Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Understanding Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose!

Kukkutasana like all the other asanas gets its name from Sanskrit where "Kukkuta" means "Cock" or "Rooster" and "Asana" means "Pose" or "Posture."

It is named Cockerel or Rooster pose because of the shape body assumes when in final position. In the final position, the body assumes the shape which resembles that of a cock or rooster and hence the name.

According to Gheranda Samhita, Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose is a comparatively advanced and complicated pose which requires strength in the arms to practice and master this asana.

And like other Asanas, it is important that your stomach is empty and bowels are clean when you practice Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose. And always keep a gap at least four to six hours between your yogasanas practice and meal because this will give you enough time to digest the food and create enough energy and vitality for your practice. You should practice yogasanas in the morning. In case you cannot practice yoga in the morning, you can practice the same in evening as well.

It is said that you not only need strength and flexibility to practice Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose, but you need a whole lot of will power to do practice this asana and you need to master Padmasana before practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose. Once your hips are open and flexible and your arms strong, you can perform The Rooster Pose with ease. Kukkutasana requires strength the abdomen, chest, and thighs to practice and hold The Rooster Pose.

Understanding Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose!

Technique to Do Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose

To practice Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose, you must master Padmasana first.

Padmasana or the Lotus Pose

Padmasana opens up the hips, making them more flexible. It activates the spine, the pelvis, the abdomen, and the bladder. Since it is one of the meditative Yogasanas, the energy of the body is also restored while practicing Padmasana.

Steps to do Padmasana or Lotus Pose

  • To practice Padmasana, sit on a flat surface on the ground or on the yoga mat with your spine erect and your legs stretched out.
  • Gently bend the right knee, and use your hands to place it on your left thigh.
  • Make sure that the sole of your foot must point upward, and heel must be close to your abdomen.
  • Gently bend the left knee, and use your hands to place it on your right thigh. Make sure that the sole of your foot must point upward, and heel must be close to your abdomen.
  • Bring your hands to rest on your knees.
  • Make sure your head is straight and the spine erect at all the time while practicing Padmasana.
  • Maintain your breath. Take long and deep breaths while practicing Padmasana and focus on the eye center while closing the eyes and become aware of all the body parts.
  • Sit in Padmasana for as long as you can.
  • Repeat the same pose with the other leg on top.

Steps to Do Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose

  • Get into Padmasana or The Lotus Pose on the floor or on the Yoga mat to practice Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.
  • Put your arms in between the space of your thighs and calf muscles to practice Kukkutasana.
  • Make sure that the palms of both your hands should touch the ground or floor through this space between your thighs and calves while practicing The Rooster Pose.
  • While practicing Kukkutasana spread out your fingers in such a way that they are pointing forward.
  • Now, push your palms to the ground as much as possible.
  • With a deep inhale, try to lift your body from the ground as much as possible while practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.
  • Make sure that your body is supported by your palms while practicing The Rooster Pose.
  • It will initially be very challenging to lift the body on your palms. You need to have a lot of strength while holding your body o palms. With constant and conscious daily efforts you will gain the ability to achieve balance.
  • This is the final Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose. Hold the Position for a few breaths or for as long as you can while breathing normally.
  • Exhale deeply and to release the pose, lower your legs slowly on to the ground and release the right hand from in between your legs and then remove your left hand from in between your legs.
  • After this, place both your hands in Dhyana mudra and get into Padmasana.
  • This completes one round of Kukkutasana.
  • Catch your breath after releasing it.
  • Practice The Rooster Pose again. You can practice 3 to 4 rounds of it.

Breathing Pattern to Be Followed While Practicing Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose

  • Inhale deeply while folding the legs to come in Padmasana or The Lotus Pose.
  • Exhale after getting into Padmasana.
  • Maintain your breath while holding Padmasana or the Lotus Pose.
  • Inhale deeply while trying to raise your body from the ground to get into Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.
  • Exhale after getting into the final Kukkutasana.
  • Maintain a regular breath while holding the pose.
  • Exhale deeply once or twice after releasing The Rooster Pose.

Preparatory and Follow-Up Asanas for Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose

  • Preparatory Poses: The various preparatory poses for Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose are Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation, Mula Bandha or Root Lock, Uddiyana Bandha or The Abdominal Lock and Ujjayi Pranayama or The Ocean's Breath.
  • Follow-Up Poses: The various follow-up asanas for Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose are Gupta Padmasana or The Hidden Lotus Pose, Urdhva Padmasana or The Upward Lotus Posture, Sirsasana or The Head Stand and Urdhva Kukkutasana or The Upward Cock Pose.

