Kurmasana

KURMASANA (Tortoise Pose)

Instructions
1. Begin in Dandasana.
2. Open your legs roughly 2 hips-width apart and bend your knees.
3. Slide one arm at a time under your legs, palms facing down. Walk your palms out to your side until your triceps are right below your knees or hamstrings.
4. If you can, you can touch your forehead to the ground and walk your hands towards your hips/back. Inch your chest, shoulders and abdominals closer to the ground, and slide your heels forward to help straighten your knees.
5. Once on the floor, ensure you continue to externally rotate your hips while engaging your quads as you straighten your knees, knees pointing to the ceiling. Use your straightened legs to help pull your shoulders closer and deeper towards the floor.
6. Use your inhale to lengthen your spine. Use your exhale to slide your heels forward and at the same time, broadening your shoulders and chest to bring your torso closer to the floor.
7. If you are unable to touch your forehead to the ground, simply let your head hang downwards but ensuring that your spine remains lengthened and your core engaged. Breathe into this position.

 

IMG_0827 Final

Deepening the Asana
Supta Kurmasana
The deepening of Kurmasana is the progression to another asana, Supta Kurmasana. This involves bending your knees and then internally rotating your arms to form a bind at your lower back.

Muscles Engaged
• Back Muscles & Rotator Cuff: Erector Spinae, Quadratus Lumborum, Latissimus Dorsi (tog with Pectoralis Major & Minor), Trapezius, Rhomboids
• Abdominals
• Hip Flexor Muscles (psoas, rectus femoris, piriformis, tensor fascia lattae)
• Legs: Hamstrings, Quadriceps

Benefits
• Strengthens and lengthens back, hamstrings, hips, shoulders, chest and abdominals.
• Helps the functioning of the digestive and respiratory systems. The lower section of the lungs are stretched and organs in the abdomen are also stimulated. Kidneys are also supposed to be strengthened in Kurmasana.

Contra-Indications
Any recent injuries with shoulder, elbow, hip, hamstrings or back (incld pulled lower back muscles, herniated discs); Menstruation or pregnancy

completed by the-knees, sept-oct teacher training batch