The buttocks are a mix of large muscles that we’re using a lot less of today than we think. In fact we’re spending much more time sitting and relaxing on them then actually working or toning them. Also against us especially as we age, is that we can perform any daily movement without really having to activate all the muscles of the buttocks area, especially the lower muscles groups meeting the top of the thigh.
So I thought I’d put together my 5 favourite poses for working all the muscles of the buttocks. However, remember that if you are not focusing your attention on how your body feels and on deep breaths while doing them, then it’s not yoga.
Also unless you are doing the poses for 10 breaths to a minute each and can ‘feel’ your butt muscles working, don’t expect results! Trust me, my butt is proof of laziness in this regard!
Lastly DO NOT push yourself any further than feels comfortable for the body. Give yourself at least 5 deep breaths in the beginning stages of a pose before beginning to take it a little bit further. (click on photos to make them larger).
- Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana – DOLPHIN PLANK POSE
- Arms flat, elbows under shoulders, feet hips width apart
- Straight body, neck relaxed & buttocks engaged
- 10 deep breaths then rest lying face down for 10 breaths.
- Anjaneyasana – LUNGE POSE
- Make sure the front foot is straight and the knee is not extending past the ankle.
- Allow the back knee to bend slightly so you can activate more butt muscles as you engage them.
- Keep the shoulders, neck and front foot relaxed and take the elbows back so you can feel your chest broaden.
- Keep engaging the buttocks for 10 deep breaths, eyes focused on a single point, before repeating on the other side.
- Setu Bandhasana – BRIDGE POSE (+ raised leg variation)
- Lie on your back, bend your knees drawing your feet towards you so they’re flat on the floor, facing straight, hips width apart.
- Allow the arms to come to the sides of the body with the palms down and relax them along with the neck and feet.
- Lift the buttocks as high up as you can engaging all the muscles in that area, as you breath deeply.
- Take 10 deep breaths then gently roll the spine back on to the mat.
- Curl the knees into the chest, taking hold of them with the hands, to counter-stretch for 10 long breaths.
For the following standing balances, bend the standing leg slightly if you really can’t balance with it straight.
- Utthita Padangusthasana – STANDING BIG TOE POSE
- Begin by taking your weight on to your left leg with the left hand resting on the hip.
- Take hold of the right knee with your right hand drawing it into the chest and engage the left buttock for added stability.
- Keep the shoulders, neck and right arms relaxed (even though you’re using the right one to hold the knee)
- Make sure the spine is straight and not leaning backwards and fix your eyes on a point for balance as you take 10 deep breaths.
- To take the pose further: release the right hand and slide it down the inside of the right leg so your first 2 fingers can wrap around your right big toe (hence the name of the pose;-)
- Begin extending the leg straight in front, leaning forward if necessary with a straight back.
- Keep your eyes fixed on a point and left buttock engaged for balance
- Utthita Padangusthasana II – STANDING BIG TOE POSE II
- Begin this variation as you would the pose above, establishing your breath, focus and balance.
- Open the right knee to out to the side and find a point of focus for your eyes in the opposite direction.
- Keep the left buttock engaged, the spine straight and the shoulder, arms and neck relaxed.
To take it further: take hold of your right big toe using the method above and begin straightening the right leg out to the side.
- Keep both legs and the torso straight as you take 10 deep breaths.
End the routine with a couple of minutes lying on your back, observing your breath and heart beat return to a normal level as your body restores the lactic acid, so your muscles don’t feel tight or tired after.
During all these poses make sure you keep the shoulders and neck completely relaxed and take it easy on yourself. Pace yourself listening to your body’s limits and remember that your body may not feel the same from one day to the next. OK so there you have it. Get your butt off the sofa and wake it up for a few minutes every day. Or come join me at the Indiv Yoga™ studio for a full body workout.
Charlie began practicing yoga over 25 years ago and has been teaching for more than 12 years to people of all ages and abilities. She is the lead trainer on the Indiv Yoga 200 hrs & the RCYT Kids Yoga Alliance Teacher Training Courses, and has certified over 350 students worldwide.
Originally from London and having worked in New York and Lisbon after her Psychology degree, she has since settled in Switzerland with her husband, and dedicated her life to expanding her knowledge of the science of yoga, mindful meditation and better physical and mental health.
Over the years Charlie has worked with some of the most renowned yoga teachers around the world (David Swenson, Shiva Rea, Anne-Marie Newland, Leslie Kaminoff, Sadie Nardini, Sonia Sumar etc) certifying in Hatha, Sivanada, Ashtanga, Childrens and Family Yoga, Yoga for the Special Child, & Inner Engineering with Sadhguru. She has become highly respected for her successful work in yoga therapy, especially for Autism, ADHD and other behavioural and developmental syndromes. She has also talked at some of the biggest corporations in Switzerland and the annual SGIS (Swiss Group of International Schools) Conference on implementing Mindfulness in the work place and the education system.
Charlie holds the highest yoga qualifications as an ERYT500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher), RCYT (Registered Children´s Yoga Teacher), RPYT (Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher) and YCEP (Yoga Continued Education Provider) with the Yoga Alliance, and has developed Indiv Yoga™ to bring a more physiological, therapeutic and individual approach to yoga. Indiv Yoga™ Switzerland is a RYS (registered yoga school) and RCYS (registered children’s yoga school) providing Yoga Alliance teacher training certifications of the highest professional standards.
The focus of Indiv Yoga™ is to provide the benefits of yoga to every type of individual, using its teachings to achieve physical and mental balance, and diminish the anxieties of modern life for adults and children.
Read her onlineand for a feel of her knowledgeable and friendly professionalism.