Kukkut - Cockerel

In this asana the body is lifted off the ground, on the support of both hands, making the form of the practitioner look like a cockerel standing on its legs, hence the name.   
Taking the asana position

Initial Position - Padmasana
  1. Sit in padmasana. Release the Dhyanmudra and insert the left arm between the thigh and calf of the left leg. Gradually, push the arm through the legs up to the elbow.
  2. Similarly, insert the right arm between the thigh and calf of the right leg, pushing the arm through, up to the elbow.
  3. Spread the fingers and place both hands on the floor, about 4 to 6 inches apart.
  4. With the hands on the floor, raise the body from the floor, balancing only on the hands. Gaze forward and breathe normally.

The asana position

In this asana, only the hands are touching the floor and bearing the entire weight of the body. The folded legs should be lifted off the floor as high as possible, keeping the padmasana parallel to the floor. The back is straight and the gaze is forward.

Releasing the asana position
  1. Slowly lower the legs onto the ground.
  2. Release the right hand from between the legs.
  3. Release the left hand from between the legs.
  4. Place both hands in Dhyanmudra on the knees and come back into padmasana.   
Anatomical focus   


On maintaining balance.   

  1. Keep the back straight.
  2. Move into the asana slowly so as not to lose balance.
  3. Find a point of focus so that you can maintain the balance.

  1. Hunch your back.
  2. Force the arms through the legs.

  1. Strengthens the arms, shoulders, elbows and wrists.
  2. Strengthens the abdominal muscles.
  3. Stretches the chest muscles.
  4. Stimulates the mooladhara chakra.

Therapeutic application

Precautions & contra-indications
  1. People with weak arms and wrists should practice this asana with caution.
  2. This asana should only be practiced by those who can perform padmasana with relative ease.


This asana should be held steady for at least 15 seconds, gradually increasing to 1 minute with practice.

Variations & tips

Those with hairy arms or legs may find it difficult and painful to insert the arms between the legs. Those with a lot of fat or muscle on their legs will also find it difficult. Oil or water may be applied to the arms and legs to facilitate the insertion of the arms between the legs.

Preparatory poses
  1. Padmasana
  2. Utthita padmasana

Follow-up poses


Ancient texts

The 23 rd shloka in Hathapradeepika describes the asana :

Padmasanam tu sansthapya januvorntare karou l
Niveshya bhumou sansthapya vyomastham kukkutasanam ll H P 1.23

Meaning -

Sit in padmasana and place the palms of the hands onto the ground through the knees and lift up the body. This is known as Kukkutasan.

Gherandsamhita describes this asana in detail in its second chapter in the 31st shloka :

Padmasanam samasadhya janurvorantare karou l
Kurparabhyam samasino ucchasthah kukkutasanam ll G S 2.31

Meaning -

While sitting in padmasana, the hands should be inserted in between the knees and the thighs and with the support of the elbows, the body should be lifted up.