Tortoise Pose - Kurmasana

(Tortoise Pose)

Kurma = Tortoise

This yoga pose stretches the long muscles of the legs and arms completely, resembling a tortoise withdrawn into its shell. Consistent yoga practice of this position opens the hips in preparation for a more intense yoga exercise such as Lotus Yoga Pose.


Strengthens Mind

Strengthens Hips

Strengthens Back

Opens Chest Cavity

Opens Back

Opens Shoulder Joint 

Opens Pelvis and Thighs

Stimulates Inner Peace and Calm


Stimulates Internal Organs

Aids in Proper Digestion

Re-alignment and Alignment Properties 

Nervous System Balance

Fat Elimination 

Performing the Asana

Sit in Staff Pose. Lead your torso back slightly as your weight shifts onto your sit bones. Lift and open your legs to an angle of about 90 degrees. Press your hands against the floor and slide your buttocks forward, widening the legs another 10 to 20 degrees. As with Staff Asana, if you cannott sit comfortably on the floor, raise your buttocks on a folded blanket.

Rotate your thighs outwardly, pinning the outer thighs against the floor, so that the knee caps point straight up toward the ceiling. Reach out through your heels and stretch your soles, pressing though the balls of the feet.

Pressing down into the hips and thighbones, lead with your chest and chin forward to lengthen the spine and walk your hands forward between your legs. Keep your arms long and straight. Continue to lengthen forward towards the floor. Deep even breathing will assist in controlling the movement. 

Re-balance the pelvis. Bring the belly button inwards towards the spine to stabilize the core muscles while sliding your arms under your thighs. The fingers press down and away from your body. Feel the lines of energy from pelvis to the crown of the head, through the heels, and fingertips

Increase the forward bend on each exhalation until you feel a comfortable stretch in the backs of your legs. Stay in the pose 1 minute or longer. Then come up on an inhalation by leading upwards from the front torso.

Anatomical Focus

Shoulders / Mid-Back

Hips / Thighs


Therapeutic Applications


Proper Digestion and Elimination

Modify Your Practice

Place a bolster or blanket under the hips for comfort and support.

Complimentary Yoga Poses

Kakasana - Crow Balance Pose
Gomukhasana - Cow Face Posture
Vajrasana - Cat Stretch Pose