Fitness Junkie

Ardha Kurmasana
May 23, 2008, 6:29 am
Filed under: Yoga Fix | Tags: , , ,


On this day, 6 years ago, I was in a car accident.  Hit by a drunk driver, I ended up with soft tissue injury in my neck and my back.  Bikram yoga has helped me to recover from the many ailments I continue to experience until now.  “Yoga Fix” will introduce some of the postures used in the 26 posture series.  To find out more about my accident and how Bikram’s yoga has helped me, check the testimonials section (under Neck, Shoulder & Back Pain)  here.
Also known as the “half tortoise pose“, the Ardha Kurmasana is the 21st posture of Bikram’s yoga series and is also a posture that can be done independent of the series.  Meant to relieve, relax and rejuvinate the mind and body, this pose helps bring blood back to the brain.  Whenever you feel tired or restless, kneel down Japanese-style, sitting on your heels; knees and feet together.  Raise your arms over your head making a steeple with your hand, crossing your thumbs.  Stretch your arms upward as you take a deep breath in and bend slowly forward.  Keep your back as straight as possible ( this means belly in and shoulders back as you slowly move down).  When your hands have reached the floor, maximize the stretch by pushing your arms forward without letting your bum off your heels.  Keep your eyes open and your nose touching the floor.  You can stay in this position for as long as you like.  When you’re ready, inhale as you come up exactly as you went coming down.  Keep hips touching your heels and come back straight.  Exhale as you lower you hands.

This pose works magic for my neck and shoulders.  The great thing is, is that this posture can be done at any time.  When your restless, can’t sleep, stiff and/or sore in the neck, shoulders and lower back.  Other benefits noted include: 
  • Assists in relieving digestion problems
  • Stretches the lower part of the lungs, increasing lung capacity
  • Excellent for respiratory conditions
  • Increases circulation to the brain
  • Firms the abdomen and thighs
  • Increases flexibility of hip joints
  • Improves mobility of shoulder girdle and associated muscles (scapula, deltoids, triceps, latissimus dorsi)
  • Relieves stress and migraines
  • Helps with insomnia
  • Increases flexibility in hips