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Ardha Kurmasana

Ardha Kurmasana is a type of restorative asana that forms a part of Bikram Yoga. It is also known as Half Tortoise Pose. The asana is known to provide complete relaxation for the whole body.

Ardha Kurmasana Ardha Kurmasana


Steps of Ardha Kurmasana

    • Start performing Ardha Kurmasana in kneeling position. Sit on your heels with the knees and feet together.

    • Raise your arms up over your head and bring your palms together with the thumbs crossed.
    • As you do so, keep your spine straight while maintaining the arms perfectly straight throughout this pose.

    • Stretch up as you inhale.
    • As you exhale, slowly and gradually bend your body forward. Make sure to maintain your body in straight line from your fingertips to the tailbone.

    • Stretch forward your body until your forehead gently touches the floor. The sides of your hands should reach the floor.

    • Now engage your arms and slowly straighten your elbow as you ensure that the elbows, wrists and triceps are lifted off the floor. Keep sliding your fingertips forward as you do so.

    • Reach the buttocks simultaneously back to your heels for creating deep spine stretch. Use your abdominal muscles for this and eventually your buttocks will be able to touch your heels throughout this pose.

    • As you stretch your arms forward and have your hips reach towards the heels, bring your chin slightly forward and away from your chest.

    • Once you do so, relax your shoulders and a take a deep breath; enjoy this deep stretch that you perform along the back.

    • Hold onto this position for 20 seconds.
    • Next, come out of this pose in the same way that you initially worked into this pose, i.e. gently with your hips gradually reaching back to your heels while you keep your arms and spine straight.

    • In order to prevent your spine from any kind of injury, make sure that you use your abdominal muscles.

Steps images of Ardha Kurmasana Steps images of Ardha Kurmasana


Preparatory Poses associated with Ardha Kurmasana

Here are the preparatory poses that you must perform before doing Ardha Kurmasana.

  • Garudasana
  • Utkatasana
  • Uttanasana
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana
  • Adho mukha śvānāsana

performing Tips

As a beginning, you may find this asana particularly difficult. Do not try in any way to overstrain or overexert your muscles as you perform this posture. Gently breathe in and breathe out as you would do under normal circumstances as you perform this asana. Do not perform this Asana if you have any shoulders, arm or hip injury. You should also consult a doctor as well as a yoga expert prior to starting this asana. Never go beyond your normal capabilities for performing this asana.

The science of Ardha Kurmasana

Ardha Kurmasana helps to stimulate and improve the functioning of pituitary gland, pineal gland, hypothalamus and the lungs. This means that it not only helps in regulating the breathing process but then it also balances the rhythm of breathing with that of the vibrations of pituitary gland, pineal gland and hypothalamus. This helps in improving the health of the overall body. It also regulates proper functioning of the hormones that manage numerous vital processes within the body.

Benefits of Ardha Kurmasana

  • Ardha Kurmasana stretches your shoulders, legs, chest and back
  • The organs of midriff or abdomen are effectively stimulated through this asana
  • The asana helps to improve functioning of digestive and respiratory systems
  • The spine gets stretched much longer while performing Ardha Kurmasana
  • This stance can help in spreading out the hips and shoulders
  • It is extremely beneficial in constipation, asthma flatulence and diarrhea
  • Ardha Kurmasana is a powerful antidote against anxiety
  • The asana is very useful for sleeping disorders such as insomnia
  • It helps to stretch the lower parts of lungs, thus increasing lung capacity
  • Problems associated with the spine or back can be treated with this asana
  • Practicing Ardha Kurmasana greatly increases blood circulation to the central nervous system
  • It is a rejuvenation pose that offers maximum relaxation
  • This asana can increase blood circulation to the facial muscles, thus prevent and remove signs of early aging

  • It helps to relieve migraines and stress
  • The asana helps in stretching and strengthening shoulders, scapula, deltoids, trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi, hips, abdomen and quadriceps.

Precautions and contraindications associated with Ardha Kurmasana

  • This yoga should never be practiced by any pregnant woman or people suffering from any kind of preexisting medical conditions.

  • The asana should only be performed under the guidance of a professional yoga teacher.
  • It should never be practiced after heavy meals or under the effects of sedatives, drugs and alcohol.

So now that you are familiar with Ardha Kurmasana, include it in your daily yoga regime for better physical health.


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