Turtle Pose (kurmasana) is an intense forward bend which helps to calm the mind, reduce sensory stimulus, and stretch the groins. In many cultures turtles are seen as easygoing, patient and wise, and are considered an symbol of longevity thanks to their long lifespan. When doing this pose children imagine creating their own shell which protects them from any foe. They are able to withdraw inside and tune into their inner voice, finding the strength to face any challenge that life may bring. They also can focus on qualities of persistence and determination, which its what it will take to fully execute this pose.
- Sit, legs bent but wide apart
- Work your torso between your knees, wrapping your arms under your legs and grasping your ankles or laying them out palm flat on the floor
- Try to straighten your legs and lower your torso to the ground, hiding within your turtle shell, rest your chin on the floor
Even in theory this is a very challenging pose. But like all yoga poses the benefits come from the mindful practice not from the finished pose, so keep trying, keep breathing, and allow your body to open in its own time and in its own way.
Benefits: lengthens the hips and groins, increases circulation through the hips, cleanses internal organs, and tones the spine.