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Tortoise Pose [Kurmaasana]

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‘Kurma’ means tortoise. This is an intense forward fold and  stretches the spinal coloumn, rejuvenates the whole nervous system and shuts out sensory distractions.

‘After completing this pose one feels refreshed, as though one had woken up from a long undisturbed sleep.’ Sri B.K.S. Iyengar.

Organising the Pose:-

  1. Sit in Dandasana.
  2. Bend your knees upwards. Spread your feet about eighteen inches.
  3. Insert your arms under your knees and extend them sideways.
  4. Now try to straighten your legs without widening them too much. Rest your head, chin or

chest on the floor. This is ‘Kurmasana’.

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  1. Then remove the arms from beneath the legs, one at a time by bending your legs at the

knees. Come up straight, join  the legs coming into Dandasana.


  • Place your knees over your shoulders
  • Place the arms beneath the legs with the fingers pointing backwards.


  • Don’t tighten the muscles around your neck and shoulders.
  • Don’t do the final stages of the pose if any disc problems.


  • Tones the spine, activates the abdominal organs and keeps one energetic and healthy.
  • Soothes and quietens the mind.

All these wonderful benefits are possible only if you have the required flexibility in the hips, shoulders and back to practice this pose safely. So proceed slowly and deliberately with a few preparatory poses which work on warming up the hips and shoulders. Observe how you feel at each step, taking it at your own pace as always it’s the journey that is more important than the destination!


Neelanjana Bharadwaj- Expert



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