Who doesn't desire well-defined, lifted buttocks? While a few of us were blessed with a perfectly rounded tushie, the remaining have to work hard to attain the bum of their dreams. Research indicates that while weight training may not benefit alone, when combined with yoga, it's like magic waiting to take place. "Practicing yoga not only helps sculpt your butt but also lengthens the muscles in the glutes area, toning and relaxing your gluteal region," explains Yogini Radhika Iyer Talati, Founder, Raa Foundation and Anahata Organics.
Wanna be bootylicious? Below, Radhika Iyer shortlists five yoga asanas that can help shape and sculpt your gluteus muscle.
Malasana — Squat Pose
Opening up the pelvic muscles and activating your glutes, Malasana requires you to sit in a squat position for as long as you can, with your legs wide apart. Fold your hands into a namaste and breathe normally. This particular asana stretches the thighs, groin, hips, ankles, torso, and butt. In addition, it tones the abdominal muscles and increases blood circulation in the pelvic region. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and repeat.
Vashishthasana — Side Plank Pose
Vashishthasana is beneficial for your side muscles as well as the butt. Holding this pose helps employ both the core and gluteus muscles, energising them. Practising the side plank pose also strengthens the arms, tones the belly, stretches the wrists and forearms, activates your calf muscles, improves balance, and lifts the butt. Practice this posture twice, for 30 seconds each time.
Bhujangasana — Cobra Pose
This yoga asana is a guaranteed way to lift and firm a saggy butt. Remember to extend both the upper and lower body while contracting your butt consciously. Bhujangasana can be a liberating experience since it not only strengthens and tones the butt but also helps stretch the chest and shoulder areas while stimulating the abdomen. Practising this asana is also known to relieve stress and fatigue. Hold this pose for 30 seconds, and repeat.
Setubandhasana — Bridge Pose
The word 'setu' means bridge, and true to its name, this posture bridges our upper and lower bodies by strengthening the entire musculoskeletal system. Lie down in a comfortable position with your spine touching the mat. Fold your knees and keep your feet hip-distance apart on the floor. Lift the arms in line with your body, with the palms facing down. Slowly lift your lower back, middle back, and upper back off the floor. Gently roll the shoulders in, touching the chest to the chin, distributing your weight with your shoulders, arms, and feet equally. Relax in this pose for about 45 seconds, and repeat.
Virabhadrasana — Warrior Pose
This is one of the most powerful postures to build lower body strength. The Sanskrit word ‘Vira’ means brave and ‘Bhadra’ means friend. There are three types of Virabhadrasana poses that are known to increase strength and stamina. Spread your legs wide as your turn to either side. Gaze at a point to find balance as you lift one foot parallel to the ground, pushing both your hands ahead of you. Bend from the hips, engaging your butt and your abdomen. Keeping the knee slightly bent can help establish balance as well. Hold this pose for 30 seconds, and repeat.
"A good posterior can do wonders for overall posture development as well as resounding physical health. It’s important to acknowledge that asanas aren't solely limited to a head-to-toe body workout but helps build inner strength as well. If you tend to spend long hours sitting at a desk, practising yoga will help relax your muscles and get you in shape," adds yogini Radhika Iyer.