Ardha Kurmasana (Half Tortoise Pose)

By : Emma Laurence | : 06 October, 2020
Ardha Kurmasana (Half Tortoise Pose)

Ardha Kurmasana (Half Tortoise Pose)


Etymology and Origins of Ardha Kurmasana

Ardha Kurmasana is a Sanskrit word. Ardha means Half, Kurma means Tortoise. So, in English, it is called Half Tortoise Pose, or Half Turtle Pose. It is a sitting Yoga pose with forwarding bending in ancient India Hatha Yoga and modern Yoga tradition. It may be mentioned here that Kurma or Tortoise is the 2nd incarnation of Lord Vishnu of which the 8th is Krishna who preached all the Yoga Shastras (Yoga Theories) to Arjun (hero of The Mahabharata Epic) before the Kurukshetra War to remove all worldly attachment and Maya; this philosophy is captured in the book, The Bhagwat Gita; one such quote by Krishna was uttered by J. Robert Oppenheimer in American Congress before dropping the 1st Atom Bomb in Japan. Yoga has great many physical and mental benefits.


Step by Step Instructions of Ardha Kurmasana

  • First, sit on Vajrasana (Adamant Pose) position on a Yoga mat, that is, sit on your heels with the two legs closely folded behind.

  • Close in the palms with each other as in Namaste pose, stretch the hands over your head.

  • With gradual and deep exhalation bend down the upper part of your body fully in front of you.

  • Your forehead touches the ground, the hands are beyond the head with the palms touching the ground, stretch forward as much as possible which may raise your hips and buttocks slightly on the heels.

  • Remain in this position, inhale and exhale deeply, slowly, silently, continue for 20 to 30 seconds.

  • Then slowly raise your body with gradual inhalation.

  • Repeat the practice 5 to 6 times, and then stand up and walk for a few minutes in your room.



Benefits of Ardha Kurmasana


Anatomical Focus & Disease Control

  • This Yoga increases your appetite, strengthens the nerves and muscles of the abdomen, reduces surplus fat of the belly and abdomen.

  • It also increases your vitality or Prana (life).

  • It also greatly increases blood flow to the brain.

  • It stretches and enlarges the Spine so that your height will be better.

  • Most importantly, it enhances your memory power and strengthens the brainpower.

  • This Yoga stretches and strengthens your hips, buttocks and shoulders.

  • It also relieves your neck and shoulder pains.

  • This Asana improves your digestion power and removes Constipation so that you will become youthful.

  • It also strengthens your muscles in the abdomen, hips and thighs so that you can walk long stretches.


Benefits for Girls & Women

  • Girls and women will be able to reduce unnecessary fats in the abdomen and navel region.

  • This Yoga improves the hips, buttocks and shoulders of girls and women.

  • Schoolgirls should practice it regularly in order to get improved brainpower and memory.

  • Girls and women will remain youthful by doing this Yoga as it increases vitality and youthfulness.

  • It makes your body athletic and beautiful by toning up your physique and freeing the mind.




  • This Yoga should not be practiced by pregnant women.

  • Girls and women should avoid it during their Menstrual Period as it may bleed more.

  • Always do it in Empty Stomach, never do it after meals.

  • You should not do it if you are suffering from back pain and Spondylosis.

  • You can do it in the early morning and evening.


Image Source: Yogic Therapy -- Srimat Swami Shivananda Saraswati

About the author:

Emma Laurence
Emma Laurence
Human Psychologist
She is an expert on sexual behavior and human psychology. She is an author par excellence...

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