A Comprehensive Guide to Extended Puppy Pose Yoga

The Extended Puppy Pose Yoga or Uttana Shishosana is a great pose for beginners and can help improve your flexibility and back strength. Incorporate this pose into your yoga practice to reap the host of benefits it has to offer!

This informative piece discusses the benefits of this incredible yoga and provides a step-by-step instruction on how to perform the pose correctly. We’ll also touch on some of the precautions that you should take before trying this pose.

But before we move on to the process, let’s take a quick stroll through the fundamentals of this yoga.

What is Extended Puppy Pose Yoga?

Uttana Shishosana is a forward-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. Having a Sanskrit origin, the word “Uttana” means extended or intense. “Shiso” means puppy and “asana” means yoga pose. So, the direct translation of this pose is “intense puppy yoga pose.”

It’s a cross between Balasana (child’s pose) and Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog), which makes it a hybrid posture. It can be stated as a variation of either of these two yoga asanas.

This asana is a restorative backbend that helps to lengthen and stretch the spine. It’s ideal for people that spend long hours being glued to their desks or for people who drive as it helps to relieve the tension that builds up in these areas.

Although it’s not a remedial yoga posture, it’s a great stress buster and can help ease the tension headaches. This yoga is recommended for beginners as it’s a relatively easy posture to perfect. Even those people who don’t practice yoga can try this asana with ease.

How to Do the Extended Puppy Pose Yoga

Now that we know what this yoga is, let’s move on to the process of performing it. The following is the step-by-step procedure to perform this pose correctly:

  1. Begin in a tabletop posture, with your hands and knees on the floor. Place your wrists below the shoulders and legs beneath your hips.
  2. As you exhale, let your chest and chin fall forward while walking ahead with your hands.
  3. Roll out your arms, spread your fingers firmly pressing on the floor, and squeeze both of your palms to activate them.
  4. Move your chest towards the floor while keeping your hips over the knees. Lower your head and keep your elbows close to your body, slightly lifted off the floor.
  5. While exhaling, deepen the stretch by pushing your hips back and sliding your chest forward.
  6. Once you’re in the final position, rest your forehead on the floor.
  7. While breathing deeply, hold the stretch for around 5-7 breaths (about 30 seconds to a minute).
  8. To release the pose, exhale and walk your hands back to the tabletop position.

Puppy Pose

Benefits of Extended Puppy Pose

We learned the correct way to perform the Uttana Shishosana and its Sanskrit origins. Let’s now understand the advantages that you can experience by practicing this asana:

1. Helps Relieve Stress

This asana is known to be a great stress reliever. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or bogged down by work, a quick session of this yoga can help ease your mind and improve your focus.

2. Improves Flexibility and Strengthens Your Spine

When you perform this yoga asana, you are working all the muscles in your back. This helps to improve your overall flexibility and strengthens your spine.

3. Soothes Tension Headaches

If you experience frequent tension headaches, the extended puppy pose can prove to be a brilliant aid. The stretch in the pose helps to relieve the pressure on your head and neck.

4. Helpful for People with Rounded Shoulders

It is helpful for people with rounded shoulders: people who have rounded shoulders can benefit from this pose. Practicing the extended puppy pose yoga is beneficial for opening up your chest and correcting the posture problems.

5. Assists in Regulating Prana Flow

Prana is the fundamental life energy that courses through our bodies. This asana helps to regulate the flow of Prana, which in turn helps to improve our overall health and well-being.

Contradictions of Extended Puppy Pose Yoga

Even though this asana has a host of benefits, there are a few contradictions associated with it. If you have any of the following conditions, it’s best to avoid this pose as for the following reasons:

  • If you have any neck injuries, this asana is not recommended. The stretch in the neck can aggravate your injury.
  • People with knee or hip injuries should avoid this pose as well. The stretch in the hips and knees can worsen your condition.
  • This asana is best avoided if you are in the later stage of pregnancy. The stretch in the abdomen and the opposite flow of blood can harm the fetus.
  • Another precaution is avoiding this yoga if you suffer from migraines. The pressure on your head and neck can trigger a migraine attack.

Beginner’s Tips for Extended Puppy Pose Yoga

This yoga is recommended for beginners as it’s a relatively easy posture to perfect. Even those people who don’t practice yoga can try this asana with ease. We listed some practice tips to help you get started on this journey:

  • You can also start by posing against the wall, as it helps get a better alignment and helps you hold the position longer.
  • Remember to always warm up before doing the extended puppy pose yoga.
  • If you’re experiencing discomfort, place a rolled-up blanket between your thighs and calves for additional comfort. Alternatively, lay a block beneath your head for support.
  • As you get more comfortable with the asana, make it more challenging by making the stretch deeper.

Puppy Pose Variation

Puppy Pose Variation


This marks the end of our guide in Uttana Shishosana, the extended puppy pose yoga. The article looked into the background, advantages, and drawbacks of the asana to provide you with an accurate perception of it. We also shared some beginner tips to help you get started with this yoga pose. We hope you found our attempt at demystifying yoga helpful. Until next time!

About the author

Navkiran Kaur