Urdhva means upwards. Kukkuta means a cock. In Urdhva Kukkutasana the body resembles a strutting cock, hence the name.

Urdhva Kukkutasana

Technique

  1. Perform Salamba Sirshasana II.
  2. After securing steadiness, move into Padmasana by placing the right foot at the root of the left thigh and the left foot at the root of the right thigh, then with an exhalation bend the legs and rest them on the back of the upper arms as near the armpits as possible. Secure this position and balance with even breathing.
  3. Exhale, press the palms firmly on the ground, pull the trunk up and raise the head off the floor following the stages of the movement as in. Stretch and straighten the arms and lift up the buttocks. Extend the neck and keep the head as high as possible.
  4. Balance in this position on the hands for a few seconds by tightening the muscles in the region of the diaphragm. Try to breathe normally.
  5. Exhale, bend the elbows, lower the head to the floor following Plates, and return to Salamba Sirshasana II by releasing the foot lock of Padmasana.
  6. Again perform Padmasana, this time placing the left foot first at the root of the right thigh and the right foot at the root of the left thigh. Then repeat the asana as stated above.
  7. After staying for the same length of time on both the sides, go back to Salamba Sirshasana II lower the legs to the floor and relax. Advanced pupils may then move into Urdhva Dhanurasana by dropping the legs behind the back and extending the arms and then stand up in Tadasana. When one has mastered Viparlta Chakrasana, it is a soothing exercise after practising Urdhva Dhanurasana.

Effects of Urdhva Kukkutasana

In Urdhva Kukkutasana, the spine is stretched fully and the effect of Paschimottanasana is gained in a very short time. The arms and the abdominal organs will grow strong. All these intricate and difficult positions bring results quicker than the simple ones. When the body becomes more pliable, the simple poses will have little or no effect. The wise therefore discard them and practise the intricate poses just as a scholar will not repeat the alphabet daily. But, just as dancers daily practise some basic steps and do not discard them, so also pupils of yoga should continue daily to perform Sirshasana and Sarvangasana with their cycles.

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