If you were born with a bookshelf booty, congrats! If you weren’t, however, and you’re wondering how to get that booty up to your mid-back, then I suggest you do these poses.
I started gymnastics when I was three and competed in high school until I was 18. Practice was five days a week for three hours, and the last hour was conditioning. I write the word ‘conditioning’ with chills running down my spine.
Conditioning: doing exercises until you are about to pass out or throw up. Walking lunges across the floor until you get stuck in a lunge and fall over. This was my life. During practice, I imagined throwing a sword in my coach’s direction then stuffing my face with Cheez-Its and white cheddar popcorn.
Unfortunately, those daydreams stayed just that, and I continued building my butt so much that my leotard looked like it was from the 80s. So if you too want to raise that @$$, hold these following yoga poses for a 10-breath minimum and repeat all five poses three times.
1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
If you’ve ever done this pose, you know how tired the legs and butt get while seated in your imaginary chair. Chair Pose really fires up the leg and butt muscles, sending you into fat burning mode.
Hold this pose for at least 10 breaths, come up for air into Mountain Pose, then sit back down into Chair. Repeat a couple more times and that butt will hold a book by the end!
2. High Lunge (Alanasana)
Do variations of High Lunge, like dropping the back knee and lifting it back up, or doing High Lunge twists. Reach the arms forward to set up for Warrior III. Play around with High Lunge or hold in the pose, breathe, let it shake, and repeat on both sides.
3. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III
Keeping the upper leg lifted, flex and point the lifted foot while keeping the hips squared to the ground. Maintain strong legs. Reach the arms forward and test your balance by reaching back. Warrior III is going to fire up the metabolism.
You can even try pointing the lifted foot and tapping it on the ground. Try that a couple times and you’ll have room to hold an entire library on that booty!
4. Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)
I like to go from Goddess to Star Pose—it’s a fun way to teach squats. Plus, no one knows we’re doing squats because of the cool names.
5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Squeeze the thighs towards each other here, but keep the feet at hip width distance. Lift the hips up to the sky and hold. Lift a heel or press the bottom of the foot forward, with the thighs parallel.
Try this: place a block or a small ball in between the thighs. Lift up to Bridge, squeeze the ball between your thighs, and hold. Do a lot of this if you want! You know your body better than anyone else, so challenge yourself.
If you try only one of these poses, make sure it’s Goddess. Just so you can wear a golden gown and say, “Today, I did Goddess Pose.” Let me know how it goes, yogis!
Image Credit: J Mauss