1. Seated in Staff pose, spread the legs out as wide as comfortable.
2. Bend both knees and slide the arms under the knees. Rock back and forth to slide the arms further under the legs and to bring the arms behind your back with the palms facing down.
3. Begin to straighten the legs, pressing out through the heels, using the legs to pull the shoulders down to the floor. Let the head hang, or bring the chin or forehead to the floor.
4. Breathe and hold for 3-8 breaths.
5. To release: slowly bend the knees and rock the hips to gently slide the arms from under the legs.
Benefits + Contraindications
Benefits: Tortoise opens the hips and stretches the legs, back, and shoulders. This posture draws the focus of the mind inward and promotes surrender, inner security and tranquility.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, arms or shoulders.
Modifications + Variations
Modifications: Place one or more blankets under the hips.
Variations: Have the arms reaching out towards the sides of the room.
Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Staff Pose, Bound Angle, Seated Angle, Side Seated Angle, Revolved Head to Knee.
Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Upward Boat, Inclined Plane, Crab, Side Seated Angle, Supine Poses. [/am4show]