(Kurma = Tortoise)
- Place the right ankle on the left side of the anus, and the left ankle on the right side of it.
- Spread your knees and sit as close to the floor as you can. If this is too difficult, try to sit on your heels.
- Breathe slowly. Bend your upper body forward and down as close to the floor as possible. Note: Remember to keep the small of your back pressed in. You don't want to roll your back forward in an attempt to do this posture.
- Before you begin, sit down on the floor with your buttocks as close to the floor between your feet. Just hold that for a while, and then relax and sit on your heels. Repeat this every day until you are able to get your buttocks to touch the floor with your knees spread out and your feet as Eugenia show in the image above. This is actually a knee position that is healing for people who have knee problems, but my suggestion is to start very slow and work up to this on a daily basis.
- This is Step 11 of the Moon Salutation (on this site) , which is another great preliminary to Kurmasana. The difference is you stretch up and back instead of forward. This will help you to get your legs right for the goal and it will stretch your body more at the same time.
- From this position (which you inhale before you stretch back), exhale and come forward with your arms. Try to get the feeling that you are stretching forward to reach something, but with your back straight. In fact, push the small of your back in before you come forward to make it easier to continue without hurting yourself.
- Once you get as far as you can, say to yourself, “I control my own energy in a relaxed and easy way.”
BenefitsThis posture stretches the pelvis in a way it is not normally stretched and should be. It helps to strenghten the legs and feet to be able to sit in the Lostus Posture. One should stretch as often as possible while standing, sitting, lying down—in every position! This is what keeps you young and healthy, stretching on a daily basis. Note: Once you have learned Uddiyana-Bandha on this site (which is part of the Nauli series), you can exhale and bring your tummy in as far as you can while in this posture. It's powerful.
Plough (together with Shoulder Stand, next)