Uttana Shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose), Benefits, Meaning & Its Variations


Uttana Shishosana or the extended puppy pose is much easier and less complicated version of performing a forward twist that almost everyone should practice in their yoga session. Practicing this asana regularly is considered to be a great stress buster and calms the mind and the body. The name of this yoga asana is a combination of three Sanskrit words. The word “Uttana” means extended or intense, the word “Shisho” means puppy and the word “asana” means yoga posture. An important thing to know about this yoga asana is the fact it is not a remedial yoga posture. This asana is taught in the yoga teacher training in Rishikesh and is mastered in the same

This asana is a combination of the Adho Mukha Svanasana also known as the downward facing dog asana and the Balasana also known as the child pose. Therefore, Uttana Shishosana can be considered as a variation of either of these two asanas. Another very common name of this asana is the melting heart pose because this yoga pose allows the heart to maintain a balance while extending the spine in a straight direction.


Step by step instructions to perform Uttana Shishosana are:

  1. Get into a tabletop position, i.e; on all four limbs. Your hips should be stacked on your knees and your shoulders should rest on your knees. Press your feet firmly on the mat and keep your toes in the straight direction. Make sure your feet are parallel to each other and your hips are width apart.
  2. While exhaling, keep your hands in front of you. Now allow your chest to melt down towards the floor while slowly releasing your forehead on the mat.
  3. Spread your fingers in a way that your thumb and index finger is pressed firmly on the floor. Now activate your palms by squeezing them into the palms of both your hands.
  4. Roll your upper arms in the outward direction away from your ears so that your shoulders get broadened. You should feel your triceps wrapping in the downward direction towards the mat in a way that your biceps are towards the ceiling.
  5. Make sure that your arms stay active through this asana and your elbows are slightly above the mat.
  6. With the next inhalation, you can deepen the stretch by reaching for your hips upwards and backwards towards the wall which is behind you. In the meanwhile, you can also continue to allow your chest melt down on the floor.
  7. To support your spine, gently hug your front ribs and prevent collapsing into the lower back.
  8. Hold the stretch for around 5-7 breaths while breathing deeply.
  9. Release by coming back into the tabletop position and then standing up in a straight position.

Benefits Of Uttana Shishosana:

Amongst the best benefits of practicing this yoga asana regularly, some are:

  1. It helps in stretching your spine and shoulders.
  2. It also helps in fortifying the body.
  3. Your spine becomes flexible and strengthened.
  4. The symptoms of stress, tension and insomnia almost disappear.
  5. Your hips, upper back and arms get strengthened and stretched.
  6. Your mind attains a level of much needed calm with its regular practice.

Beginner’s Tip to Perform Puppy Pose :

If you are a beginner then it might be difficult for you to perform this yoga asana in the right way. This tip can be helpful. Remember to remain still in this pose for a long time while supporting your knees and lower back. It is advisable for a learner to either put a rolled blanket or a comfortable pillow in the middle of the calves and thighs for a better performance of this asana.

Precautions While Doing Uttana Shishosana:

If you have a knee injury or any leg injury then it is not advisable to perform this yoga posture. You must master this yoga pose first to go onto the next level. You will get maximum benefit if you rely on a regular practice of this pose and incorporate in your daily yoga routine. Stretch as much as you can and push it. If you feel any discomfort then go ahead and release the posture. Consult an experienced yoga teacher, Affiliated from Yoga Reviews before performing this yoga posture. To stay in touch with yoga asana’s and postures, You can follow us on facebook and twitter as well.

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