- Do Kurmasana.
- Bend and lift up the knees. Then lift the chest slightly off the floor, move the hands behind the back by bending at the elbows and clasp them.
- Now move the feet towards the head. Interlock the feet at the ankles by placing the right foot over the left one or vice versa.
- Exhale, insert the head in between the feet and keep the forehead on the floor. The back of the head will touch the interlocked feet near the ankles.
- Stay in this pose from one to two minutes. It is advisable to change the position of the feet while interlocking them, so that if at first the right foot is placed over the left one, when changing the position of the feet place the left foot over the right one. This will develop the legs evenly.
- Inhale, lift the head and release the hands and feet; stretch the legs out straight, recline on the floor and relax.
- Breathe normally throughout the three stages described above.
Effects of Supta Kurmasana
Supta Kurmasana is sacred to a yogi. In this pose the limbs are withdrawn and the body resembles a tortoise. The mind becomes calm and composed and one develops equanimity whether in sorrow or in joy. It will gradually become free from anxiety amid pains and indifferent amid pleasures, while the emotions of passion fear and anger will loosen their hold upon the mind.
On the purely physical level the effects are also great. It tones the spine, activates the abdominal organs and keeps one energetic and healthy. It soothes the nerves of the brain and after completing it one feels refreshed as though one had woken up from a long undisturbed sleep.
This asana prepares the aspirant for the fifth stage of yogic practices, namely, Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from outside objects).
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