Definition - What does Utthita Svanasana mean?
Utthita svanasana is an accessible inverted asana that requires openness in the upper body, some core control and the ability to kneel comfortably. Derived from Sanskrit, utthita means “extended,” svana means “dog” and asana means “pose."
In this asana, the body forms an inverted "V" shape with the knees on the ground, the hips lifted over the knees, the body reaching forward and the arms extended over the head. The palms are grounded and the forehead, or the chest and chin, may touch the floor.
Utthita svanasana may be commonly referred to in English as extended dog pose.
Yogapedia explains Utthita Svanasana
In addition to its physical benefits, utthita svanasana improves energy levels, calms the mind and can relieve stress, tension and even insomnia. It is generally thought of as a gently invigorating asana, energetically, despite its soothing effects.
Traditionally, utthita svanasana is believed to stimulate the anahata (heart) chakra, thereby increasing feelings of openness, compassion and love. Working with this chakra is thought to enhance connection with one's self and others.
This asana can be practiced for 30 seconds to one minute, or even longer if practiced as part of a Yin yoga sequence.