My favorite exercises for a great Yoga butt
It always amuses me when people tell me that yoga is to slow or boring for them. All I can say is, that they haven't tried the right class or teacher yet!
Yoga is not just about holding a posture for a couple of seconds, it’s also about doing challenging poses that will build your strength and tone your body.
Either in my own yoga practice or when I teach classes, I love to add a little bit of cardio, abdominal- and butt exercises. This way I get a healthy sweat going and stretch and target specific muscle groups. This particular kind of flow is less spiritual, but focused on the body. The mind is trained by the way of movement. This is why flow yoga is also very suitable for beginners.
Here, I created a sequence of 7 Yoga Poses that lift and tighten your butt.
For the success of your training, practice three to four days a week. Perform all asanas that require a side change on both sides of the body. Increase the repetitions for each exercise every time you do this workout and practice all poses in the order shown.
I recommend 2 rounds of this sequence. After completing all exercises, take a quick break in Childs Pose, before you move on to the second round.
1) Chair Pose with a Foot Lift (Utkatasana)
1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Keeping your feet parallel and slightly apart, press your weight evenly across the balls and arches of your feet. Raise your arms overhead.
2. Bend your knees and lower your sit bones down as if you were sitting on an imaginary chair. Lengthen your tailbone down, while letting your chest draw forward and up.
3. Bend your elbows and bring your hands to prayer at the heart. Shift your weight back into your heels and try to sit a little deeper. Begin to lift one foot off the mat and let it hover. Hold here for a few seconds before switching sides. Make sure to keep your gaze forward and fixed on one spot. It will help you to keep your balance. If you're struggling in this pose, don't lower your buttocks so much.
4. Repeat 16-20 times (total).
2) High Lunge - Crescent Pose
1. Come into Downward Facing Dog Pose. Step your feet together. Inhale, lift your right leg up behind you, keeping your hips square. Exhale, and step your foot forward in between your hands. Bring your knee in line with your ankle, so your leg is in a 90 degree angle. Your back heel is lifted.
2. Come onto your fingertips and create length in your spine, crown of the head is reaching forward. Engage your core muscles and lift your torso up and away from the floor. Bring your hands on your hips. You can keep your left knee slightly bent, so that you are able to reach your upper body tall.
3. On an inhale, lift both arms and reach your fingertips up to the sky. At the same time straighten your front and back leg simultaneously. Let your shoulder blades move down your back and away from the ears. Exhale, bend both knees and weigh them down equally. Bring your front knee over your ankle, back knee reaches down toward the floor. Lower your arms and draw your elbows in.
4. Repeat this movement, bending and straightening your right leg, about 12-16 times. Then switch sides.
3) Standing Split Lunge (Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana)
1. Begin by folding forward in Uttanasana. Ground your feet and begin to straighten your legs by pressing your top thighs back. Inhale, lenghten your spine and reach the crown of your head forward. Come onto your fingertips (or blocks, if your hamstrings are tight).
2. Keeping your hips leveled, begin to lift your right leg upward. Roll the inner thigh up as you reach your heel back. Take an inhale here.
3. Exhale, draw your navel in, round your spine and come into one legged squat. Keep your right foot lifted and try to get the knee as close to your forehead as possible. Exhale. Bend your body as if you are trying to curl into yourself and lower your buttocks just as if you were in a low chair pose (Utkatasana).
4. Keep lifting and curling. 10-16 reps. Then switch legs.
4) Bridge Pose
1. Lying on your back, bend both knees and place the feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Bring your heels as close to the sitting bones as possible. Slide your arms alongside the body with the palms facing down.
2. Press your feet into the floor, and lift your hips up. Lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Press down into the arms and shoulders and roll your spine off the floor. Lightly press your thighs together to keep them hip width apart. Inhale.
3. Exhale, and lower your hips down to about 2-3 inches away from the floor. Hold here for a breath, before you press your hips back up. Push yourself and try at least 16 repetitions.
5) Tabletop Leg Lifts
1. Begin in a table top position on your hands and knees, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep your gaze down and between your hands.
2. Press into the palms to drop the shoulders slightly away from the ears. Slowly lift your right leg up and bend at the knee to make it a 90 degree angle. Point your toes and make sure your hips stay squared off.
3. Lower you leg, and bring that right knee down and across to your outer left shin.
4. Repeat 12-16 times, then switch legs.
6) Goddess Squat (Utkata Konasana)
1. Spread the feet to about 3-4 feet apart and point them out to a 45 degree angle. Start to bend your knees so they track over the toes. Lenghten your tailbone down and bring your hands to prayer. Roll your shoulders back and open your chest, while you're trying not to lean forward with the torso.
2. Sit deeply in your horse stance, then begin to shift your weight over to the right. For a deeper challenge, keep your hands in prayer and lift the toes. But if you're newer to this pose, keep your hands on your hips and the ball of the left foot grounded. Lift up through the inner thigh of the right knee to keep it in line with your toes.
3. Begin to shift your weight back to center and over to the left side. Make sure to stay low the entire time. Sway from side to side for about 10-16 reps.
7) Star Pose/Goddess Squat
1. Repeat step 1. of 6) Goddess Squat (Utkata Konasana).
2. On an inhale, stand up straight. Press your weight into the feet, lift up the knee caps and squeeze the thighs. At the same time, straighten your arms and reach your fingertips up to the sky.
3. Exhale, and lower back into your squat. Repeat 10-16 times.
Yoga Pants Alo Yoga
Photos by Peter Augustin