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Tortoise Pose – Kurmasana

Pose Summary

Kurmasana is an intensive forward fold that quiets the nervous system and activates the abdominal organs. It provides a deep leg stretch that also requires a lot of mobility and flexibility of the hips. This pose is a good to practice in preparation for Tittibhasana.

Yoga Collective - Tortoise Pose – Kurmasana


Step 1

Start seated in Dandasana. Ensure you are properly warmed up in the hips and have prepared with easier hamstring stretches before attempting this pose.

Step 2

Bring your feet out wide. Slightly bend your knees to create space for the arms.

Step 3

Let your upper body fall slightly forward and start walking your hands in underneath the bend of the legs.

Step 4

Continue walking your hands back until your upper torso is flat to the ground, arms are straight, palms facing the floor and fingers pointing back. The energy in your upper body fires up through the crown which helps lengthen the spine. Rest your forehead on the ground.

Step 5

Stretch out your legs fully. Feet are flexed, toes pointing up to the sky. Hip-knee-ankle-toe alignment. Take 5 deep breaths here.

Step 6

To release, gently bend your knees, lift up your head and start walking your hands back.


Place a blanket underneath your heels if you feel too much pressure there.


  • Encourages mobility and flexibility in the hips.
  • Enhances the functioning of the respiratory system.
  • Activates the abdominal organs.
  • Stretches the legs and the back.
  • The forward fold calms the nervous system and reduces stress and anxiety.


  • Avoid this pose if you suffer from hips or elbow problems.
  • Pose should also be avoided for people with lower back or disc problems.