In addition to the guidance above, another variation of kaki mudra involves closing the nostrils with the thumbs during the inhalation and, at the top of the inhalation, the breath is retained while the chin is lowered to the chest. This retention is held for as long as possible before the chin is lifted for the exhalation.
Kaki mudra is one of the major yogic breathing exercises used to teach yogis how to control their breath. It is also a popular therapeutic breathing technique in the medical world because it helps people who have a tendency to hyper-inflate their lungs. This includes those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, panic attacks and bronchospasms.
It may be beneficial for patients who are having respiratory rehabilitation and those who tend to over-breathe during exercise. It is effective in slowing and controlling the breath because on both the inhalation and exhalation the air flow is restricted. This means it is appropriate for training with biofeedback techniques which aim to decrease the rate of breathing.
Kaki mudra is also renowned for cultivating outer beauty and longevity. It is said to tone the muscles of the face, reducing wrinkles and rejuvenating the skin. This is believed to encourage a radiant, blemish-free complexion. In addition, this mudra is associated with stimulating the throat chakra which is thought to affect the thyroid gland.
Finally, kaki mudra has a similar effect to the furled tongue technique of sitali pranayama, but it is more accessible, especially for those who are not able to furl their tongue.