In Mexico with Andrea Marcum: The Tortoise and Self-Care Video
The Tortoise and Self-Care

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In Mexico with Andrea Marcum: The Tortoise and Self-Care

Episode 6
Available worldwide

Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?

In this vinyasa practice with Andrea Marcum she uses tortoise pose (kurmasana) to inspire self-care. Of course, she physically maps out the component parts that build tortoise pose, but she also reveals that, like a turtle, we need to get beneath our hard outer shell and into our contemplative inner landscape if we want to create lasting progress and change. As always, Andrea offers modifications for the arm balances included in this practice.

So often we wear expectation, judgment and impatience like an impenetrable shell - both on our yoga mat and off. Turtles symbolically represent longevity and wisdom and remind us to move peacefully and thoughtfully. Kind, consistent encouragement is essential to our personal transformation. And with kurmasana, as in life, it’s the journey and not the destination that matters. As the story goes, “slow and steady wins the race.”



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NicoleUrdang, posted on June 25, 2016

Namaste Andrea,
I have had a daily practice for over 15 years. Many years ago, I tried Turtle pose and couldn't get into it. Today, it was a breeze...almost as if I had been doing it for all these years. I guess it's true: when the student is ready the teacher appears.
Thank you for your full involvement here on Gaia. It really does make a difference, at least to me, to have feedback to my posts, as it makes the whole online experience feel more like a real community and not just a virtual one.
At 63 I don't know how much longer I will be able to do your challenging practices. Luckily, there are some less vigorous ones to add to my rotation.
Wishing you every goodness,

andreamarcum, posted on June 26, 2016

This is just the BOMB!!! Thank you for sharing your wonderfully inspiring story with me!! I too love the real community feeling here on Gaia and my heart explodes every time I get to connect with people like you who are allowing the deepest sense of union to blossom from their poses. I believe that yoga is ultimately about connection - to ourselves, to each other and to everything around us - and you are living that example. Thank you so so much for practicing wth me. <3 xx A

ecogourmande, posted on June 12, 2016

Thank you Andrea! I look froward to one day practising live with you.


andreamarcum, posted on June 12, 2016

I would absolutely love that! Where are you located? It's so fun to connect all around the world via Gaia. I've had students come find me from all corners of the globe and it's an absolute joy! xx A

rkoepele, posted on April 16, 2016

Hi Andrea,
You are my favorite yogi! Been drinking that hibiscus tea too, thanks for turning me and my 16 year old daughter on to it. I had my 9th baby 8 weeks ago and usually jump right into getting and triathlons when they are 3 months old, even an ironman when my 6th baby was 8 months old. I used to be able to beat my body into submission but it is now talking back..Yoga has helped me to slow down and appreciate my children and husband , my health and enjoy each moment. However I feel best when I am working my body in yoga/ running or whatever. Could you give me options for navasana in your videos as I have diastsis recti and its just not healing.

Thank you so much for this latest and greatest practice, challenging and insightful as usual.

andreamarcum, posted on April 16, 2016

You had me at 9 babies!... um marathons and triathlons too. Sheesh, I'm feeling very under-accomplished :) You DEFINITELY want to look for stability and not go crazy. Think more about activating the pelvic floor and less about large or intense movement. You for sure want to consult your doctor and run things by them. Simply lying on your back, feet on the ground knees to the sky with your hands on your lower abdominals feeling them engage carefully along with your pelvic floor, holding for 5 breaths and releasing is great. ONLY if it feels ok (and your doctor is on board) you might try dragging one heel on the ground out in front of you to slowly straighten your leg out and glide it back in with TVS and pelvic floor engaged. Be sure you have a floor that allows your heel to slide with ease. Again, this is pretty hands-on/ individual stuff and hard to suggest from afar so proceed with caution. And know that I am far away in some ways, but right there enjoying hibiscus with you and your daughter at the same time <3 I am insanely inspired by you - thanks a million for sun saluting and sipping with me here on Gaia! xx A

rkoepele, posted on April 17, 2016

You are truly amazing. I don't know how you find the time to do all that you do and respond to all of your email! Thank you for your kind words but what I do is purely selfish.I workout cause it feels good and I just love my babies and my kids, they help me to strive be a better person everyday while exposing all of my very human weaknesses:) You on the other hand help so many. I will take your advice and do subtle abdominal work and get back to my midwife for that post part checkup . Namaste, Rose.

andreamarcum, posted on April 17, 2016

@RKOEPELE can I also encourage you to give yourself the well deserved gift of a restorative practice? Like you, I came to yoga via my appetite for that which is rigorous, but now it is meditation and restorative that I depend on to keep my wig on straight. It's not that I've retired from more dynamic practices, I just find that the balance of both makes me feel the best. Close To OM is my new series here on Gaia - the first and last practices are restoratives that I would love for you to try --and I look forward to you connecting with me once you do. The middle one will be more along the lines of the flow I know you love :) Here's AWAKEN - the first of the series.

