2 Great Ways to Sculpt a Better Butt

..Looking to score a more pleasing rear view? Start on your yoga mat. As Mark Blanchard of Power Progressive Yoga in Los Angeles says. "Muscles will get worked, calories will be burned," but, he cautions quite bluntly, "don't expect results after the first time out." Patience and persistence are the keys to getting a tighter backside, known to some as the yoga butt.

Remember that when you can no longer maintain the integrity of a pose, that's when it's time to come out. "You're defeating the practice if you're struggling and imbalanced, because you're trying to create symmetry in the body," Blanchard explains. Practice these posterior postures regularly for two weeks and then check the mirror.



CHAIR POSE (utkatasana)
Begin standing in mountain pose--arms at sides, sternum lifted. Bend your knees deeply. Squeeze your inner thighs together and straighten your arms, lifting them overhead and stretching your fingertips toward the sky. Accentuate the lift in your arms and chest so your upper spine is in a slight backbend. Tuck your pelvis. "Hold that for as long as you can keep a smile on your face," Blanchard says."If the smile has left your face, you've left your yoga pose." Shoot for 10 breaths. Feel that butt-burn?

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HALF MOON POSE (ardha chandrasana)
Start in downward-facing dog pose. Step your right leg forward to a lunge position. Standing on that leg, with the fingertips of both hands still on the ground or a block for stability, raise your left leg behind you, parallel with the floor. Turn your torso to the sky by opening your left hip. Keeping your right fingertips where they are, raise your left arm and reach straight up so your arms form one straight line. Flex your airborne foot and stand firmly on the grounded one. Engage your leg muscles and lift-do not lock-your knee. Stay for one more breath than you think you can manage. Do the same on the other side.
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EXTRA CREDIT: SUGAR CANE POSE

In half moon pose (as described above) bend the knee of your lifted leg and reach back and grab the ankle. Press your bent knee away from your head, then arch your upper back slightly as you reach the crown of your head toward the foot of the bent-knee leg. Not only will this challenge your legs and glutes, this balancing pose also engages your core muscles.

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Tell us: Have you tried yoga to improve your fitness? What is/was experience?

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