Friday, May 17, 2013

Kukkutasana: cockerel pose

There are lots of stories in this pose. But I like the one why Lord Murugan chose the cockerel to be in his flag, after having cut a demon in half, and out of sympathy let one half of him become his favorite vahana/vehicle of peacock and the other the emblem in his flag, of cockerel. Since Kartikeya/ Lord Murugan who is also known as Skanda in other parts of India

He is a warlord and many of the asuras he destroyed could be symbolically seen as the many demons our egos become. lt
Surapadman is an asura whom most other warriors find difficult to kill, since he could take on many forms of creatures from nature (how our ego can be subtle that we may be fooled and how our ego may resist deletion:) In the end, Skanda kills him with the trishul (trident) gifted to him by his mother Shakti. The trishul, btw, signifies the enlightened souls ability to transcend the three gunas/qualities of tamas, rajas and even sattva.

Somewhere I read that the cockerel is the symbol of eternity. I will dig around a bit more, but just now, more on this pose.

It could be higher, tighter. The strong practitioners seem to lift it up to the elbows.

I remember trying it very early on, in my learning graph of yoga. However, I left the pose when doing sadhana intensive and I tried it and someone my hand position was wrong.  I don't know why that should have stopped me, but possibly, my ego (ha, ha:) But I went back to it, just last week, to see if I could get it right and this is what I managed.

What this pose needs:

  • Obviously, a good lotus in the seated position.
  • A strong crow, or other arm balancers which take the load on the wrists (sidecrow, for instance, as well as astavakrasana). 
You will find that to lift off actually you tilt your butt back, push your face head, round the shoulders a bit, and draw the stomach in. All must be done simultaneously. 

Ideally the calves and thighs should be higher up each arm, at least elbow level, though that lift needs a lot of strength, since you have to swing your hips high. Otherwise, even if lift up, you will get slowly dragged down, to the forearms, as seems to be happening with me:( 

Well, u know, the advantage of being a yoga teacher is that one can indulge in asana practice without feeling ti is an ego-booster, as it can be, for a lot of people:) Obviously I am not immune to it: why else upload this on fb:) 

Happy sadhana!

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