Ready to work your glutes and hammies double-time? Use these yoga moves to get your tush in top shape this summer.
Malasana Squat Kriya
Begin in a standing forward fold with your hands in front of you on the ground. Heel-toe your feet wide apart, pointing your toes out so that your hips are open. Bend your knees, releasing your hips toward the ground, hovering above at whatever height feels good for you. Keep your knees in line with your ankles. Take your elbows inside your thighs, lightly pressing them out, and take hands together like a prayer at the center of chest. Keep your spine long. This is Malasana. From here, use your inhale to reach your prayered hands straight up as you look up and lengthen your legs without moving your feet. On your exhale, come back to Malasana. Repeat this 20 to 30 times.
Locust Pose Lifts and Lowers
Begin lying facedown on your mat, big toes together. Clasp your hands behind your sacrum. Use a big inhale to lift your chest and your feet off the ground. On your exhale, lower your chest and thighs halfway down. Repeat this, lifting slightly higher every time for 10 to 20 reps.
One-Legged Plank Pose
From plank pose, lift your right foot about a foot or so off the ground so that your right leg is in line with your spine. Stay here for 5 deep breaths, and then repeat on the left side.
Upward Facing Plank Pose
From a seated position with legs together and long in front of you, take hands behind you, fingers pointing toward body. Press into palms while lifting hips high. Allow your head to fall back if that feels natural for your neck. Press all four corners of the feet into the ground. Stay here for 10 to 20 deep breaths.
One-Legged Bridge Pose
Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on the ground hip-width apart with your arms on either side of you reaching toward your heels. Pressing into your feet (especially into the big toe mound), lengthen through your tailbone and lift your hips. Interlace your hands together underneath you, and, if it feels good, wiggle your shoulders closer together one at a time. Next, lift your right leg toward the ceiling (as pictured). Stay for 5 to 10 deep breaths and then repeat for 5 to 10 breaths with your left leg lifted. For more intensity, pulse your bum up and down 1 to 2 inches, 30 to 40 times on each side.
Warrior III Pulses
Begin in a standing position, then fold forward, walk hands underneath shoulders, and place them on the floor or blocks. Keeping your knees soft, shift weight into the left foot and lift right leg behind you. Reach through right heel and internally rotate right thigh down so toes point toward the ground. When you feel steady, lift your arms one at a time and take your palms together in a prayer at your chest. Start to lift and lower your lifted leg 2 inches. Do that 20 times, and then repeat on the other side.
Hand to Foot Pose Dips
Begin by standing in mountain pose. Transfer weight into you right foot and hug your left knee into your chest. Take hold of your left big toe with the first and second fingers and thumb of left hand, or loop a strap around your foot. Steady yourself there, and then gently extend left leg forward, leading with heel. Find a slight internal rotation of the left thigh so that the toes point toward the ceiling. Reach your right arm up to the ceiling on the side of your face. Bend right knee, reaching butt back so that the knee doesn’t move beyond the foot. Keep lowering your butt toward the ground as much as possible (pictured), then return to the starting position. Do this for 10 reps. Try to go a little lower every time you do this, then repeat on the other side. If your knee is unstable, do this move next to a wall for support.