Top Yoga Poses for a Perfect Booty

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

So many yoga poses, so little time! You’ve heard that yoga is THE way to firm up your glutes and get the perfect yoga butt, but which poses, or asanas, should you focus on for the best results?

Well, if you’re new to yoga, you should focus on the basics first so that you achieve the strength and flexibility for some of the more challenging butt beautifying poses. But don’t worry, some of the beginner poses are perfect for toning your posterior too.

And practicing these yoga poses won’t just give you a booty to die for, they’ll improve your posture, strengthen your core and lower back, stabilize your knee and hip joints, lengthen your thigh muscles and loosen you up so you can enjoy greater flexibility of movement.

There are 3 glute muscles to target when working on shaping your behind

  1. The gluteus maximus – main buttock muscles
  2. The gluteus medius – side buttock
  3. The gluteus minimus – creates the lift

The gluteus maximus is the primary buttock muscle. Extending the thigh backward into any hip extension will work the maximus.

Poses that will help to strengthen the gluteus maximus are – Crescent Lunge pose, Warrior III pose, and Standing Splits pose.

The gluteus medius is situated on the outer surface of the pelvis and works to pull, or abduct the thigh away from the midline. Activating the gluteus medius will tone the upper hips and create a strong and shapely side booty.

Yoga poses for the gluteus medius are – Half-Moon pose, Goddess pose and Reverse Plank pose.

The gluteus minimus is responsible for the lift that completes the classic yoga butt.

Practicing Bridge pose, Bow pose, and Locust pose will work this portion of your glutes.

So those 9 poses are the BEST yoga poses for a high and tight butt, but they aren’t the only ones, so this list includes, Warrior I and Warrior II poses, Cobra pose and Chair pose,  Three Legged Downward Dog pose, Lord Of The Dance pose and Single Legged Plank pose.

 

Crescent Pose/Low Lunge – Anjaneyasana

Difficulty – beginner

  1. Begin in downward facing dog. Exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands. Your right knee should be aligned over your heel.
  2. Lower your left knee to the floor and slide back until you feel a stretch in your thigh and groin.
  3. Turn the top of your left foot so that it is touching the floor.
  4. Inhale and bring your torso upright while sweeping your arms out to the sides and straight up
  5. Push your tailbone toward the floor and lift your pubic bone to your navel. Firm your shoulder blades and lift your chest.
  6. Tilt your head back and look up. Reach your pinky fingers toward the ceiling. Hold for a minute, then exhale your torso back down to your right thigh and place your hands on the floor. Tuck your toes back under.
  7. With another exhale lift your left knee off the floor and step back into downward facing dog.

For an extra deep workout for your booty, dip your back knee down to the floor and then raise back up. Do 6 dips with each leg.

 

Warrior III Pose- Virabhadrasana III

Warrior III Pose- Virabhadrasana III

Difficulty – intermediate

  1. From Mountain pose, step the right foot forward and shift all of your weight onto your right leg.
  2. Inhale, bring your arms over your head and lace your fingers together, pointing the index fingers upward.
  3. Exhale and fold at the hips to lower the arms and torso down to a 45 degree angle with the floor. Look down at the floor and focus at a point just in front of your mat for balance.
  4. As you exhale, lift the left leg up and back, parallel with the floor,
  5. Stretch out through the back foot and keep your toes pointing to the floor, extend through your crown and fingers.
  6. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.
  7. Come out of the pose on an inhale, bring your arms back up and lower your leg back down to the floor. Step both feet together back into Mountain pose.
  8. Repeat on the other side.

 

Standing Splits Pose – Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

 

Difficulty – intermediate

  1. Begin in Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend.
  2. Inhale and lengthen your spine and drop onto your fingertips.
  3. transfer your weight onto your left foot.
  4. On your next inhale lift your right leg up behind you until it is parallel with the floor as in Warrior III.
  5. Exhale and fold over your standing leg bringing the hands back to either side of your foot while at the same time lifting the right leg higher.
  6. Come out of the pose by lowering the leg back to Uttanasana.
  7. Stay here for a few breaths before repeating on the other side.

To work harder, place your palms onto the mat in front of you, bend your front knee and bring your back knee down and forward to meet it. Inhale, lift and extend your leg. Repeat 6 times on each side.

 

Half Moon Pose – Ardha Chandrasana

Difficulty – intermediate

  1. From warrior III pose, roll your hips forward and extend your right arm down to the floor, close to your right foot, while lifting your left up straight up.
  2. Stack your left hip on top of your right and maintain your balance.
  3. Challenge your core strength further by lifting your fingers up off the mat. Hold for 3-6 breaths.
  4. Release the pose and repeat for the other side.

