Flow into Yoga: Half Tortoise Pose

Half Tortoise Pose
Half Tortoise Pose | Submitted by Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge

Our Bikram Yoga series “Flow into Yoga” is back this week. Here’s the latest feature piece from Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge:

Half Tortoise Pose or Ardha-Kurmasana is found by some to be effortless and relaxing. If that is even possible in Bikram Yoga? However, if you experience tightness in the lower back or hips, it may take a while for you to relax in this pose.

To achieve:

• Start in a kneeling position, sitting on the heels with the feet and knees together.

• Raise your arms up overhead and bring your palms together and cross your thumbs.

• Keep the spine and arms straight throughout the posture.

• Inhale and stretch up.

• Exhale slowly and bend forward in a straight line from the tailbone to the fingertips.

• Stretch forward until the forehead touches the floor and the sides of the hands reach the floor.

• Engage the arms and straighten the elbows so that the wrists, elbows and triceps lift off the floor. Keep sliding the fingertips forward.

• Reach the buttocks back to the heels to create a deep spine stretch. Keep using the abdominal muscle, and eventually the buttocks will touch the heels throughout the entire pose.

• Bring your chin forward and away from your chest.

• Continue stretching forward with your arms and back into the heels with your hips.

• Relax the shoulders and breathe. Enjoy the deep stretch along the back.

• Hold for 20 seconds.

• Release the same way you entered: slowly, with the hips reaching back to the heels and the spine and arms straight.

• Savasana.

Half Tortoise Pose can actually help us to live longer. With the forehead on the floor it stimulates the pituitary gland, which helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. 30 seconds in the posture can provide the same benefits to the body as sleeping for eight hours. It may sound ironic that Tortoise recharges energy and rejuvenates body which in turn allows for maximum relaxation. Tortoise is great for tense necks and shoulders. It also increases blood flow to the brain, which enhances memory and mental clarity. This posture also stretches the lower part of the lungs, which is therapeutic for asthma, and counter indigestion, flatulence, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Shoulders, abdominals, hips and thighs are all strengthened and toned in the process. Not bad for 20 seconds of work!

Lyndsey Hemmesch is an instructor at Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge in Burr Ridge.

This content was submitted by a member of the community. We’d like to hear from you, too! To share stories, photos, video or events for our calendar, please email Community News Manager Michael Cronin at michael@aggrego.com or use the online submission tool.

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