I am completely floored by your sweet compliments to me in your message here. You've got no idea how much they mean to me. xx A

roby, posted on April 5, 2016

I re-found my body with this practice, thank you Andrea

andreamarcum, posted on April 5, 2016

So happy to hear that you got beneath the tortoise shell to the self-care :) Thanks so much for practicing with me! xx A

coffeequeen819, posted on April 4, 2016

I have been neglecting myself to take of a sick father and a cancer filled husband. It's been so long since I have taken time for myself but I saw the title and thought "I need this, as I have nothing left to give!" Thank you for leading me into poses where I felt alive again. While there was much I struggled to do, being so out of shape, your words of wisdom and gentle leading into many of my favorite poses made a great start to my day! Thank you for sharing your practice!

andreamarcum, posted on April 4, 2016

This is one of the most moving messages I've ever received -- I'm a bit speechless. You have so much leaning into you right now, I can see why you feel that you have "nothing left to give." I celebrate you and encourage you to continue to give yourself those things that make you feel alive again. I'm deeply honored that this class is among those things. Sending arms full of love to you and yours, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such an important part of our Gaia family. xx A

carsen.nesbitt.ruperto, posted on April 3, 2016

Andrea is one of my favorite instructors on Gaia, and this is one of her best. The dynamic between sun salutations and poses was just perfect for me today. Thank you so much for this challenging and simultaneously restful practice!

andreamarcum, posted on April 3, 2016

This is such a sweet message to receive! I'm really pleased that this worked nicely for you and that the Tortoise brought you to a place of Self Care! Thank you for practicing with me here on Gaia! xx A

OliveYogaStudio, posted on April 1, 2016

Andrea, you are by far, my favorite instructor here on Gaia. And this practice gracefully exemplifies why! I regularly look to you for fresh inspiration and to continue to challenge my own practice. Thank you for this one in particular. I loved it!

andreamarcum, posted on April 1, 2016

This is SUCH a flattering and appreciated message to receive. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! xx A

jkimpton, posted on April 1, 2016

Yet another practice from Andrea to add to my favorites list. I'd been putting this one off because of the advance 3 level which is way beyond me but I was able to modify and now feel great. You amaze me at how original each of your practices are and this one is at the top for creativity. Loved it.

andreamarcum, posted on April 1, 2016

Level 3 shmevel 3 :) It's all so subjective... and you'll note that it isn't even labeled that anymore. Glad you found this creative and comforting. Thrilled to have you practicing with me here on Gaia! xx A

montlake, posted on April 1, 2016

I am not sure why they rate this class Advanced 3. Maybe it was that single forearm stand? Thanks!

andreamarcum, posted on April 1, 2016

It's rated Advanced 3 because I actually turned into a turtle and levitated during savasana... didn't you? <3 xx A

NicoleUrdang, posted on June 25, 2016

That's hysterical.

andreamarcum, posted on June 25, 2016

Hope all is well @NICOLEURDANG

shannonkeeler1, posted on March 31, 2016

Thanks, Andrea! This was the first time I've done one of your practices, and I'm hooked. :) See you tomorrow...

andreamarcum, posted on March 31, 2016

Can't wait to hear what tomorrow holds :) Thanks a million for practicing with me! xx A

aimeecolless, posted on March 29, 2016

I have enjoyed online yoga for many years now, and Andrea has always been my go-to teacher as her style suits me perfectly. This is the first time I've done this one, and it's also the first time I have felt I just had to comment. What a soft and beautiful - but still very intense - practice. I adored every moment. I am especially grateful I stumbled across doing this tonight (the house to myself, with incense burning! Bliss). Thank you again Andrea. It's always wonderful to practice with you. <3

andreamarcum, posted on March 29, 2016

This is SUCH a wonderful comment to receive! So totally grateful to you for practicing with me here on Gaia and really glad to hear from you. Hope to hear from you again soon <3 xx A

cawillms, posted on March 28, 2016

Loved it. Soft and intense and full of self care. Thank you once again. Beautiful practice!

andreamarcum, posted on March 29, 2016

Thank you for practicing with me in Mexico :) Glad the self care danced with the intensity for you. xx A

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