 

Goddess Squat Pose – Utkata Konasana

Difficulty – beginner

  1. Begin standing with your feet 3-4 feet apart (depending on your height). Extend your arms out to the side at shoulder height and bend your elbows, turn your palms inward so that they face each other.
  2. Turn your feet out 45 degrees, exhale and squat, bending your knees over your toes. Go as low as you can, you should feel your buttock muscles engage.
  3. Press your hips forward and your knees back. Relax your shoulder down and back and press your chest forward. Keep your arms strong and look straight ahead.
  4. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.
  5. Release the pose with an inhale as you straighten your legs and reach your fingertips to the ceiling. Exhale and bring your arms down to your sides.
  6. To make this pose work your glutes even harder, you can lift onto your toes, first one foot and return to the floor, then the other foot. Do 6 lifts on each side, then raise up onto tiptoes on both feet at once for a count of 3.

 

Reverse Plank Pose

Difficulty – intermediate

  1. Begin in Staff pose, seated with legs stretched out in front of your, toes pointing to the ceiling.
  2. Plant your palms about 6 inches behind you.
  3. Press into your palms and lift your hips high and press the soles of your feet into the mat.
  4. Look up at the ceiling and squeeze your glutes, hold for 3-5 breaths and release on an exhale and lower your hips back to the floor.

 

Bridge Pose- Setu Bandhasana

Difficulty level – beginner

  1. Lie supine, flat on your back with your legs stretched out. Place folded blanket or towel under your shoulders to support your neck. Draw your knees up and bring your feet as close to your sitting bones as possible. Feet should be flat on the floor. Arms should be at your sides and palms facing down.
  2. On an exhale, press your inner feet and arms into the floor, push your tailbone upward, firming the buttocks (but not clenching) and lift your buttocks off the floor. Keep your stomach firm and do not arch your back.
  3. Clasp your hands together below your pelvis.
  4. Raise your buttocks until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Knees should be directly over your heels.
  5. Take between 5 and 15 breaths in this pose then exhale and roll your spine back down to the floor.

 

Bow Pose – Dhanurasana

Bow Pose - Dhanurasana

Difficulty – beginner

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms alongside your torso, and palms facing up.
  2. Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your feet as close as you can to your buttocks. Grab your ankles with your hands.
  3. Inhale, press your pubic bone down, pull your stomach in and push your ankles against your hands as you pull with your arms.
  4. Lift your thighs and chest.
  5. Stay here for a few breaths.
  6. On an exhale release your arms, and return to lying in a prone position.

 

Locust Pose -Salabhasana

Difficulty level – intermediate

  1. For this pose you might want to place a folded towel or blanket under your pelvis and ribs.
  2. Lie on your stomach with your arms at your sides palms down, and chin resting on the floor.
  3. Extend your legs behind you, hip width apart and with even pressure on the tops of your feet.
  4. Gently press your pubic bone into the floor and pull your navel in towards your spine as you exhale.
  5. On your exhale lift your chest and arms. Keep your arms along your body with your palms facing down.
  6. Lift your upper spine and reach back toward your feet.
  7. Use your inner thigh muscles to lift your legs.
  8. You’’ll be resting on your lower ribs, belly, and front pelvis
  9. Keep your chest lifted and draw your shoulder blades into your back. Imagine there’s pressure on the backs of your upper arms and push up against this resistance.
  10. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  11. Exhale and lower out of the pose
  12. Repeat 3 times

 

Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana

Difficulty – beginner

  1. Lie on your front, with your chin on the floor. Stretch your legs back so that the tops of your feet touch the floor. Place your palms flat on the floor under your shoulders hug your elbows to your body.
  2. Press the tops of your feet, thighs and pubic bone firmly down into the floor while squeezing your thighs and buttocks.
  3. Inhale and lift your head and chest off the floor. Keep your neck aligned with your spine.
  4. With your elbows close to your sides, press down on your palms and use your arms to lift you higher. Now drop your shoulders down and back and push your chest forward lifting through the top of the sternum. Keep your legs and buttocks, strong, and keep your pubic bone pressed down into the floor. Distribute the backbend evenly throughout the entire spine
  5. Breathe and hold the pose for 2-6 breaths. 15-30 seconds
  6. To release the pose, exhale and slowly bring your  chest and head back to the floor. Turn your head to one side and rest.  Rock your hips from side to side to release any tightness in your lower back.

