How to do Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose) & Benefits

You must have seen a Tortoise floating underwater. But, how about a human being becoming a Tortoise and getting so many benefits! It seems interesting, isn’t it? An advanced seated forward bend Pose which looks like a tortoise when you enter into the full pose.

Kurma-Tortoise | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as Koohr-Mah-Sah-Nah, Sanskrit- कूर्मासन. Just like, the hands and legs protrude out from the shell of a tortoise, this asana also resembles in the same shape. Tortoise pose helps to remove belly fat and tones the abdominal muscles. Regular practice of this pose helps to connect with your inner self and you will feel energized.

Benefits of Tortoise Pose

  • Stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion and respiratory problems.
  • Elongates the spine and lengthens the back muscles.
  • Stretches your leg, back, hips, shoulders and arms.
  • Releases the tightness in your lumbar and sacrum areas.
  • Relaxes the shoulders, head and neck during the posture.
  • Therapeutic for insomnia, constipation, headaches, asthma, flatulence, diabetes and obesity.
  • Increases the blood flow to the body and helps in improving the memory power.


If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from hip, shoulder or arm injury, tight lower back muscles, slipped discs, sciatica or chronic arthritis should not practice this pose. It’s advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of a yoga teacher. Women should avoid this pose during menstruation and pregnancy.

Steps to do a perfect Tortoise Pose

  • Sit on the yoga mat with the legs spread out in front of you and arms alongside your hips.
  • Press your thighs into the ground, lift your chest and take few deep breaths.
  • Now, stretch your arms forward in between the legs while bending your torso down and forward.
  • Ensure to bend your knees further so that your shoulders can go beneath your knees.
  • Shift your arms to the sides and bring your thighs inward. While doing that, put pressure on your shoulders to bring your chest and the head down to the mat.Tortoise Pose.JPG
  • Now, straighten your legs and ensure that your side ribs are touching the inner thighs.
  • Try to touch your chin to the ground and extend your arms sideward while looking downwards.
  • Relax your body and hold this posture for few breaths while taking deep breaths.
  • Now, release the pose and relax. Repeat the same procedure for 2 to 3 times.


If you feel that the Kurmasana is too difficult to attempt initially, then start with Ardha Kurmasana (Half Tortoise Pose). Sit in Vajrasana or Thunderbolt Pose and bend your torso forward with the head touching the floor. Stretch out your arms forward while touching your chest with your thighs.

Supta Kurmasana.png
Photo Credit: Griffin


Now, if you have gained the mastery in Kurmasana and want to deepen the pose, then you can try Supta Kurmasana. After you come into the Tortoise pose, take your arms behind your back and clasp your palms together. Now, bring your legs above your arms and head and cross them with one above the other.


You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Since Kurmasana is an advanced pose, it takes some time to get the mastery and practise it perfectly. Therefore, if you are attempting this asana for the very first time remember not to force your body. Regular practice of this pose will bring required flexibility. It’s advisable to practise this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher. You need to practise the required preparatory poses, before attempting this pose. The Preparatory Poses include Uttanasana, Dhanurasana and Paschimottanasana.

During the posture, if you feel pain in the knees, then slowly move your arms slightly forward from the sides to get relief. If you feel difficult to place the heels of your feet directly on the ground, then place rolled blanket or pillows below your leg to get the support and required comfort.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

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