Ardha Kurmasana: Half tortoise pose improves emotional wellbeing

By Atul Vyas

Indigestion is a vague term covering a group of disorders that originate in the stomach. Generally speaking, it can manifest in many forms such as pain in the abdomen, nausea, rumbling stomach, poor appetite, heartburn, bloated gut, gas, belching, vomiting, etc.

The stomach is different from other tubular portions of the alimentary tract. It is like a curved sac. It is somewhat transverse in position. The top portions is connected to the esophagus while the lower end is to the Duodenum, the first part of the intestine.

So after eating and chewing the food is pushed into the stomach, which is the source of most mechanical mixing and a place where food gets mixed, tossed, and turned with stomach acid till it is broken down for further digestion.

The stomach according to yogic physiology is connected with emotions and finds it hard to digest food when one is emotionally upset. Stress signals from the brain can cause nausea, indigestion, and even ulcers. Emotional stress is most likely to cause stomach issues and stomach issues can cause emotional distress. The connection runs both ways.

There are many effective yogic interventions to cure indigestion and one of them is Ardha Kurmasana or the half tortoise pose. The word “kurma” means tortoise and the posture which makes the appearance of a tortoise is called Kurmasana. Ardha Kurmasana is its simpler version.


  • Sit in Vajrasana
  • Raise hands above your head and join the palms in form of Namaste
  • Arms should touch ear lobes
  • Now slowly bend forward while exhaling but once in posture breathe normally
  • Try your level best without using force or jerking to touch the stomach and chest to thighs
  • Try to keep hips on the heels but if not possible use a pillow below your ankles
  • Repeat thrice


  • Improves mechanism of hamstring, quadriceps, and femoral muscles
  • Extremely beneficial in intestinal distress
  • Good for people suffering from dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, and dysentery
  • Helps in elimination of asthma, diabetes, colitis, and leg pains
  • Improves the power of digestion and cures indigestion
  • Reduces fat on the abdomen
  • Improves lymphatic flow and tones pelvic musculature

Note of Caution

People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, ankyloses, and spondylitis should not practice this pose.

(The author likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist.” He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.)

Images courtesy of (Image Courtesy: Pintrest) and Provided

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