Supta Kurmasana

Supta Kurmasana is one of those sacred poses

‘In supta kurmasana The limbs are withdrawn and the body resembles a tortoise.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 pleasure, while the emotions of passion, fear and anger will loosen their hold upon the mind.


Supta Kurmasana“When again as a tortoise draws its limbs in on all sides, he withdraws his senses from the objects of sense, and then his understanding is well-poised.” (Bhagavad Gita, second discourse, verse 58.)

On the purely physical level the effects are great. Spine is toned,  abdominal organs are activated thus keeping 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.’

Supta Kurmasana is where I like to take a break, usually flop my hands on the floor, drop my head touch my toes (ankles should be crossed) and close my eyes. Bhandas Off nothing engaged feeling a slight stretch in my shoulder neck area.   I am Slacking.  Total cheater in the pose because its Hard, and I feel like no one is watching and I somehow have permission to come here to take a break.  I have come out and noticed a shift of calm and renewed energy although it’s a

FullSizeRender 6 pose I have not advanced in, I probably could though..

After a Saturday Mysore class I opened B.K.S.Iyengar Light on Yoga to page 291 and began understanding what I’m missing from this posture. “one develops equanimity…the emotions of passion, fear and anger will loosen their hold upon the mind.”

Sthira and Suka, the mind and body finds this lovely place of balance between strength (sthira) and softness (suka) here is where the benefits of the postures flow deep within the body and provide reason for doing the practice. Here I gave up sthira, and gave into suka still benefiting from the essence of equanimity though not consious of it.  My new found awareness keeps me engage to maintain balance of strength and ease to completely change my experience in supta kurmasana.

I cant help to think about the dance of this graceful balance in yoga and specifically with this posture.  Balance is always in motion never static, it is so easy to fall way off course in one five breath count, and then to just come back in the next. It will always be a challenge to get in alignment with all the right parts engaged and all the right parts relaxed.  So every time you are out you have an opportunity to get back in too, yoga is forgiving like that.

Now in Supta Kurmasana I focus to bind my hands, curl in my torso keeping bhandhas on and rest my eye gaze down my nose, I’m learning to lift up out of it and transition with more vitality sort of just like after a long undisturbed nights sleep.  

-B.K.S.Iyanger  Light on Yoga

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