Tortoise Pose

Definition - What does Tortoise Pose mean?

Tortoise pose is performed by folding the body at the waist and slipping the arms under the legs, which are extended with knees either bent or straight. It is recommended to stay in the pose for 30 to 40 seconds and for roughly five to 10 breaths.

This is an important posture in yoga for increasing flexibility, particularly the hips, hamstrings, shoulders and along the spine. Although not a particularly challenging posture, it can be modified for beginners through several variations in which the arms relax alongside the body or extend forward, rather than under the legs.

Tortoise pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, kurmasana.

Tortoise Pose

Yogapedia explains Tortoise Pose

Some of the benefits of this pose include:


  • Enhanced flexibility in the legs, hips and back of the body
  • Improved functioning of the respiratory and digestive systems
  • Decompression of the spine and shoulders
  • Stimulation of the abdominal organs
  • Physical and mental relaxation


Tortoise pose is also believed to improve the digestive and respiratory systems as well as to decrease feelings of anger, anxiety and depression.

One gentler version of the tortoise pose is half tortoise pose, in which the body starts in thunderbolt pose, then folds from the waist with the arms extended forward, resting on the ground.

During These Times of Stress and Uncertainty Your Doshas May Be Unbalanced.

To help you bring attention to your doshas and to identify what your predominant dosha is, we created the following quiz.

Try not to stress over every question, but simply answer based off your intuition. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else.

Share this: