This pose is a variant of Kurmasana, The Turtle Pose, and is sometimes called Kurmasana in India. However, many Western yogis name it The Oyster Pose; we will embrace this name as well because we need to distinguish between Kurmasana and its variant.
WHO CAN PERFORM THE ASANA?
Anyone can attempt to perform this asana, there are no adverse effects from performing this asana.
HOW TO PERFORM THE ASANA
This is a pose of bending forward, but it is not a variant of the Claw Pose, Paschimottanasana.
In the case of Paschimottanasana, one of the purposes is to stretch the spine. Through The Oyster Pose, you do not stretch the spine, but merely bend forward and thus its effects are different from the Paschimottanasana.
Sit on the floor with the legs stretched to the front. Firmly place the soles together and bend the knees.
Insert your arms between your legs allowing them to slide beneath the knees so that the palms are set on the exterior side of the soles.
The elbows touch the floor. The distance between the perineum and the heels depends upon how flexible you are, aim to bring the heels as close to the perineum as possible.
Relax all the muscles of the hips and legs, thus making the effects of this asana on the joints and legs are more powerful.
Bend forward in several small movements, not all at once. Bring your head closer to the floor with each exhalation.
In a perfect execution of this asana, the forehead touches the floor and the heels touch the crown of the head. Stay in this position as long as possible, without forcing yourself. Breathe deeply and calmly.
Perceive the awakening and increase of the divine love within. The body becomes like a shell holding inside, in silence, the pure white pearl of the immortal Self, whose eternal presence we now perceive.
The main effects of this asana are primarily perceived at the level of the spine and equally on the level of the joints.
The special action on the spine leads to the relaxation of the nervous spinal roots and tones the entire body. The pressure of the spinal liquid is modified and thus this influence is beneficialial.
The femoral articulations are very important. Generally people start thinking about these joints only when there are pains related to them.
Any decrease in the mobility of the joints generates suffering. The Oyster Pose acts on these joints, making it mobile and elastic.
The Oyster Pose also makes the knees face a new and unusual effort; therefore, the influence on the knees is highly beneficialial. This asana is also a very good preparation for the Lotus Pose, Padmasana.