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Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana): How To Practice, Benefits And Precautions

The extended puppy pose is one of the best poses for people who suffer from back problems or shoulder pain. Here's how to do it properly, its benefits and the precautions you should take.

Extended Puppy Pose, also known as Uttana Shishosana, is a hybrid of Downward Dog and Child's Pose that can be performed as a variation of both. This pose, also known as Melting Heart Pose, stretches the spine, shoulders, upper back, and arms, making this pose great, especially for those who have back and shoulder pain. It is also believed to help you deal with stress and anxiety, as well as chronic tension and insomnia.

How To Perform Extended Puppy Pose?

Here's a step-by-step run-through of the Uttana Shishosana:

  1. Come on all fours like a tabletop position with your shoulders over your wrists, your hips over your knees and the top of your feet on the mat.
  2. Now, slowly walk your hands in front of you, lowering your chest to the ground. There should be a shoulder-width space between your hips and knees, lowering your forehead to the ground.
  3. Press into the palms of your hands and elevate your elbows and forearms away from the ground to activate your arms. Draw your shoulder blades together behind your back and raise your hips to the ceiling.
  4. Relax your neck and inhale deeply into your back, stretching your spine in both directions.
  5. Stay in the pose for 5-10 breaths, and gently lift your forehead and walk your palms back towards your body to come to the initial position.

Modifications and tips:

  • Don't go straight into this pose. Try some warmup poses like the cat-cow pose
  • If you want to modify it, then place a blanket under your knees to support them if you feel uncomfortable
  • If you want to make it more challenging, place your elbows on blocks and lift your hands to pray over your head to deepen the stretch.

Benefits Of Extended Puppy Pose

Doing extended puppy pose regularly can help in multiple ways:

  • Stretches the spine and shoulders
  • Relaxes the mind while energizing the body
  • Improves flexibility, especially in the spine
  • Relieves chronic stress, tension, and sleeplessness
  • Strengthens and stretches the arms, hips, and upper back

Precautions

Although the pose is easy, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • People with hip and knee injuries should avoid doing the pose as it may put pressure on their knees and make it worse.
  • Don't perform the pose without the help of a professional practitioner if you have severe back pain as it may aggravate the problem.
  • Pregnant women should avoid doing this pose as it can be harmful to the fetus.

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