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Kurmasana and Benefits
The turtle pose in yoga is the basics for “advanced” practitioners. From the outside, the asana really resembles an animal turtle. Despite the outward ease of the asana, it is difficult for beginners to enter the pose, so you should start with a simplified version – Upavishthi Konasana.
For this pose, straighten your back and spread wide apart until you are comfortable in tension. Make sure that you are not “falling” backward, but are clearly sitting on your pelvic bones. With an exhalation, try lowering yourself forward with your back straight, your toes looking up and toward you.
However, it can be difficult for beginners to do both tortoise pose and Upavishtha Konasana. In this case, clearly trace to which point your pelvis and back allow you to lower – that’s where we stop! Under no circumstances should you ever stretch yourself at the expense of your back, arms, shoulder blades, etc. Your goal is to work your pelvis open.
By pushing yourself and injuring yourself, you can achieve the opposite effect on your health than what you were actually aiming for.
Kurmasana, if practiced consistently in a progressive (not painful!) way, has a lot of benefits. Each stage of entering the pose has a stronger effect on the body, particularly helping the intervertebral discs.
Tortoise pose has other benefits as well:
– stimulation of the digestive tract;
– improvement of the work of the kidneys;
– normalization of the urinary system;
– Improving blood flow to the back, neck and head.
After performing Kurmasana asana, you will notice a newfound mental clarity as well as tranquility. For this reason, the pose is often used before meditation.
Turtle pose in yoga – how to do it?
- We sit down on the mat and spread our straight legs apart as much as possible.
- Bend your knees and pull your feet to the body.
- As you exhale, bend forward, and place your hands gradually under the knees. “Push” your hands under your knees and pull to the sides.
- Put your shoulders to the mat, and press the floor with your palms.
- Restore deep breathing.
As you exhale stretch forward even harder, gradually putting your forehead on the floor, and then your chest.
What the asana should look like in the final performance: the knees are near the armpits, and in the area of the forearms, hands and feet touch.
As you gradually progress, you’ll notice that your chin and chest are already fully placed on the floor, just as your legs are extended. In addition, you can interlock your fingers in a lock behind your back, crossing your feet so that your head is under your feet.
Tortoise pose in yoga and mistakes in performance
First, pay attention to the contraindications. Postpone performing the pose if you have spinal pain, arthritis or sciatica. Second, the pose is quite challenging in itself, so there are many points where it can be improved:
- Don’t try to spread your legs wider than you can. If it’s not comfortable yet, stay in the step that’s available now.
- Don’t load the lower back during the exercise. Instead, emphasize the hip joints. To do this, you must not bend your back.
- Arms are stretched strictly to the sides.
- Do not forget about the heels – the whole leg is straightened and toned, and the feet “do not walk”. Make sure that they are clearly pressed into the floor.
After performing the pose, it is advisable to do a compensatory exercise that contains a backbend. In order to track yourself for mistakes, it is recommended to ask your loved ones to take photos or videos of you while you are doing it. Then you will not only correct the asana, but also gradually observe your progress.