In Sanskrit, Uttana denotes intensity, and Shish denotes a puppy.As the name implies, this pose would resemble a puppy giving its entire body a powerful stretch forward.
Although the body is on all fours and the stretch is intense, the pose is thought to be a posture to relax the muscles after a strenuous practice of other poses related to the shoulders and the back.
The spine is exquisitely extended upwards and downwards simultaneously, giving the arms, shoulders, and chest the most stretching possible.
This pose can be performed numerous times throughout the yoga session because it is typically done as a follow-up pose to relax the muscles.
Puppy Dog Pose is a base pose because it can be used to create other puppy dog poses.
Puppy Dog Pose can be incorporated into flow yoga sequences because it increases bodily energy.
Dog Puppy Pose Steps
- Enter Tabletop by getting down on all fours, stacking your hips over your knees, and placing your shoulders over your wrists. Place the tops of your feet on the mat with your toes pointing straight back. Keep your feet hip-width apart and parallel.
- Start waving your hands in front of you as you exhale. As you gradually lower your forehead to the mat, let your chest sink toward the floor.
- Extend your fingers and firmly press your thumb and index finger together. Rooting into your finger pads and producing a lifting motion in your palms that resembles a suction cup will activate Hasta Bandha (Hand Lock).
- Roll your upper arm bones away from your ears to elongate the shoulders.As your biceps spin toward the ceiling, feel your triceps wrapping down toward the mat’s edges.Keep your arms moving, and raise your elbows slightly off the floor.
- As you breathe in, extend your hips up and back toward the wall behind you to deepen the stretch. In the meantime, let your chest continue to sink toward the floor. To support your spine and prevent collapsing into your lower back, gently corset your front ribs.
- Hold the stretch for 5 to 10 breaths while inhaling deeply.
- Return your hands to the tabletop position to exit the position.
Benefits of Puppy Dog Pose:
- Stretches the hips and hamstrings: When the lower body or lower back is extended upward in Uttana Shishosana with the tail bone deep pointing upward, the hips and thighs become tight. While the muscles are contracted, this stretch strengthens them and helps them become strong and supportive of the body.
- Complete spinal stretch: Take note of how the lower part of the spine moves upward while the upper part moves downward simultaneously. The body extends simultaneously as the spine stretches to its fullest extent along both ends and in both directions along its middle. The maximum stretch the body and spine receive during this extension helps relax it.
- Flexes the spine: The Extended Puppy Dog Pose stretches the muscles that surround the spine and the spine itself, increasing the flexibility of the muscles and the spine. Flexing the spine while performing any pose is a great way to enhance the flow of prana and the entire body’s posture.
- Acts as a restorative pose: The hips and the entire back can be healed in this pose, which is a restorative pose. After practicing challenging poses like Adho Mukha Svanasana, Dhanurasana, and Ustrasana, among others.
- Deeply stretches the shoulders and arms: Done correctly, with the chin, face, and neck in alignment, this pose is a great way to relax the shoulders and the arms while giving it the most stretch possible. To enjoy the deep stretch at the shoulders, one must make sure the chest moves slowly and carefully toward the floor or the mat.It’s crucial to breathe while moving the arms forward in this position.
- Stomach muscles are also engaged: Although Uttana Shishosana is more for the shoulders, arms, and back, with careful concentration, it is possible to massage the lower abdomen while attempting to lift the hips upward. The abdominal muscles are worked while receiving this massage while consciously pulling inward.
- Calms the mind and muscles: Slow, controlled breathing while moving the lower body upward and the upper body downward relaxes the muscles surrounding the entire spine and the hips, eventually calming the mind and body.
- Excellent heart opener: When performing this pose, it’s important to comprehend what it means to be a “heart opener.”The chest opens up in this position, loosening the shoulders and back muscles. This pose is a great “heart opener” because it opens the chest, which increases lung capacity.
- Enhances blood circulation: In Uttana Shishosana, the blood flows in the opposite direction, downward toward the chest and shoulders, which benefits the entire body.
- Therapeutic treatment for insomnia: Patients experiencing insomnia-related issues can benefit from this pose as therapy.The deep stretch at the shoulders and chest, which causes blood to flow in the opposite direction, can be a very effective stress reliever, reducing anxiety and promoting sleep.
- Body and breath awareness are encouraged: As the body stretches deeply at both ends, it is important to be aware of this stretch. To maintain this pose, breath awareness is also crucial. By breathing, one can maintain the pose for a longer period without their body or any of their muscles feeling uncomfortable.
Puppy Dog Pose Contraindications:
- Injury: When the knee and hip are hurt, avoid doing it.During this pose, pressure at the knees might not feel comfortable.
- Stiffness: If your shoulders and arms are incredibly stiff, avoid doing this.Too much stiffness may make it difficult to enjoy the pose because it opens the shoulders.
- Discomfort: It is best to seek guidance if you have severe lower back pain because the pose requires the body to release gently backward and downward.
- While hastily attempting this while experiencing excruciating back pain can make the lower back stiffer.
- Pregnancy: The blood flows in the wrong direction if held for a longer period in the later stages of pregnancy.