Tortoise Pose – Kurmasana

Benefits: In this movement, the body takes on the shape of a tortoise with its limbs drawn in, symbolizing withdrawal of the senses, or pratyahara. When one draws the senses inward towards silence, the mind becomes calm and composed and the practitioner develops a sense of equanimity in all of life’s situations. On a purely physical level, the muscles that run the entire length of the spine receive a delicious stretch, while the abdominal organs receive a deep massage.

Step by Step Instructions:

Begin by sitting in dandasana with the crown of your head moving upwards.

Bend your knees and widen your legs so your feet are slightly wider than the width of your shoulders.

Lean forward and insert your shoulders under your knees, one by one.
Extend your legs until they are straight, elongating your heels away
from you, while keeping your feet vertical. Your chest and forehead will now be on the floor.

Now turn your wrists so your palms face upward, and move your arms back
so that your forearms are near your hips. Breathe here stretching your arms straight.

Bend and lift your knees up, bringing your chest slightly off the floor.
Now walk your feet in, bit by bit, one by one, in toward your head.
Interlock your feet at the ankles, by placing your right foot over your left foot.

Exhale, and insert your head in between your feet, with your forehead on the
floor. Move your hands up on to your lower back and clasp them together.

Have your inner thighs pressing in toward your side ribs, and the texture
of your breath, long smooth and even. Allow your eyes to soften,
your tongue to relax, your nasal passages to elongate, and your ear
drums to draw inward. Withdraw your senses and abide, for this
moment in time in the internal realms of being, witnessing any thoughts or feelings that arise.

Release your hands, and your feet and quietly change the interlock of your
feet so that you’re left foot is know on top. Bring your
forehead back on to the floor, and again bring your hands on to your
lower back, clasping your hands together.

Everything Else:

Level: 9
Props required: Not Required
Movement Type: Seated
Sub Movement Type-A: Forward Bend
Sub Movement Type-B: Hips
Main Anatomical Focus: Spine
Secondary Anatomical Focus: Abdominals
Physiological Focus: Digestive System, Nervous System

Contraindications:Avoid this movement if you are pregnant, menstruating, have a, shoulder or neck injury or if you are suffering from diarrhoea.

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