The term ‘Kukkura’ is the Sanskrit translation of ‘dog’. The breathing technique ‘Kukkura pranayama’ imitates the panting of a dog. It targets the diaphragm, the central muscle for breathing. Diaphragm, known as the phrenos(in Greek), also refers to the mind. This indicates the unity of emotional, physical, spiritual and metal forms of human expression, which is what this form of yoga emphasizes on.
The Kukkura Pranayama energises the solar plexus, which is a group of nerves located close to the diaphragm. The solar plexus gets worn out when subjected to tremendous stress. Persistent stress not only depletes the solar plexus off its energy, but also it’s associated plexus such as the spleenic plexus, pancreatic plexus and the gastric plexus. Hence the disease weakens all these organs.
Constant practice of the Asana helps in release of solar plexus tension, and accumulated pain and stress. It also releases fears and makes way for fresh feelings. This Pranayama is considered extremely useful when practiced with Vibhaga pranayama and other jathis (for exercise of the lungs) and has found to be helpful for those suffering from Asthma and insomnia.
- Sit in Vajrasana. Bring palms to the ground next to the knees and stretch out the spine.
- Keeping the arms straight, put out the tongue and start panting like a puppy.
- Continue for 20 seconds and relax the head.
- Next stretch out the spine and neck and again put the tongue out and begin panting for 20 seconds.
- Relax and repeat.