However, kurmasana which I have not executed fully (on top, since the hands have to go under the knees) is such a pose, because it is said to tone the entire spine releasing tension all over. Plus it is respected as a spiritual pose. I myself find it rather relaxing because it stretches and releases the entire body. It is also a pose which creates a weird intimacy with pain, sensation, reactions and reflexes within the body. You get to watch all these separating and labelling them-- if the interpretation is right (which is to distinguish between pressure and pain, stretch and pain) then you can deepen the pose. This involves a deep involution of the mind. Intriguingly, it also involves being able to step back from physical experiences as they rise, since to watch and interpret them, you need to be distant. So, I can believe why this is regarded highly as a spiritual pose. The state of surrender encouraged is also powerful. Because the body tenses against the pose and you cannot slip into it easily unless you consciously release these tensions. That is why, this pose is for me as exciting as the scorpion.
What you to need to do to reach:
- First the ability to dip into the simple seated forward bend.
- Ability to sit in the upavista konasana.
- Deep lunges, to open the hips.
- And an extremely fine awareness to know the difference between a stretch and the pain that says it is time to stop:)