Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
These are one of the few ancient species today who lived in the time of dinosaurs. Spotting one of these gentle creatures on the sand or in the water automatically brings a sense of happiness and blessing. The turtle offers us much in the way of yogic wisdom, harmony, & spirit.
Like the tortoise, drawing in your limbs of your perception—your eyes, ears, skin, nose, mouth, and consequently your mind—into the shell of infinity which resides within you, brings on a sense of peace and serenity observed in the Honu quietly residing on the seashore. When outside distractions are toned down, your inner world becomes more audible and clear.
After warming up and releasing the hips, thighs, and back body, this challenging pose requires pinning the arms and legs down to the earth and curving the back like a shell - it strengthens the back, tones the abdominal organs, encourages flexibility in the hips, and quiets the mind.
कूर्मनाड्यां स्थैर्यम् ॥३१॥
YogaSutra 3.32 kūrma-nāḍyāṁ sthairyam
kūrma = (iic.) tortoise
nāḍyām = (nāḍa) energy channel
kūrma-nāḍī = energy channel at the sternum
sthairyam = (sthairya) steadiness; stability
By samyama on the kurma nadi (a subtle tortoise-shaped tube located below the throat), the yogi can make the mind steadfast and body motionlessness like a tortoise.
The subtle nerve plexus called Kurma Nadi is located about 1” down from the notch in the centre of your collarbone and ½ “ inside. It can be visualized as an oval tube about ¾ “ long in a cool colour (blue, green, or violet). Try it! Locate the nadi in the throat space with the 4th finger of the right hand and take a few deep breaths while centering your attention there.
Meditating on this center ushers serenity and calmness, communication skills are channelized spiritually, the awareness to read other's thoughts and communicate without words develops, and one gains control over the self…opening the way for blissful heart centered consciousness.
In Hawaiian mythology, an ʻaumakua is a family god, spirit guide or deified ancestor. Nā ʻaumākua (plural) frequently manifested as animals such as the owl (pueo), shark (manō), sea turtle (honu), to name a few.
The Hawaiian Honu (sea turtle) represents longevity, safety and Mana (spiritual energy). Considered to be the bearer of good luck and peace, many Hawaiians worship the Honu as their ‘aumakua or ancestral spirit guide whose wisdom protects and leads them throughout their lives.
One more insight - Kauila, the Hawaiian Turtle Goddess:
Kauila loved the children so much that she would at times change herself into a little girl to keep watch over them and play with them on the black sandy shores. The people loved Kauila as the guardian of their children and also for her spring that gave them pure drinking water.