Post #5 in The Elliott Lexicon of Satisfactory Yoga Terminology
I would love to know how many times I have used the word “buttocks” while teaching in the last 27 years. Of all the words there are for this much sought after and innately happy part of the human body, there is no word that strips it of all its callipygian goodness like the word “buttocks”. Maybe that’s why the Iyengar’s used it, and definitely where I picked it up, until I decided I didn’t want to sound like an English schoolmarm anymore. Thinking about it, the word must have been a particularly odd juxtaposition to my spandex yoga attire.
With the help of my students, we created a list (see photo) of all the words for this body part I will call the “rump,” a word that does the buttocks justice. It sounds like what it is: good natured fun with a bit of mischievousness, and “rump” can be used in almost any situation. At the beginning of class, I often take suggestions as to which rump-word to use, and then it’s my job to employ that variation for the duration.
“Inhale, exhale, think deep and happy thoughts while contracting the “tuckas” to come
into Virabhadrasana II.”
“As you prepare for Bhujangasana, reach back and feel your “money-maker.” It should
be like Jello at this point”.
I know, Jello and any word for rump should never be in the same sentence.
I have learned some terrific words for the rump, including “badonkadonk,” the only four syllable word I have encountered for this body part, and it’s also “lots of good fun that is funny”* saying it in class. I also learned recently that a “badonkadonk” more specifically is a particularly nice “bohonkus.”
The anatomical name that is most commonly used for the rump is gluteus or “glutes” for short. There are actually three glutes: the gluteus minimus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus maximus, which I refer to as the SUV. Like the large truck-vehicles driven by people who reason they feel safer in them, there is a misguided notion amongst students that leads them to overwork their gluteus maximus, thinking this large muscle makes them safe. However, like its four wheeled cousin, the gluteus maximus is big and bulky, not very adroit, and is often a less optimal choice than something smaller that posses more finesse and maneuverability.
As an interesting side bar, although the gluteus maximus is often used too soon and too much in back bending and low back rehab, it is often not used enough, if at all in forward bending, breaking the cardinal rule of the eccentric contraction in yoga.
I take the rump very seriously. Seriously. See “Tone in the Tush” for further thoughts on rump functionality.
Do you have a favorite, printable word for the rump not listed in the photo? I’d love to know it.
*Dr Seuss, “The Cat in the Hat”
Copyright Theresa Elliott, 2015
Other entries in The Elliott Lexicon of Satisfactory Yoga Terminology: