simply firming, toning and strengthening the body, there are a number of amazing physical benefits to practising yoga, including firm, strong and perky glutes!
To help you get started on your path to developing the perfect ‘yoga bum’, The Centre has put together this comprehensive list of poses that work specifically on the area.
Three Legged Downward-Facing Dog (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)
A variation of the classic downward facing dog pose, the Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog or Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana not only works to tone your glutes and thighs, it also opens the hips and helps to encourage focus and balance, while stretching the whole body and building strength in the upper body, arms, and shoulders. To get into this pose, start in a Downward-Facing Dog pose, then rooting yourself down in your hands and left leg, raise your right leg up to the ceiling, making sure you're lifting your leg up from the inner thigh. Next bring your right knee towards your chest and your shoulders over your wrists on an exhale, then inhale back into Three Legged Downaward Facing Dog.
The dynamic standing pose that is the Crescent Lunge or Anjaneyasana, really uses all the muscles in the whole body, while specifically honing in on the lower body, stretching, toning and strengthening the thighs, hips, and bum. Encouraging stability and balance, this pose also opens the chest, heart and shoulders, helping to expand the front of the body and increase energy. To do the Crescent Lunge, start in downward facing dog, exhale and bring your right foot between your hands with your feet hip-width apart, lift your front leg to a 90 degree angle and straighten your back leg. Now square your hips and inhale as you raise your arms above your head and look between your hands. Breathe, release your hands and repeat on the other side.
Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Warrior III Pose or Virabhadrasana III can help to tone and strengthen the entire body, especially the legs, hips, glutes and abdomen. This position requires a great deal of focus and balance, so incorporating it into your daily routine will also help build your concentration and overall stamina.
For Warrior III, start in Tadasana (mountain pose). Root your right foot firmly on the mat and on an exhale, slowly lift your left leg up and out behind you, lifting from your inner thigh. Hinge forward from the hips and lean your upper body forwards towards the floor until you torso is parallel to the floor. Next and raise your arms above your head with your palms facing each other, making a straight line with your body, arms and legs, perpendicular to your right leg. Breathe, slowly release and do the same on the left leg.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Easy to do for both beginners and advanced yogis, the Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is great to tone and firm the gluteus maximus muscles, helping to lifting the bum and create that much desired yoga butt. To get into the position start by lying on your back, then bend your knees, placing your heels just infront of your knees and hip width apart. Draw your shoulderblades towards each other so that your neck is not on the ground. As you inhale, lift your hips, keeping your knees over your knees and your feet parallel to each other; clasp your hands behind your back whilst moving your weight onto your shoulders.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
The Chair Pose, or Utkatasana as it is known in Sanskrit, is the yoga equivalent of doing squats but without the stress and strain on the knees. Holding the Chair Pose will help to strengthen your thigh muscles and your ankles, while also toning up the glutes, hips, back and shoulders. Start by standing in Tadasana with your feet hip width apart. Now extend your hands over your head and as you do bend your knees and squat down in the hips. To really activate and engage the glutes, push down in your heels, breathe deeply and feel the heat rise in your body.