Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing yoga for life.

Extended Puppy Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

This pose combines the benefits of Child's Pose and Downward-Facing Dog, and Puppy Pose is one of the best shoulder openers to prepare you for arm balances.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits

Uttana Shishosana

(Pronounced as "oot-anna shee-SHO-sanna")

Uttana Shishosana means to  stretch yourself out like a young animal would. Here you easily lengthen your spine with your head down to calm the mind.

How to do Extended Puppy Pose

Step One

Sit in between your heels on your yoga mat with your feet next to your hips and your knees together. Let the tops of your feet rest on the mat. Keeping your feet on your heels, bend all the way forward to rest your head on the ground with your arms extended straight out in front of you on the floor. Your palms face downward.

Step Two

Now inhale. As you exhale, begin to walk your hands forward as you raise your hips and tailbone up in the air at the same time. Keep stretching your arms further forward until your hips are directly above your knees. Your thighs will now be parallel to the floor.

Step Three

As you relax your forehead down on the floor, your elbows stay off of the floor. Keep your arms active, stretching forward to open your shoulders as much as you can. Your torso will point down toward the floor at a 45-degree angle, and you keep lengthening your back in this position. If you have the flexibility, you can go further by curving your lower back a little to get a deeper opening of your shoulders.

Step Four

Feel your back extending in two directions. Your tailbone stretches back and your hands continue to slightly reach forward, creating more space for you to breathe into your entire back. Hold this pose for 30 seconds or longer if you are comfortable. Then exhale as you sit back on your heels to come out.

Beginner's Tip:

If you have chronic lower-back pain that makes this pose difficult, then place a yoga block between the middle of your thighs and another yoga block between your ankles. By squeezing the blocks between your legs, you engage all the muscles needed to strengthen and protect your back while bending.

Puppy Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Uttana Shishosana

Pose Level:

Level 1

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Recent knee injuries. If you have a knee injury more than two months old, then try the pose carefully while spreading out a folded yoga blanket under your knees and ankles.

Puppy Pose Benefits

  • Stretches out tension in the spine
  • Opens stiff shoulders and expands the chest

Next Pose:

Extended Side Angle Pose

9 styles | 152 poses

Beginner Yoga Poses

Bharadvaja's Twist Pose
Big Toe Pose
Boat Pose
Bound Angle Pose
Bow Pose
Bridge Pose
Camel Pose
Cat Pose
Chair Pose
Child's Pose
Cobra Pose
Corpse Pose
Cow Pose
Cow Face Pose
Crow Pose
Dolphin Plank Pose
Downward Dog Pose
Eagle Pose
Eight Angle Pose
Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Extended Puppy Pose
Extended Side Angle Pose
Firefly Pose
Fish Pose
Garland Pose
Half Frog Pose
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Half Moon Pose
Yoga Handstand
Happy Baby Pose
Head To Knee Pose
High Lunge Pose
Legs Up The Wall Pose
Locust Pose
Lotus Pose
Shoulder Pressing Pose
Low Lunge Pose
Monkey Pose
Mountain Pose
Noose Pose
Plank Pose
Plow Pose
Sage Koundinya I Pose
Sage Marichi's Pose
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Revolved Triangle Pose
Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Reclining Hero Pose
Scale Pose
Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose
Peacock Pose
Pyramid Pose
Crescent Lunge Pose
Heron Pose
Hero Pose
Feathered Peacock Pose
Staff Pose
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Four Limbed Staff Pose
Revolved Side Angle Pose
Wild Thing Pose
Side Crow Pose
Side Plank Pose
Sphinx Pose
Supported Headstand (Sirsasana)
Tree Pose
Standing Split
Supported Shoulderstand
Standing Half Forward Bend
Triangle Pose
Upward Plank Pose
Upward Facing Two Foot Staff Pose
Wheel Pose
Upward Salute Pose
Upward Facing Dog Pose
Warrior I Pose
Warrior II Pose
Warrior III Pose
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Easy Pose
Gate Pose
Wide Legged Forward Fold
Dancer Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II
Marichi's Pose
Fire Log Pose
Standing Forward Bend
Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II

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