Supta Kurmasana a.k.a. “sleeping tortoise pose”. In this pose you will be flexing at the hip joint to bring your torso through your legs.
How to get into the position
This is a challenging position which should only be practiced with an appropriate yoga teacher. Only if your arms have gone inside of your legs should then attempt this pose.
From a seated position on your mat with your legs split apart, inhale and stretch your right arm out in front you and lift your right sitting bone. Then exhale and place your arm as far back as you comfortably can.
Repeat on the other side: inhale and stretch your left arm out in front you and lift your left sitting bone. Then exhale and place your arm as far back as you comfortably can. Then bend your knees and place both feet flat on the floor (together, if possible) and bend forwards by taking your chin forwards and bind your hands around your back (internally rotating at both shoulder joints) to complete the posture.
Hold Supta Kurmasana for five full breaths.
Stretches and strengthens your lower, mid and upper back
Improves the functioning of your digestive and respiratory systems
Works your core muscles, hamstrings, biceps and triceps
Avoid this posture if you have any issues with your lower back like a slipped disk or the like. Also, I would advise caution if you have any issues with your arm(s), shoulder(s) or hip(s).
Damian Cadman-Jones is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga™