UNLIMITED YOGA AT HOME ANYTIME, ANYWHERE

Join Now

Picture of Extended Puppy Pose

 

Uttana Shishosana: Extended Puppy Pose


An intelligent pose to help lengthen the spine and relieve mental stress, uttana shishosana (OO-ta-NAH she-SHO-sahna), is a hybrid pose — a cross between balasana (child’s pose) and adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog). Uttana shishosana is a great way to energize the physical and subtle bodies for when you’re feeling fatigued, or when you’ve been stuck behind a desk or in a chair all day. Energetically, the posture has the benefits of increasing both self-confidence and self-love.

Philosophy + Origin

Uttana shishosana is a great reminder of why we practice yoga: to feel better and to find tools to help us live our best lives. Named because of the way dogs and puppies stretch, this posture, while far from fancy, is effective in its simplicity. As humans, it’s easy to want to complicate life, always looking to the past or future in order to find meaning. Dogs, on the other hand, are great at being present. Loyal and playful, our canine companions have a lot to teach us about relaxing and taking care of ourselves and those we love. As you practice extended puppy pose, allow yourself to settle into your senses. Allow yourself to linger (and lengthen) in the feel-good sensations.

ADJUSTMENTS:

  • Neck adjustments: Place your forehead on the ground or use a block under the forehead to alleviate discomfort in the neck.
  • Blanket: For tender knees, place a blanket on the ground for added cushion.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Start on your mat in tabletop pose. Stack your shoulders directly above your wrists and your hips just above your knees. Tuck your toes rather than pointing them.
  2. Keep your hips above your knees and slowly walk your hands forward.
  3. Depending on your body and neck, either rest your forehead onto the mat, on a block, or bring your gaze forward so that your chin rests gently on the mat.
  4. To deepen the stretch along your spine and through the chest and shoulders, press more firmly through the hands as you isometrically pull the hips back to create traction.
  5. Stay for up to a minute. When you’re ready to exit the posture, shift your hips back into child’s pose.

Get the latest from Gaia

PREPARATORY POSES:

FOLLOW-UP POSES:

SANSKRIT:

  • Uttana = intense, extended
  • Shisho = puppy
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Opens the front of the chest.
  • Stretches the muscles of the abdomen.
  • Stimulates and strengthens back muscles.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Activates the sacral (svadhisthana) and heart (anahata) chakras.
  • Increases self-confidence and self-love.
  • Opens the heart for more acceptance and love.

MANTRA:

Compassion Mantra

A mantra designed to honor the bodhisattva of compassion, this special mantra is designed to open the heart in order to help it expand into love and let compassion flow. To practice, chant aloud the words “OM MANI PADME HUM.” This mantra is great to practice during meditation.

MUDRA: Padma Mudra

A symbol of a heart blossoming with love and acceptance, padma, or lotus mudra can be practiced by bringing the hands together at the heart in prayer position and then allowing the index, middle, and ring fingers to expand out while keeping the thumbs, pinky fingers, and heels of the hand touching. Keep the hands at the heart or lift them up over the crown of the head.

become a member

Mind. Blown? Elevate your inbox with weekly articles from Gaia

Unlimited Yoga at Home
Anytime, Anywhere

Join Now

There's More To You Than You Think

Travel down a new road with Gaia, a member-supported conscious media company. Join our community of seekers, dreamers, and doers to empower your own evolution. Discover over 8,000+ ad-free, streaming videos to inspire and encourage curiosity. Everything is waiting for you; which path will you choose?

What Does A Conscious Company Do With $11.99 A Month?

Provides an ad-free experience, no exceptions!
Pays the bills without selling your personalinformation.
Produces, edits, and shares thought-provoking original shows and videos.
Brings scholars, scientists, and even shamans into the studios.
Makes Gaia accessible on your favorite devices.
Keeps our community active and supports its growth.
STEP 1 of 3
Choose your plan
Prices in USD
Save

Cost After First Payment

Cost After First Payment

Cancel Anytime

Cancel Anytime

Available on Laptop, Phone, Tablet, and TV

Available on Laptop, Phone, Tablet, and TV

Ad-Free Streaming

Ad-Free Streaming