How to Perform Koormasana (Tortoise Pose) – Instructions, Benefits and Precautions

Koormasana is also known as Tortoise Pose. In Traditional Hatha Yoga, this posture counts as an advanced asana and requires a regular genuine practice. The asana induces a spontaneous pratyahara, sense withdrawal, which is symbolised by a tortoise. The Bhagavad Gita (2:58) states “When one can withdraw the senses from association with other objects, as a tortoise withdraws its limbs from external danger, then one is firmly fixed on the path towards wisdom”.


  1. Sit on the ground with legs outstretched
  2. Separate the feet as wide apart as comfortable
  3. Bend the knees slightly, keeping the heels in contact with the floor
  4. Lean forward from the hips and place the hands under the knees, palms facing either up or down
  5. Lean further forward and slowly slide the arms under the legs
  6. Slide the arms sideways and backwards until the elbows lie near the back of the buttocks
  7. Do not tense the back muscles
  8. Slowly push the heals forward and straighten the legs as far as possible
  9. Keep awareness on the breath and relaxation
  10. Touch the forehead or chin on the floor between the legs
  11. Interlock your finger behind the back under the buttocks
  12. Relax deeply

Benefits of Koormasana:

Koormasana tones all the organs of the abdomen and promotes a healthy digestion. The posture helps to manange diabetes, Flatulence, Constipation and indigestion. It increases circulation in the spine, soothes the nerves and relives head/neck ache. Koormasana induces introversion, mental relaxation, composure and a sense of inner security and surrender.


Those suffering from slipped disc, sciatica, hernia or chronic arthritis should not perform this asana. It should only performed if the spine is sufficiently flexible.

Advancing Your Personal Practice to More Advanced Levels:

If you are a yoga lover and practise yoga regularly, you might have already experienced a certain level of transformation, inner balance and strength. Practising yoga at home, via Youtube, in a studio nearby or with friends is a great way to integrate mindfulness and health into your everyday life. A yoga teacher training at Gyan Yog Breath can help you to gain a complex understanding of yoga and advance your practice to more advanced levels.

Whether you are looking to teach yoga professionally or simply evolve and grow personally, such a yoga training can be the foundational step and open various doors for you.