 

Warrior I Pose – Virabhadrasana I

Difficulty – beginner

  1. Begin in Downward Facing Dog pose. Feet and hands nicely spaced apart and a 90 degree angle between the body and the legs.
  2. Look forward and step your right foot in toward your right hand. Keep your feet a hip width apart. Bend your front knee, ground through your foot, then pull your lower belly in and pull your upper body upright.
  3. Lean into your front leg and push into your back foot a little, pressing from the outer heel and lifting the inner arch. Keep your lower abdomen pulled in and up. Ideally your front leg will make a 90 degree angle with your body and be parallel to the floor, but it’s okay if you can’t get that low. Bring the hips and spine forward.
  4. Inhale and lift your arms up straight keeping them a shoulder width apart. Bring them vertical above your head (or as high as is comfortable for you). Keep your shoulders soft, no tension. Bring your palms together if you can and look up. Hold the pose for 5-15 breaths. Then release, exhale and lower your hands to the floor.
  5. Repeat the pose on the other side.

 

Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II

Difficulty level – beginner

  1. Begin with the Mountain pose.
  2. Take a big step back with your left leg.
  3. Rotate your right foot out and turn your left foot slightly in (in the same direction as the right foot) about 45 – 60 degrees . Anchor with your back foot.
  4. Keep your legs straight and firm and press the four corners of your feet into the floor.
  5. Inhale as you bring your arms parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders down shoulders down and extend your neck.
  6. Exhale as you bend your right knee and keep your knee directly over your ankle. Bring your right thigh parallel to the floor.
  7. Turn your hips and your shoulders towards the front and reach out through your fingertips. Turn and look at the right middle finger.
  8. Sink your hips down toward the floor and reach the crown of the head up lengthening your spine. Relax your shoulders down and ease them back and press your chest forward.
  9. Breathe and hold for 3 – 6 breaths.
  10. To come out of the pose, press down into your feet and on an inhalation straighten the leg and turn the feet forward.
  11. Repeat on the left side.

 

Chair – Utkatasana

Difficulty level – beginner

  1. In the Mountain pose with your feet together or hip width apart, inhale and bring your arms forward parallel to the floor with the palms facing down.
  2. Exhale and bend your knees as if you’re going to sit on a chair. Bring your weight to your heels. Your thighs should be as close to parallel with the floor as you can make them. Push your hips back, not your knees forward. You should still be able to see your toes.
  3. Keep your back straight and lean forward from your hips.
  4. Inhale and raise your arms up to your ears, press your shoulders down and reach out through your fingertips. Focus on a point on the floor or wall in front of you to maintain balance.
  5. Pull your lower belly in and up to protect your lower back.
  6. Breathe and hold for 5-15 breaths.
  7. To release the pose, inhale and press down into your feet, straighten your legs and bring your arms up toward the ceiling. Exhale and lower your arms.

 

Three Legged Downward Facing Dog – Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana

Difficulty level – intermediate

  1. Begin on your hands and knees, fingers spread wide, wrists directly under your shoulders and your weight evenly distributed across your hands. Your knees directly should be directly under your hips.
  2. Point your middle fingers directly to the top edge of your mat. Stretch your elbows and relax your upper back.
  3. Exhale as you tuck your toes under and lift your knees off the floor. Push your pelvis up toward the ceiling.
  4. Gently begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Bring your body into the shape of an upside down V.
  5. Keep the extension through your whole body. This is the Downward Facing Dog.
  6. Now step both feet together. Then, with your arms and legs straight, inhale and lift your right leg straight back and up as high as possible.  Flex your right foot and point your toes away from you. Try to separate your pinky toe from the rest. This is called floating and it engages all of the muscles in the legs and glutes.
  7. Pull your belly button toward your spine and keep your shoulders level.
  8. Make small pumps up and down with your raised foot, pulsing the foot up and down 16-24 times.
  9. On an exhale return to the downward facing dog pose, then repeat on the other side.

 

Lord Of The Dance Pose – Natarajasana

 

Difficulty level – intermediate

  1. Stand in the mountain pose. Inhale and shift your weight onto your left foot, lift your right foot off the floor and find your balance, then lift your right heel up toward your right buttock as you bend your knee.
  2. Grab the top of your foot with your right hand. Draw your navel in, push your tailbone down. Focus on your balance and bring your left arm straight up with your fingers pointing to the ceiling.
  3. Flex your foot and point your toes down then push your leg back and up as you begin to lean forward. Don’t twist your hips, keep them aligned.
  4. Lift your leg as high as you can and hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Release the pose on an exhale, release your foot and bring it back down to the floor.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

 

Single Legged Plank – Phalakasana

Difficulty – intermediate

  1. First assume the plank position. Begin in a kneeling position then slide forward until your elbows are underneath your shoulders. Place your palms together and curl your toes under. Now straighten out your legs hip width apart, and elongate your body.
  2. Pull your navel into your spine. Hold the pose but not your breath.
  3. Inhale and pull in your abdomen and lift your right leg up toward the ceiling. Keep your toes pointed down. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
  4. Exhale and return your right leg to the starting position.
  5. Now repeat with the left leg.
Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.