Kurmasana, Skandhjanuasana,Kachhapasana, Turtle Pose
How to perform Kurmasana
Sit in Dandasana with your legs stretched out in front of you. Open your legs to a distance of about one meter in between your feet.
Exhale and bend forward slide your hands and arms under your legs and straighten your arms so that your shoulders are in between your legs. Your legs remain straight and on the floor.
You are right in the posture when your knees come to lie on top of your shoulders.
This is how this posture got its name ‘Skandhjanuasana’ with ‘Skandh’ meaning shoulders and ‘Janu’ meaning knees.
If someone looked down on you from above, you would look to him like a turtle, which is why it is also called ‘turtle pose’ or in Sanskrit ‘Kurmasana’ or ‘Kachhapasana’.
Keep on breathing normally while you are in the posture. To come out of the posture you slowly bend your knees, bring your arms out from under it and sit up while inhaling again.
Benefits of Kurmasana
With practice of this yoga asana you strengthen your thighs, shoulders and hips by stretching those muscles.
As you can imagine, you can work on your flexibility with Kurmasana. You open your hips as well as your shoulders.
It is a yoga posture that is good for lungs and heart and it strengthens your back muscles.
The goal of this yoga exercise is to lie flat on the floor.
If you are flexible enough for bending forward completely and bringing your shoulders under your knees, you can focus on straightening your knees and bringing them closer together over your shoulders.
Tips and Help
If you have difficulties with bending forward, you can first practice a simple forward bend with Paschimottasana. This will help you bring the flexibility to hamstrings and muscles in your back.
When to Avoid doing Kurmasana
Do not perform this yoga exercise if you have any kind of back pain.