Koormasana (tortoise pose) is a part of the advanced group of asanas mentioned in the book “Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha” by Swami Satyananda Saraswati that are designed to further improve the health of a person who is already very healthy.
How to do Koormasana (Tortoise Pose)
- Sit on the ground with the legs outstretched.
- Separate the feet as wide apart as is comfortable.
- Bend the knees slightly, keeping the heels in contact with the floor.
- Lean forward from the hips and place the hands under the knees, palms facing either up or down.
- Lean further forward and slowly slide the arms under the legs.
- The knees may be bent more if necessary.
- Slide the arms sideways and backward until the elbows lie near the back of the knees.
- Do not tense the back muscles.
- Slowly push the heels forward and straighten the legs as far as possible.
- The body will simultaneously bend further forward as leverage is applied on the hands and legs.
- Gradually, keeping the awareness of breath and relaxation, move the body forward until the forehead or chin touches the floor between the legs.
- Do not force or strain in any way.
- 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, close the eyes and breathe slowly and deeply.
- Stay in the final position for as long as is comfortable. Return to the starting position.
- Perform a counterpose and then relax in shavasana.
Breathing pattern while doing Koormasana (Tortoise Pose)
- Exhale while bending forward. Breathe normally in the final position.
Sequence of doing Koormasana (Tortoise Pose)
- Follow or precede with a backward bending asana such as bhujangasana, matsyasana or supta vajrasana. Poorna dhanurasana is the perfect counterpose for koormasana.
Koormasana (Tortoise Pose) Benefits
- Koormasana tones all the organs of the abdomen and is helpful in managing diabetes, flatulence and constipation.
- It increases circulation in the spine, soothing the nerves and relieving head and neck ache.
- It induces introversion, mental relaxation, composure and a sense of inner security and surrender.
- Passion, fear and anger subside, and the body and mind are refreshed through this practice.
Precautions while doing Koormasana (Tortoise Pose)
- Those suffering from slipped disc, sciatica, hernia or chronic arthritis should not perform this asana. It should only be attempted if the spine is sufficiently flexible.
This asana induces spontaneous pratyahara, sense withdrawal, which is symbolized by the tortoise:
The Bhagavad Gita (2:58)states, “When one can withdraw the senses from association with other objects, as a tortoise withdraws its limbs from external danger, then one is firmly fixed on the path towards wisdom. ” Koorma means ‘tortoise’, and this posture looks like one too.
Advanced Yoga Poses Series
Advanced yoga poses take your yoga practice to the next level. If you’ve perfected beginner, and intermediate yoga poses, you can explore advanced yoga poses. The advanced poses should not be attempted unless the body is very flexible. Koormasana (Tortoise Pose) is one of the yoga poses classified as advanced yoga poses.
Advanced Yoga Poses and perfecting them can make you an expert in Yoga asanas. Before attempting advanced yoga poses, it’s important to perfect yoga poses and sequences including Sun Salutation, Pawanmuktasana Series, Padmasana group of asanas, forward bending yoga poses, spinal twisting yoga poses, postures for meditation, inverted yoga poses, and balancing yoga poses.
Be mindful of all the precautions to take while doing these poses to avoid injury. It’s advised to learn these in presence of a trained instructor to make sure you do these properly.
List of Advanced Yoga Poses
- Poorna Bhujangasana – Full Cobra Pose In Yoga
- Koormasana – Tortoise Pose In Yoga
- Poorna Shalabhasana – Full Locust Pose In Yoga
- Poorna Dhanurasana – Full Bow Pose In Yoga
- Dhanurakarshanasana – Archer’s Pose In Yoga
- Prishthasana – Back Pose In Yoga
- Parighasana – Beam or Cross-bar pose In Yoga
- Chakrasana – Wheel Pose In Yoga
- Hanumanasana – Hanuman’s Pose In Yoga
- Brahmacharyasana – Celibate’s Pose In Yoga
- Grivasana – Neck Pose In Yoga
- Sirshapada Bhumi Sparshasana – Head And Foot Touching The Ground Pose In Yoga
- Poorna Matsyendrasana – Full Spinal Twist Pose In Yoga
- Mayurasana – Peacock Pose In Yoga
- Padma Mayurasana – Lotus Or Bound Peacock Pose In Yoga
- Moolabandhasana – Perineal Contraction Pose In Yoga
- Gorakshasana – Yogi Gorakhnath’s Pose In Yoga
- Astavakrasana – Eight-twists Pose In Yoga
- Vrischikasana – Scorpion Pose In Yoga
- Eka Pada Sirasana – One Foot To Head Pose In Yoga
- Utthan Eka Pada Sirasana – Standing Foot To Head Pose In Yoga
- Dwi Pada Sirasana – Two Feet To Head Pose In Yoga
- Dwi Pada Kandharasana – Two-Legged Shoulder Pose In Yoga
- Padma Parvatasana – Lotus Mountain Pose In Yoga
- Kashyapasana – Sage Kashyapa’s Pose In Yoga
- Vishwamitrasana – Sage Vishwamitra’s Pose In Yoga
We hope you found this article on Koormasana (Tortoise Pose) useful. It covers how to do Koormasana (Tortoise Pose), the benefits of the pose, precautions while doing the yoga pose, and important notes for practitioners. You can check out other advanced yoga poses from the list mentioned above.