Nature in the broadest sense is what we feel and see around us – the natural, material or physical universe. The term refers to the phenomenon of the physical world and collectively includes trees, animals, landscape and other features as opposed to humans. Nature has the ultimate power of healing that influences the practice of the ancient sciences of life – Yoga and Ayurveda.
Nature and its creation consist of various advancements and features, and inspired by the same many poses of yoga are named after the observed qualities in nature. One of those is Kurmasana, which resembles a tortoise and also inspired by their characteristics of withdrawing inward when it experiences threat.

Kurmasana or Tortoise Pose

Yoga is a spiritual, mental and physical disciplinary practice that aims at liberation or enlightenment of the soul. The practice includes certain steps and ethics to follow including the three major ones – breathe control, meditation, and adoption of the specific body postures. They are widely practiced for the restoration of health, relaxation, and longevity.
The journey begins with the practice of asanas, as mentioned, which is hugely inspired by nature and natural processes. Kurmasana depicts tortoises and imbibes the same qualities of moving inward and forming a connection with spiritual being.

Withdrawal of the Senses

The pose is an advanced level Ashtanga Pose and refers to the pose of centeredness, which can be quite challenging. The pose brings your mind and senses within, where the inner world starts to become clearer and you gradually move to a state of Pratyahara – the first limb of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path of Yoga. As you perform the pose, you fold the waist forming a shell-like form and hold your limbs down on the floor including ears, mouth, nose, skin, and mind.

5 Health Benefits of Tortoise Pose or Kurmasana

Strengthens the Spine and Shoulders

Lower back problem is one of the common health issues faced by people today. With the practice of the asana, a practitioner extends the spine forward, which releases the muscles of the lower back reducing the stiffness. The pose massages the lumbar spine, considering its role in flexibility and rotation, the pose strengthens the spine, back and shoulders. Kurmasana also releases the tight knots of the sacrum area and tones the back.

Relaxes the mind

Relaxation of the body and mind is essential in this stress bounded time and age. The pose fosters the same by bringing awareness of the breath and withdrawal of the senses. Tortoise pose quiets the mind cultivating connection within and deep serenity. A great stress buster, Kurmasana prepares you for meditation, soothes the nerves, helps with cervical disorders and rejuvenates the entire being.

Stimulates the Abdominal Organs

The pose has a lot to do with the abdominal region, as it massages the abdominal organs that refresh the body; it tones the belly, reduces weight and increases the blood flow to the abdomen region. Kurmasana stimulates the abdomen which tones and strengthens the muscles and helps women with issues of infertility, alleviate menstrual pain, and more.

Improves Respiratory System Functioning

As the body goes forward taking the chest, abdomen, and pelvis to the floor, the movement gets responsible for increasing the blood flow in the body. The enhanced circulation also increases the flow of prana to the spine and other body parts opening the blockages. This improves the functioning of the respiratory system and helps people with asthma.

Corrects Digestion and Body’s Metabolism

As the pose stimulates the abdomen region which stretches its muscles increasing circulation and flexibility, it awakens the body’s metabolism. Strong digestion indicates a healthy body, relieves stomach related conditions like flatulence, constipation, bloating, etc., and aids in weight loss.

How to Practice Kurmasana or Tortoise Pose?

  • Sit down on the floor with the straight back, legs spread out and arms placed beside your hips.
  • Keep your legs arms’ distance apart and then press your thighs against the floor.
  • Now take a few deep breaths, raise the chest and bend the knees bringing the feet close to your hips.
  • Now stretch your arms forward in between your legs and then bend your torso forward towards down with the arms.
  • Now bend the knees further so that you can drop the shoulders beneath the knees.
  • Now stretch the arms out to the side, rotate the thighs inward and straighten your legs.
  • Breathe in to stretch your arms and chest to the sides, and breathe out to extend the spine forward.
  • Make sure your head is down, and chin should touch the floor. Hold the pose for few seconds.

An amazing pose of centeredness, one must prepare the body to assume the tortoise pose and should be well aware of the body’s limitations. The pose should be avoided by menstruating and pregnant women, people with a herniated disc, strained lower back muscles, shoulder, hip or arms injury, sciatica pain and suffering from chronic arthritis.
Ideal for those who want to spend time in solitude, Tortoise pose is designed to safeguard you from various health conditions. Kurmasana supports to rework and assess oneself and develops peace of the mind and body.

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