Benefits of Practicing Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose

  • Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose makes the muscles in the arms, chest and the shoulders strong.
  • It also helps to make the chest broader and regular practice of this asana opens up the chest.
  • The legs are loosened up with regular practice of Kukkutasana.
  • The Rooster Pose massages the abdominal organs and stimulates the digestive system which in return improves digestion.
  • It helps in building balance and stability and also helps you focus.
  • Regular practice of Kukkutasana helps in stretching the muscles of the abdomen.
  • It stretches the entire body and helps in increasing the flexibility and strengthens the hips and pelvis.
  • The Rooster Pose helps in balancing the mind, increases the power of concentration. The thinking process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.
  • It also helps in alleviating stress and curing mild depression.
  • The Rooster Pose helps in strengthening all the core muscles of the body.
  • It also helps in increasing the strength and stamina of the body.
  • Kukkutasana also helps in increasing the body's resistance to back, hip and leg injuries.
  • The Rooster Pose activates and regulates the Muladhara Chakra and is used for awakening the Kundalini Shakti.
  • It also helps in relieving menstrual discomfort and hip pain when practiced regularly.

Precautions and Contraindications While Practicing Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose

  • Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose is an advanced yoga asana and should be practiced with extreme caution and care.
  • People with gastric ulcers should not attempt to practice it.
  • People who have an enlarged spleen should not practice Kukkutasana.
  • People suffering from chronic heart issues should not practice The Rooster Pose.
  • It should not b performed by people suffering from chronic respiratory disorders.
  • It is most beneficial when you stay aware of the stretches in the muscles while holding the pose. So, always remain aware while holding and practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.
  • Get out of the pose or release the pose if you feel a sudden sharp and shooting pain in your legs.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • Kukkutasana should not be performed by people with knee pain or injuries or if you have had any recent knee surgery.
  • The Rooster Pose should also not performed by people with weak or injured wrists.
  • Also, you should be aware if you have weak elbows and shoulders. Stop whenever you feel discomfort while practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.
  • People with hernia should also avoid practicing this asana.
  • Those who are suffering from vertigo should also avoid practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.
  • People suffering from High blood pressure should also avoid practicing The Rooster Pose.
  • Pregnant females and females who are menstruating should also avoid practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.

Tips While Practicing Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose

  • People with excess fat in their thighs can practice Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose by applying oil on their thighs, which will permit easy movement of arms and hands between the thighs and calves.
  • You should focus on a specific point to improve your concentration while practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.
  • Try to keep your spine as erect as possible while practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose.
  • Always make sure that you don't hurry while getting into the asana. You should get into the pose slowly and gently to avoid any injuries while practicing Kukkutasana.
  • You should not force your arms to pass between thighs and legs. If you are not able to pass them initially, do not force and over exert yourself. Keep practicing and gradually with constant practice, you will be able to master the pose.
  • Do not create a hump in your back while practicing The Rooster Pose.
  • Keep the weight balanced in both of the arms and palms while practicing Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose to avoid any pain or injury.

Kukkutasana or the Rooster Pose Variations

Since Kukkutasana or The Rooster Pose itself is an advanced pose, no advanced versions of this pose are suggested. However, there are variations of Kukkutasana possible and are discussed below:

  1. Urdhva Kukkutasana or the Upward Rooster Pose

    • To practice Urdhva Kukkutasana or The Upward Rooster pose, sit in Padmasana or The Lotus Pose.
    • Place the palms on the ground in front of the body with the fingers of both hands fingers pointing forward.
    • Both of your hands should be kept parallel to each other while practicing Urdhva Kukkutasana or The Upward Rooster pose.
    • Slowly and gently lift the body up and place the knees on the ground.
    • While inhaling deeply, lean a little forward on the hand while pushing the hand against the ground and lift the body off the ground at the same time while practicing Urdhva Kukkutasana or The Upward Rooster pose.
    • Place the front of the knees on the respective triceps to get into the final Urdhva Kukkutasana or The Upward Rooster pose.
    • Hold the pose for a few breaths or for as long as you can.
    • Keep breathing normally while holding the pose.
    • To release Urdhva Kukkutasana or The Upward Rooster pose, slowly and gently lower the knees to the ground, and slowly sit back on the ground in Padmasana or The Lotus Pose.
  2. Parsva Kukkutasana or the Side Rooster Pose

    • To practice, Parsva Kukkutasana or The Side Rooster pose, sit in Padmasana or The Lotus Pose.
    • Place the palms on the ground in front of the body with the fingers of both hands fingers pointing forward.
    • Both of your hands should be kept parallel to each other while practicing Parsva Kukkutasana or The Side Rooster pose.
    • Slowly and gently lift the body up and place the knees on the ground while practicing Parsva Kukkutasana or The Side Rooster pose.
    • While inhaling deeply, lean a little forward on the hand while pushing the hand against the ground and lift the body off the ground at the same time while practicing Parsva Kukkutasana or The Side Rooster pose.
    • Place the front of your right knee on the left arm triceps to get into the final Parsva Kukkutasana or The Side Rooster pose.
    • Hold the pose for a few breaths or for as long as you can.
    • Keep breathing normally while holding the pose.
    • To release Parsva Kukkutasana or The Side Rooster pose, slowly and gently lower the knees to the ground, and slowly sit back on the ground in Padmasana or The Lotus Pose.
    • Please note that this is an extremely advanced variation of Kukkutasana or The Rooster pose and should be practiced with extreme caution and under the guidance of a trained Yoga expert.
Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 19, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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