Kurmasana or Tortoise Pose is a yoga asana. Sanskrit: कूर्मासन; Kurma – Tortoise, Asana – Pose; Pronounced as: Koohr-Mah-Sah-Nah.

Kurmasana or the Tortoise Pose resembles a tortoise that withdraws into its shell when threatened or agitated. The name comes from the Sanskrit words ‘kurma’ meaning tortoise and ‘asana’ meaning pose. Practicing the Kurmasana enables you to draw inward and cut out the clutter of the outside world. It will give you a euphoric feeling of connecting with your inner world. 

How To Do Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose)

You can assume Kurmasana in four steps.

  1. Sit down with your legs spread out and back erect. Place your arms alongside your hips. Keep your legs arms’ distance apart and press your thighs into the ground. Raise your chest and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Bend your knees and bring your feet closer to your hips. Stretch your arms forward in between the legs and bend your torso down and forward along with the arms.
  3. Bend your knees further to facilitate your shoulders to go beneath your knees. Then, shift your stretched arms to the sides. Now, bring your thighs inwards and through them, apply pressure on your shoulders to bring your face and chest forward and down. Straighten your legs and make sure your inner thighs touch your side ribs.
  4. Bring down your head with your chin touching the ground, and gaze downwards. Extend your arms sidewards as much as you can. Relax and breath deeply. Hold the pose for a few seconds. Relax.

  • Supta: Sleeping
  • Kurma: Turtle
  • Asana: Pose

Supta Kurmasana is the twenty-first pose of the primary series, and the sixteenth seated pose. This is the third pose of what is often called the “apex” of the Primary series—five challenging asana in the middle of the sequence.

Supta Kurmasana is the deepest forward fold of the Primary series. It has several manifestations. The first two forms described here can be perfected during the course of learning the Primary series. The final form, with both legs crossed behind the head, is best added after some degree of competency has been gained with the Intermediate series. Inability to put the legs behind the head should not be a bar or disqualification to learning the full Primary series and beginning practice of the Intermediate.

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