Extended Puppy Pose: Meaning, Benefits and Steps

Dr. Vibha Choudhary

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vibha Choudhary


5 min read


Puppy pose yoga is a simple restorative yoga for beginners. Also called uttana shishosana, the extended puppy pose is a combination of a child and downward dog pose. Read to know about its benefits.

Key Takeaways

  • There are numerous health benefits of uttana shishosana
  • Extended puppy pose increases the strength of your spine
  • Puppy pose yoga helps boost confidence and calms the mind

There’s no better way to rejuvenate yourself other than practicing yoga. A few poses like puppy pose, mountain pose, and child pose are perfect yoga asanas for beginners. The extended puppy pose is also called Uttara shishosana in Sanskrit. Studies reveal that yoga regularly improves lifestyle patterns and makes your mind calm and positive [1]. You’ll be able to manage your stress and keep a check on your anxiety levels too. After a long tiring day at work or home, you need mental peace. Not only does yoga maintain your overall physical well-being, it also helps you fight many health ailments.

A report confirms the efficiency of yoga in improving fitness levels among individuals with mental and developmental disabilities [2]. Amongst the simple yoga asanas for you to try is the puppy pose or uttana shishosana. Though it may sound technical in Sanskrit, it is a simple pose to execute. All you need to do is follow the correct steps of the pose to enjoy its numerous benefits. It relieves your stress and makes you feel relaxed after a long tiring day. Practicing the puppy pose regularly can boost your self-confidence as well.

Read on to get a better insight into the meaning of puppy pose, its benefits, and how to execute button shishosana.

Meaning of Uttana Shishosana:

The meaning of ‘uttana’ is extended while ‘shisho’ means puppy. So that’s how uttana shishosana gets the English name of extended puppy pose. It is one of the simplest restorative yoga asanas for a beginner. The extended puppy pose combines the downward facing dog pose and child pose. When you do this pose, you stretch your upper back forward and arms.

Execute this e yoga by sitting down on all fours. The intense forward stretch on the upper back and arms relaxes your back muscles and helps open the heart. As a result, your stress levels decrease with increased blood circulation. Since the pose mimics a stretching puppy, this asana is called the extended puppy pose.

When you start this yoga, you may look like a table on all fours. Extend your hand forward while making sure to stretch back your glutes. If you are suffering from back or shoulder pain, the extended puppy pose is the best pose for you. Learn the right way for the puppy pose yoga for practical health benefits.

Additional Read: Yoga for Heart HealthPuppy Pose

Steps for Puppy Pose:

Follow the steps given below to practice uttana shishosana. 

  • Start by getting on the floor on all fours, which is the tabletop position 
  • Ensure that your wrist is adjusted beneath the shoulders 
  • Align your knees beneath your hips 
  • Stretch your elbows while walking your arms in the forward direction 
  • Inhale deeply and slowly when you do so 
  • Extend your lower back by stretching it 
  • Keep your forehead down while pulling the upper back 
  • Exhale when doing this 
  • Stretch your shoulders and keep your chest open 
  • Make sure to lift your armpits and elbows 
  • Try to stay in the same position for a few minutes 
  • Move-in the backward direction with your hands 
  • Get your hips to heels and relax yourself 
  • Stay in the same position and slowly come up  

If you are a beginner, try to stay in the puppy pose for at least three minutes initially. Make sure to increase your time slowly after a few rounds of practice. The extended puppy pose effectively results when you try staying in the same posture for a long time.

ways to simplify Puppy Pose

Puppy Pose Benefits:

Puppy pose yoga benefits your health in umpteen ways. Here are a few benefits for you to know. 

  • It helps increase your body flexibility 
  • Boosts your energy 
  • It provides an excellent stretch to your spine and shoulders 
  • Reduces health ailments like insomnia and anxiety 
  • Enhances your spinal flexibility 
  • Rejuvenates your body while calming the mind 
  • Tones your upper back, hips, and arms 
  • Activates your nervous system 
  • Increases the strength of your abdominal muscles 
  • Instills positivity and eliminates negative thoughts 
  • Improves the blood circulation 
  • It helps you to be self-aware  
  • Eliminates stress and headaches 
Additional Read: 6 Top Yoga Nidra Benefits

Puppy Pose Tips For Beginners: 

Make sure to do a few warm-up exercises before you start the puppy pose. Practice cat and cow poses so you do not feel any strain on your legs while doing the uttana shishosana pose. Always breathe slowly and deeply so that you can bend your back deeply.  

If you face difficulty doing the pose on a mat, you can modify it slightly by keeping a block beneath your forehead. 

During initial practice rounds, you may even place a yoga bolster under the knees. This helps you stay in the puppy pose for a more extended period. Since this pose involves a mild inversion, you can feel dizzy. The leading cause of dizziness is the drastic change in blood flow. So, ensure that you release this pose slowly. Before proceeding with the carriage again, make sure to lie down properly.

While executing the puppy pose may be easy, do not practice it if you have knee or hip injuries. It is ideal for practicing the pose under professional guidance if you have back problems. If not, it can aggravate your back pain. In addition, pregnant females should avoid practicing the this pose as it can harm their babies.

Be it winter yoga poses or yoga poses for constipation, executing these top yoga poses with the help of a yoga instructor can help you achieve effective results. You may talk to reputed yoga therapists on Bajaj Finserv Health and address all your concerns. Book an online doctor consultation and understand the nuances of yoga poses from the comfort of your home.

Published on 27 Jul 2022Last updated on 13 Apr 2023
  1. https://www.ym-kdham.in/article.asp?issn=0044-0507;year=2017;volume=49;issue=2;spage=68;epage=75;aulast=Deolia
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336942/

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Vibha Choudhary

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vibha Choudhary

, Bachelor in Physiotherapy (BPT)


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