Kurmasana (tortoise pose)

 

The Kurmasana, otherwise known as the tortoise posture in Ashtanga Yoga is a posture that lengthens your back muscles and helps to release tightness in the sacrum and lumbar region.

 

  • Start in the downward facing dog position; inhale and jump your feet on to the floor in front of your hands. Your legs should be on the outside of your arms and your knees by your shoulders. Now take your hands and move them to the back of your ankles and your shoulders to the back of your knees.

 

  • Continue to inhale and bend your knees. Then place your hands on the floor and slowly lower your buttocks to the ground.

 

  • Stretch your arms out underneath your knees while simultaneously stretching your fingers out to to the sides, bringing the backs of your knees over the tops of your arms.

 

  • Still inhaling, deepen the stretch in front of your hips by stretching your legs and firmly pressing your heels forward. The straightening of your legs will press down on the backs of your upper arms and shoulders, pushing your torso closer to the floor.

 

  • Open your chest wide and forward on the floor. Move your pubic bone back as you continue to stretch out with your arms. Now lengthen through your spine and throat, laying your chin on the floor. Take five to ten full breaths; you have just completed Kurmasana.