November Pose of the Month 2016

November Pose of the Month

Kurmasana – Tortoise Supta Kurmasana – Sleeping Tortoise Pose

This pose is a gateway pose in the Ashtanga series. It is such an amazing posture that tests, strength, stability, and openness of both body and mind. I recently went to Miami to an Ashtanga intensive and became friends with this pose. I‘m still trying to independently get my feet behind my head as you can see in the picture. Anyway, if you are interested in working at this pose, join me sometime in class or practice this in your home practice.  Practice makes Progress..Namaste

Let’s practice:

1.  From Adho Mukha Svanasana ~ Downward Dog – jump or step your feet around your hands as far forward as you can so your thighs hug your shoulders and your torso fits between your thighs.Bend your elbows and allow your hips to sink to the ground, then slide your hands out to the side, palms facing down

2.  Moving into Supta Kurmasana requires that you rotate your hip joints externally while keeping the elongation in your back muscles and the openness in your shoulder girdle.

3. Begin by turning your knees out to the sides and slide your arms even farther back under your thighs.

4. Bring your feet as close together as possible.

5. Rotate your shoulders downward and elongate the joints so that your hands reach up around the lower portion of your back.( you can hold a towel if they don’t reach)

6. This is a great place to have a teacher help assist with this pose to help you go to your deepest space. As you can see in the photo, I am in a Mysore class waiting on assistance to move further.

suptakurmasana

7. Once your hands are interlocked, cross your right leg over the left in front of your head, or bring them as close together as possible.

8. If you feel pressure in your knees at any time please back off.

9. Having both legs behind your head increases the upward flow of energy along the spine and demands openness in your pelvis and hip points.

10. After 5 breaths holding, inhale to lift off the ground, keeping your legs crossed behind your head.

11. Release your feet, coming into Tittibhasana or Firefly.

12. Exhale as you take your legs to Bakasana.

13. Exhale as you jump back to Chaturanga Dandasana.

Benefits:

Opens the hips and the energy channels around the hips

Strengthens the shoulders

Improves digestion

Eases depression, anxiety, and anger

Builds endurance.