Koormasana (Tortoise Pose) | Technique

 

Proceed slowly through each stage, especially stage 3.

Stage 1: starting position

Sit on the ground with the two legs pointing forwards.

Separate the feet by about half a metre, more if possible.

Bend the legs upwards at the knees.

The two heels should remain in contact with the floor throughout the whole practice.

 

Keep the eyes open.

Stage 2: leaning forwards

Breathe out deeply.

Lean forward and place the hands under the knees, palms facing either upwards or downwards.

Lean further forwards and slowly slide the arms under the two legs.

You can bend the knees further upwards if necessary.

The arms should slide sideways and backwards until the elbows lie near the back of the knees.

Breathe normally for a short time allowing the spine to relax.

Then proceed to stage 3.

Stage 3: attaining the final pose

During this stage it is important that the spine remains passive; do not tense the back muscles.

Breathe out deeply.

Slowly push the heels forward and straighten the legs; simultaneously the body should bend further forwards as you apply leverage on the arms with the legs.

Do not strain.

This process should be progressive.

After leaning forwards slightly, breathe in and relax the body.

Then breathe in again and bend a little further forwards, hold your body position and then inhale and relax the whole body.

Repeat this process until your forehead touches or nearly touches the floor between the two legs.

Only bend forward as far as you feel comfortable; don’t force or you will injure the spine.

If you are able you can rest your chin on the floor.

Then fold the arms around the back and interlock the fingers of both hands under the buttocks.

This is the final position.

Relax the whole body.

Breathe slowly and deeply.

Close the eyes.

Be aware of breathing.

Stay in the final pose for as long as is comfortable.

Then slowly return to the starting position.

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