The Extended Puppy Pose, also known as Uttana Shishosana in Sanskrit, offers a beautiful stretch to both the spine and shoulders. Here’s a detailed breakdown:
- Spinal Stretch: This pose gently lengthens the spine, helping to relieve tension and improve posture.
- Shoulder Opener: Extended Puppy opens and stretches the shoulders, beneficial for those who hold tension in this area.
- Chest Opener: This pose also opens up the chest, aiding in better respiratory function.
- Mental Benefits: The pose can be calming, making it effective against stress and insomnia.
- Starting Position: Begin on all fours in a tabletop position. Ensure that your wrists are aligned under your shoulders and your knees are aligned under your hips.
- Extend Arms: Move your hands a few inches forward from their starting position and curl your toes underneath you.
- Move Hips Backward: As you exhale, gently move your hips halfway back towards your feet. Ensure that your elbows remain lifted off the floor, and your arms remain active.
- Lower Chest and Forehead: Lower your chest towards the ground, aiming to place your forehead on the floor. Let the neck relax and be neutral.
- Maintain Position: Keep a slight arch in your lower back. As you push through your palms, actively stretch your arms while pulling your hips back. This creates the sensation of lengthening and stretching through the spine.
- Duration: Stay in the pose, taking deep and steady breaths for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Release: To come out of the pose, slowly walk your hands back towards you, lifting your chest and returning to the tabletop position.
- If you have a knee injury, be cautious or avoid this pose.
- If your forehead doesn’t reach the floor comfortably, you can place a yoga block or folded blanket under your forehead for support.
- Always consult with a yoga instructor or healthcare professional before practicing a new pose, especially if you have existing health concerns.
Consistent practice of the Extended Puppy Pose can aid in relaxation and release tension in the upper body. As with any yoga posture, ensure you listen to your body’s cues and practice with mindfulness.