Kukkutasana: Meaning, Steps, Benefits

Yogasana kukkutasana or rooster posture, asana by alexey baykov


Kukkutasana is one of the advanced yoga postures. It belongs to the Padmasana Group and arm balancing category.

Kukkutasana Information

Pose NameKukkutasana
Sanksrit Nameकुक्कुटासन
English NameCockerel Pose
Rooster Pose
Classic Yoga Texts
TypeArm Balancing

Kukkutasana Meaning

Kukkut means a cockerel or rooster. Therefore Kukkutasana means Cockerel Pose or Rooster Pose. When performed, the posture looks like a cockerel. Hence it gets this name.

We spell this alternatively as Kukudasana.

thambha asana
Thambha Asana

A sixteen century Persian Text Bahr al-Hayat calls this Pose as Thambha Asana (Sthambhasana). The text further says “on performance, the matter of earth and water in the body will get reduced and the matter of air and fire will get increased.”

This book is the first illustrated textbook on yoga. Bahr al-Hayat means the ocean of life. This book was translated from Sanskrit Original and published in 1602 by Muhammad Ghawth Gwaliyari,

Origin and History

Cockerel Posture is an ancient yoga pose found mentioned in Thirumanthiram, Ahirbudhnya Samhita, and Vasista Samhita. As far as the age of these texts, they are pretty older than medieval Hatha Yoga texts like Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

Verse 561 of Thirumanthiram describes the steps for the performance of Kukkutasana. Thirumanthiram is a Tamil poetic work by Thirumoolar written probably between 200 BCE to 700 CE.

Though there is no consensus among the scholars about the period of the other two texts, it could not be later than the first millennium of Common Era.

Therefore, it is evident that the Cockerel Pose is an ancient yoga pose that has been in practice for more than a thousand years. Besides this, it is one of the non-meditative postures that was in practice before Hatha Yoga poses came into existence.

Kukkutasana Practice Regime

The practice regime includes precautions, preparatory poses, steps by step procedure, follow up poses, and advanced pose considerations.

Kukkutasana Safety and Precautions

Pregnant ladies should avoid this posture. Besides this, persons having health conditions mentioned below should also avoid the posture.

  • Pain and ailments in shoulders and arms
  • Sciatica Pain or pain in the lower back
  • Knee injury
  • Osteoporosis

In this posture, the weight of the whole body rests on the forearms. Hence your forearms should be capable of taking this pressure. In case of doubt, consult your doctor before attempting this pose.

Preparatory Poses

The first thing to understand is that the Cockerel Pose is an advanced one and requires some specific skills. So, if you want to get mastery over it, you should prepare yourself first. For getting prepared, one should have proficiency in the following poses.

  1. Easy Pose
  2. Lotus Pose
  3. Scale Pose

Kukkutasana Steps

Step 1

Firstly, sit in Lotus Posture. Insert your arms in between your thighs and calves as close as to your knees.

Step 2

Secondly, Place the palms on the floor. Your fingers should point forward.

Step 3

Thirdly, lift your body on your hands. Check that your arms are in a straight line.

Step 4

Fourthly, Straighten your back and head. Keep your eyesight on any object in front of you. Keep this position for the desired duration of time.

Step 5

Lastly, reverse the position and release it from the Lotus Posture. Again repeat the steps with alternating the legs in Lotus Posture. Maintain the posture for the duration of time.


The pose may be extended for a duration as long as it is comfortable for you. Initially, it is not possible to keep the position for more than a couple of minutes. However, as the practice goes on, you can extend up to five or six minutes.

Follow Up Poses

One may resort to any one of the following poses as a follow-up practice.
  1. Corpse Pose
  2. Cobra Pose
  3. Crocodile Pose


Those who are having a large amount of fat or hair in the thigh region find it difficult to perform this posture. Applying oil in that region may be of little help.

Kukkutasana Benefits

On the regular practice of Cockerel Pose, one may get the following benefits.

Strengthens the arms and shoulders

Regular practice of Cockerel Pose strengthens the muscles of arms, shoulders, and upper chest. As a result, mobility and flexibility will get increased. Besides this, pain and ailments in the region get eroded.

Increases the flexibility of hips and legs

As a consequence of regular practice, the muscles and joints of legs, hips, and lower back are stretched. They get more flexibility and Mobility. As a result, it cures any disorders and pain.

Awakens Kundalini

This practice helps to activate the Muladhara Chakra and awakens the Kundalini. By means of this, the yogi gets progress in the spiritual path.