What is Tortoise Pose?
Tortoise pose, or kurmasana in Sanskrit, is a very challenging bind. There are several variations of the pose; in the final variation the legs are crossed above the head. BKS Iyengar notes in Light on Yoga that "this pose is sacred to a yogi" because of its ability to calm the mind and release negative emotions.
- From a seated position, stretch the legs into a V shape.
- Exhale and bend forward. Slip the upper arms underneath the thighs one at a time. Bring the head and chest toward the floor.
- Breathe here for a moment.
- Bend the knees slightly. Lift the chest to interlace the hands behind the back.
- Move the feet toward the head and cross one over the other. Exhale and insert the head in between the feet.
- Breathe while holding the pose.
- Exhale and carefully release.
- Avoid if there is neck or back injury.
Benefits of Tortoise Pose
- Improves flexibility in the legs, hips and back
- Increases spinal elasticity
- Activates digestion
- Soothes the nerves and refreshes the mind
- Releases fear and anger, brings calmness
Tortoise Pose Details
- Sanskrit Name
- Pose Level
- Bhrumadhye (Third Eye)
- Pose Type
- Binds, Forward Bends, Hip Openers