5 Moves to a Yoga Butt

Photo by: Fairchild Archive

Yogic Squats /Malasana: Stand with legs wider than hip-distance apart and toes turned out to a 45-degree angle. Bend the knees so that the knees line up with the ankles. Keeping your feet in place, feel as though your feet are pivoting your big toe to pinky toe and activating all the way up to the leg to the legs at the sit bones. Draw the lower belly in and breathe freely through the lungs, rising gently through the legs with the inhale and rooting again with the exhale. "Utkatasana": Stand with toes, heels and knees together with inner thighs engaged. Bend the knees as close to 90 degrees as comfortable. Stretch arms overhead and lift the abs in and up to lengthen the spin and side waists.

By Dana Meltzer-Zepeda, SELF magazine

Ever wonder how to spot a true yogi? It's not a well-worn yoga mat or even that air of post-Shavasana bliss. The sign of a true yogi is an enviably perky backside. "A 'yoga butt' is often one of the many results of a consistent yoga practice," says world-renowned yoga guru Shiva Rea. "I think the happiness that radiates from a yoga practitioner is what catches people's eye and the 'yoga butt' is the trait we've been trained by the media to seek so it becomes an advertisement for yoga."

And it's a darn good one! According to a recent study by the United States Yoga Federation, over 25 million people either practice yoga or intend to start practicing within the next year. "If a person practices solely asana, as in a typical yoga class, she will receive all the flexibility and strength workout needed," says Rea, who recommends adding a cardio workout to keep your heart healthy a few times per week.

Luckily, you don't need big bucks to join a yoga studio to enjoy that "overall sense of health, well-being and happiness" that comes from a regular practice. Incorporate these five moves from the Shiva Rea Yoga: More Daily Energy DVD into your regular routine 3 to 5 times a week and you'll be bikini-ready faster than you can say spring break.

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