Extended Puppy Pose
Definition - What does Extended Puppy Pose mean?
Extended puppy pose is a similar asana to the familiar and restful child’s pose (balasana), but provides a greater stretch to the spine. It gets its name from the resemblance to a stretching puppy or dog.
From table pose, the hands walk forward while the glutes stretch back about halfway, where they are kept in line above the knees. The chest is released toward the ground with the forehead eventually resting on the ground or yoga block.
In Sanskrit, extended puppy pose is also known as uttana shishosana. In English, it is also called Melting Heart Pose and Puppy Dog Pose.
Yogapedia explains Extended Puppy Pose
Extended puppy pose helps to realign the spine and is a good preparation for backbends such as camel pose. Additional benefits of extended puppy pose include:
- Relieves tension and insomnia
- Stretches the shoulder muscles
- Stretches and lengthens the spine
Extended dog pose can be modified by placing a yoga block between the thighs to help engage the inner thighs and protect the lower back. It can also be practiced with a yoga bolster under the chest to lessen the backbend and make the asana more restorative. In another variation, the chin is taken to the floor.
Those with a knee injury should be cautious when practicing this asana.