One-legged balancing poses may look serene, but stringing them one after another offers one of the best butt-burners you'll ever feel. The trick to a tighter tush? Do these five poses in this exact order, repeating the sequence three times before releasing your leg to the floor; repeat on the other side. If you don't feel sore after this, our guess is that your backside is made of titanium!
- Stand at the front of your mat with the feet together.
- Bend the right knee behind you, and hold the top of the foot or the inside arch with your right hand.
- Press the right foot away from you as you lean the torso forward, raising the right foot high. You'll not only feel this in the legs, but it's also a great pose for opening the chest and shoulders.
- Relax the toes that are on the mat, draw the belly toward the spine, and stay here for five deep breaths.
Extended Hand to Big Toe
- From Dancer pose, remain balanced on the left foot and slowly swing the right leg forward while still grasping the right foot. Hold the right big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of your right hand, and bring the left hand to your left hip.
- With the left leg straight and the torso stacked over the pelvis, straighten the right leg out in front of you as much as you can.
- Enjoy this stretch for five breaths.
- From Extended Hand to Big Toe, release hold of the foot and bend the right knee. Wrap it around your left thigh, and tuck the right toes around your lower left leg.
- Cross the left elbow over the right, and bring your palms toward each other. Remember to relax the bottom toes.
- Hold like this for five breaths, lifting the elbows as high as you can, gazing at the hands.
Eagle Warrior 3
- From Eagle, keep the elbows crossed as you uncross the knees, and kick your right leg behind you, bringing the torso parallel with the floor.
- Actively extend the arms away from you, and engage the abs for five breaths.
- From Eagle Warrior 3, inhale to lift your torso, and tip forward. Plant your left palm about a foot in front of your left toes. Straighten your left leg, and lift your right leg in the air (the photo above shows Half Moon on the opposite side).
- Distribute your weight evenly between your left hand and foot. Lift your right arm up, and gaze toward your right hand.
- Hold for five breaths.
- Keep the left foot planted, bend the right knee, and lift the torso up. Hold the right foot and press it away from you, rising back into Dancer.
- Repeat all five poses two more times for a total of three rounds. Then repeat for another three rounds with the right leg grounded.