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Everything you need to know about yoga butt, including whether you have it or not

Updated on:10 March 2021, 12:09pm IST
Find out why an excruciating pain in the buttocks while exercising is called yoga butt.
Aayushi Gupta
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yoga butt
Are you suffering from yoga butt? Find out here. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Yoga is well-known for providing mental and physical benefits, as it is an ancient practice that people have been using for time immemorial to relax their mind and body. However, similar to any other exercise form, if yoga is not done properly, then it could cause pain and discomfort. 

Have you ever felt pain or cramping when performing the downward-facing dog pose? If yes, then you ought to know that just like runners are most likely to have knee injuries due to constant strain, yoga practitioners are prone to injuring their butt, known as “Yoga Butt”.

Yoga butt is not a medical term, and is also known as “dead butt syndrome”. This phenomenon is referred to as “high hamstrings tendinopathy”, wherein the proximal portion of hamstring muscles gets irritated causing pain in the “sit bones” region (lower part of your pelvis), known as “ischial tuberosity”. This can lead to increased soreness and pain if left unattended and  untreated, hence, it’s important for you to understand how to identify the yoga butt and its common causes.

Before you ascertain you’re experiencing yoga butt, learn about its symptoms
  • A sudden feeling of tight or mild tension in your glutes.
  • Severe pain in sit bones while performing a yoga pose. Finding it difficult to move your body because of the pain in your ischial tuberosity (sit bones).
  • Feeling of numbness in the piriformis muscle (small muscle located deep in the buttock, behind the gluteus)
  • Mild pain in your lower back region and thigh/legs area.
  • A popping sensation in the buttocks and back of your legs.
  • Mild swelling in your thighs.
The many causes of yoga butt or dead butt syndrome
1. Overuse

While holding a pose, you may end up overusing and stressing your hamstrings and lack of adequate rest after a yoga session may further strain the tendons. These could be factors behind the pain in your butt, which may also impact your lower back region as well. 

yoga butt
Over stressing your hamstring can cause butt pain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Overstretch

While performing a yoga pose, you more often than not challenge your body to stretch to its maximum limits,  which may cause overexertion of various joints and muscle groups. Yoga practitioners, when trying to pull away proximal hamstrings tendon from the sit bones region, get subjected to overstretching.

3. Compression

Poses such as lunges, downward dog, or warrior pose apply direct pressure to the proximal hamstring tendon. Therefore, you should be careful that you are not putting too much stress as it may cause an injury.

4. Inconsistency

Exerzising or practicing yoga inconsistently can hamper flexibility, bodily form and muscle memory. This inconsistency can lead to pain in the butt, joints and critical muscle groups such as thighs, back and shoulders as the body needs to be consistently engaged to ensure adequate blood circulation and adherence to proper exercise/yoga form.

5. Repeating or overdoing

Hamstrings can suffer from injury if they are repeatedly used even after you experience mild soreness or pain. Hence, it is important that you monitor such symptoms closely and take your workout(s) slow and steady to avoid serious injuries and discomfort. 

So, now you know what a yoga butt is and how you can avoid getting injured by simply being vigilant of the pain and soreness you experience. In case of heightened discomfort and pain, consult a medical professional urgently.

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.