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Forward Bend Yoga Pose,Yoga,Yoga Asana Library Uttana Shishosana-Extended Puppy Pose

Uttana Shishosana-Extended Puppy Pose

Extended Puppy Pose, or Uttana Shishosana, combines elements of Downward Dog and Child’s Pose, offering a stretch for the spine, shoulders, upper back, and arms. Also known as Melting Heart Pose, it’s beneficial for individuals with back and shoulder pain. This pose is thought to alleviate stress, anxiety, chronic tension, and insomnia.

Let’s explore the benefits, techniques, and variations of the Extended Puppy Pose.

Tips Of Extended Puppy Pose

  • Warm-up activities: Start with warm-up exercises before attempting the puppy stance.
  • Cat and cow poses: Practice cat and cow poses to prevent leg tension during uttana shishosana.
  • Long, steady breaths: Maintain consistent, deep breathing to fully extend your back.
  • Adjustment with a block: Place a block beneath your forehead for slight adjustments, especially if using a mat is challenging.
  • Yoga bolster support: Use a yoga bolster under the knees during initial sessions to prolong the puppy stance.
  • Possible queasiness: The inversion in this pose might cause dizziness; release the stance gradually to avoid sudden changes in blood flow.

Benefits Of Extended Puppy Pose

  1. Stretches the hips and hamstrings: Strengthens and supports the lower body, combating stiffness in the hips and thighs.
  2. The fullest stretch of the spine: Promotes a full extension of the spine, enhancing flexibility and relaxation.
  3. Flexes the spine while stretching: Improves muscle flexibility around the spine, facilitating better posture and energy flow.
  4. Acts as a restorative pose: Offers healing to the hips and back, serving as a restorative pose after challenging postures.
  5. Deep stretch for the shoulders and arms: Relaxes shoulders and arms, provided the posture is aligned correctly, with attention to the chest moving gently toward the floor.

Instructions (Step-by-Step)

  1. Child Pose Start:
    • Begin on all fours on a yoga mat, spreading your knees to hip-width.
    • Align knees with buttocks and touch big toes together.
  2. Chin Tuck:
    • Tuck chin into chest with minimal effort.
    • Lower forehead towards the floor.
  3. Deep Breathing:
    • Inhale deeply through the nose.
    • Exhale slowly through the mouth.
  4. Release Tension:
    • Move shoulders away from ears.
    • Arms extended wide, fingers pointing forward.
    • Maintain 90-degree bend in elbows.
  5. Stretch and Elevate:
    • Inhale, lift torso off the floor, keeping forehead down.
    • Extend arms without shrugging shoulders, stretch spine.
    • Hold, pausing between breaths.
  6. Relax and Return:
    • Exhale, lower back to Child Pose.
    • Breathe deeply and slowly.

Precautions Of Extended Puppy Pose

  1. Avoid if you have hip or knee injuries to prevent additional pressure and potential worsening.
  2. Consult a professional if you have severe back pain before attempting the pose.
  3. Pregnant women should avoid this pose due to potential harm to the fetus.


  1. If considering as a restorative pose, extra blankets at the knee and chest enhance relaxation.
  2. Practice on the bed if shoulders and chest don’t open up on the floor or mat.
  3. Use blankets or yoga blocks for arm and face support, reducing neck stretch.
  4. If lower back pain occurs, adjust arm stretching based on comfort.
  5. Longer holds provide maximum benefit; adjust based on shoulder and arm flexibility.
  6. Bolsters or yoga blocks between legs aid perfect body alignment and longer holds.
  7. The pose may cause discomfort in the head; release shoulders and chest gently and slowly.


  1. Extended Puppy Pose on a Blanket:
    • If uncomfortable in the knees, use a folded blanket.
    • Place the blanket under your knees for cushion and support.
    • Adjust the blanket height to suit your comfort.
  2. Extended Puppy Pose with a Block:
    • Place elbows on a block and/or one under the forehead for support.
    • Prop elbows up on the blocks one at a time or place them under your hands.
    • If under the elbows, bring palms together in prayer hands and rest on the nape of the neck.

Extended Puppy Pose For Beginners

Safety and Precautions

  1. Avoid Extended Puppy Pose with injuries in knees, hips, shoulders, or spine. Adjust hand placement if shoulder pain occurs.
  2. Be cautious when leaving the pose to avoid dizziness or lightheadedness.
  3. Pregnant individuals and those with cardiovascular disease should refrain from practicing this pose.

Practice Extended Puppy Pose For Beginners By Following These Steps

  1. Don’t let your knees spread wider than your hips.
  2. Keep your elbows lifted and inward. Avoid splaying them out.
  3. Push your hips halfway back toward your heels.
  4. Keep your hips directly over your knees.
  5. Activate your arms by pressing your palms into the mat.
  6. Imagine your shoulder blades kissing on your back.
  7. Allow your heart to melt toward the Earth.

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