Here’s what it really looks like. 2nd day ashtanga yoga w/ yoga teacher Isla Rosete


 If you got the fright of your life in the previous photo of the previous blog post, that was a distorted version  using “pinch” in photoshop. This is what it really looks like (photo above) shot about two months ago, second day of ashtanga yoga class with yoga teacher Isla Rosete at the Yoga at the Dojo (in Cubao on 10th avenue corner P.Tuazon St. across SM mall, behind Shakey’s.  (This pose was shot in my office right after my second day of morning ashtanga yoga class).


This pose is called turtle pose or kurmasana (kurma is Sanskrit for turtle and asana for pose).

The next difficult pose after this is:  Stay in this pose, join your hands (put your hands together) at your back, behind you on the floor (still flat on your mat, on the floor). Then join your feet (put your feet together) above your head (feet together above your head, still on the mat on the floor, got it?).

Then, the third difficult pose after that is: Stay in that pose, put your feet together behind your head or at the back of your head and therefore your legs would be resting behind your shoulders. Your feet, now joined together,  would be behind your head and your legs behind your shoulders.

In this pose (the third difficult), you are in the shape of a  suitcase, with your feet above your head as the handle of the suitcase. I think the idea is to make yourself so compact that you could fit in a luggage and could be smuggled in the baggage compartment of an airplane,  or the trunk of a car if you’re crossing borders.

(i’m kidding. The turtle pose is good for my back and limbs. The secret, based on personal experience, i think is in the bending of your torso; mine isn’t flattened enough; it has to be flattened out, but don’t want anyone to push my back too hard on this because my arms might get the pressure instead…)

Don’t worry, won’t try the third difficult pose without the assistance of a competent ashtanga yoga teacher, neither should you: fair warning.

I’m posting a professional photographer’s photo here, photo below by André S on flickr at

of a class in Yoga Manila. used here non-commercially and for academic discussion; and with apologies (i will remove it if there are complaints from the photographer); i chose it because of the good lighting. I need to post it for comparison so you can see if my execution is decent; i ran into a yoga teacher (i’ve had more than half a dozen since i went to nearby yoga studios, my only criterion is nearness and schedule) and showed the photo of this second attempt at execution, the latter said, “hindi mo naman nagawa.” (“you were not able to do it…”)


here are the photos so you can compare,

Photo by Andre S, (same credits as above)

in case you want to say the same thing, you’re very much  welcome, you can say: “weak practice” or “poor execution” because  anyway i just used to practise only twice a week i’ve stopped since i started to run mornings,  hey have to sign out  don’t want to be late for my gig see you in a bit. My morning ashtanga yoga teacher Isla Rosete taught me  seven or so new poses i’ve never done before, on the second day of ashtanga yoga class; she’s pursuing higher yoga studies for the next two months so there are no yoga classes at the Yoga at the Dojo until end of May, 2010. (text her na lang po for inquiries). The other poses she taught me have rocking and rolling movements embedded in them, so… the only way to show them is by video. Maybe later. i’m really late.

2 thoughts on “Here’s what it really looks like. 2nd day ashtanga yoga w/ yoga teacher Isla Rosete

  1. You’re there.

    Work on bringing your shoulders closer to your knees. Lengthen/Extend the spine, “widen/open” from the collarbone, and chin on the floor.

    The previous asanas are really to prepare you for kurmasana and supta kurmasana. These two are like the peak poses of the primary series. Going deeper into the janu’s and marichi’s can make these poses easier to perform as the preliminary movements of the hips and shoulders are introduced in those preceeding asanas.

    Look at how close the shoulders are to the knees in this photo.


  2. Thanks. You’re kind.
    My eyes are welling in tears again.
    Coming from a top ashtanga yoga teacher, your comment goes into a gold-framed certificate on my wall for all to see.
    (by the way sweetie my comments box doesn’t allow photographs, it’s not me it’s wordpress, we’ll just use KQ’s kurma pose (?), she does this really well. Thanks again — this is very educational and instructive; i’m being flippant because… it takes a lot of warm-up to get to this pose.]

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