Kurma, which means turtle in Sanskrit, is an asana that has a powerful effect on the entire body. The pose has three stages of execution, each of which affects the body in a certain way. It is recommended to practice Kurmasana only after a year of serious yoga practice, although beginners can attempt some of its elements, depending on their initial body preparation.
To perform the asana:
- Sit on the floor with legs straight in front of you and push them apart about half a meter while keeping the legs straight and pressed to the floor.
- Bend your knees and pull your feet towards you as far as possible.
- Hold your hands under your knees and try to bring your shoulders as close to the floor as possible while spreading your arms and putting them on the floor.
- Extend your legs and press them to the floor. Breathe freely and hold the position for at least 30 seconds.
This concludes the first stage of Kurmasana. Beginners should gradually increase the time and difficulty of the pose by holding each position for longer periods of time, starting with position 2.
- The second stage involves taking your straight arms back, turning your palms up, and holding the position for at least 30 seconds.
- Bend and raise your knees, put your hands behind your back, and clasp them while moving your legs slightly towards your body and laying them one on top of the other.
- The final stage is Supthakurmasana, where the head is stuck between the feet and the forehead is on the floor. Breathe normally.
Kurmasana has a positive effect on the functions of the spine, the gastrointestinal tract, the endocrine system, the genital organs, and the entire muscular system.
It is important to note that asanas such as Kurmasana should be performed only with an experienced instructor to avoid injury. Asana should not be performed during periods of exacerbation of any chronic diseases. Even if practicing yoga alone, it is recommended to work with a yoga instructor in the initial stages and consult a doctor.