We at CNY Healing Arts are proud to present you with this invigorating inversion. A good warm-up or closer to your yoga sequence, Uttana Shishosana is one of those feel-good poses, like Child’s Pose or Happy Baby: simple, sensory, and stretchable.
A beginner’s tip: to activate the leg and hip muscles, place a bolster lengthwise from the knees to the ankles and squeeze. This will, also, help protect your lower back and perfect your posture while in Extended Puppy.
Click here to view a yoga class schedule for each branch of CNY Healing Arts (located in Syracuse, Rochester, and Albany).
Getting Into Extended Puppy Pose:
Begin on all fours: shoulders over wrists, hips over knees, tops of feet on the floor. Slowly walk your hands out as you drop your chest towards the floor (keeping hips over knees and arms shoulder-width apart).
If you are having trouble with your form, try drawing your navel up and your hips back as you extend the hands forward, in order to keep your hips over your knees. Now drop your forehead to the floor and let your neck relax. You may want to place a bolster under your forehead to support your weight.
Like other inversion poses, Uttana Shishosana changes the direction of blood flow, which can cause headaches or discomfort (especially for people with high blood pressure). If this is the case, the few inches of elevation from a bolster should correct the problem.
Now, press down through the hands and stretch the arms while pulling your hips back toward the heels (keeping a slight curve in your lower back). Make sure your elbows are not touching the ground, but keep your arms active.
You should feel a rather intense inner-shoulder stretch. If you aren’t feeling the stretch, check your form. If all is in order, extend your arms out further and lay your chest on the floor. You should feel a nice long stretch in your spine.
Hold this posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute. When you are ready, exhale and walk your hands in, lifting your body up to a kneeling position. Remember that a sudden change in blood flow can cause dizziness, so take your time when coming out of an inversion pose such as Extended Puppy.
Benefits of Extended Puppy Pose:
- Stretches the spine and shoulders
- Calms the mind and invigorates the body
- Improves flexibility, especially in the spine
- Relieves symptoms of chronic stress, tension, and insomnia
- Strengthens and stretches the arms, hips, and upper back