Puppy Pose Yoga: How To Do & Benefits

This yoga pose is all about calming the mind through lengthening your spine, through this pose which is a cross between the child’s pose and the downward facing dog pose.

Puppy Pose Yoga: How To Do & Benefits

The Sanskrit name for this pose is Uttana Shishosana, and this pose can be ranked at level one. It is definitely the perfect pose for yoga learners who are at the beginning of their yoga journey, or this would be equally as perfect for well-practiced yoga learners. 

How To Do The Puppy Pose

Here is where we give an outline of just how to do the puppy pose, through easy to follow step-by-step instructions. With practice, you will be able to effortlessly use this pose to transition between different poses within your yoga routine. 

  1. Start off on all fours – when you do this, you should make sure that your shoulders are above your wrists and that your hips are above your knees. You are looking to create a kind of symmetry within your body. Also walk your hand forward a couple of inches, and make sure to curl your toes under. 
  2. As you exhale, move your buttocks halfway back, just towards your heels – make sure that you try to keep your arms active, and do not let your elbows touch the ground.
  3. Drop your forehead to the floor, or to a blanket and make sure to relax your neck – ensure that you keep a slight curve in your lower back. To really feel that nice long stretch in your spine, make sure to press your hands down and stretch through your arms. Do this all while pulling your hips back towards your heels.
  4. Lastly, breathe into your back – this is where you can feel your spine lengthen in both directions. Hold this pose for as little as 30 seconds, or up to a minute, and then release your buttocks down onto your heels. Here, you have the perfect puppy pose.

If you are worried about encountering any kind of injuries from practicing this pose, especially if you are prone to knee injuries, then there are some measures that you can implement to ensure that you avoid this.

You can hold this pose for longer and also protect your knees and your lower back by placing a rolled-up blanket, or some kind of bolster, between your thighs and calves.

Do this as much or as little as suits you, after all, yoga is meant to be relaxing and low impact so you should be able to partake in this without worrying about getting injured in any way.

The Benefits Of The Puppy Pose

The short answer to this is that the puppy pose can really help you to stretch out your spine area and also to stretch out your shoulder area too. Trying out this yoga pose will really help set your mindset, and will bring upon you feelings of calm and tranquility. 

This pose is versatile, in that it is great to ease your way into yoga – or it is great as a transitional pose if you are more advanced at yoga.

If you are a beginner, then it might take you some time to completely get comfortable and engage with the positioning of your body, and also timing this with your breathing. Our best piece of advice for this is that ultimately, practice makes perfect.

Yoga is all about bringing your being to a state of calm and tranquility. It is by no means a competition, you set your own bar and progress so to follow and improve upon your yoga level.

This is not something that you need to feel any need to rush through. This is something that you can take at your own pace, and you should not impose any judgement upon yourself due to this.

This is all about creating time for yourself, incorporating an activity in  your daily schedule that has benefits to both your mind and your body.

You can work at different yoga poses in ways that suit you best, and if you find this particular pose tricky then this is something that you can take time to perfect before trying to fit it into your yoga routine.

There are lots of ways that you can incorporate this pose into your yoga routine, and actually it is really beneficial for your physical and mental wellbeing.

If you are a beginner, this pose can be a substantial part of your yoga routine, and it is especially great for boosting a sense of mindfulness.

Or, if you are more practiced at yoga then this pose can be more of a transitional element of your yoga routine, it can be great to help you flow from one movement to another, whilst still holding solid form. 

This pose can have a huge impact on your physical well being because it helps you to stretch your spine and relax the muscles in your shoulders.

It is also great for improving your general form in yoga, and the stretching of your spine will have a positive impact on your posture.

 Alternatively, this pose can have a great impact on your mental well being because it just gives you a chance to really take time to be in the moment and completely relax.

By focusing on your breathing during different segments of this pose, you are able to calm and control your thoughts and just have a greater appreciation of this time out that you are taking for yourself.

This pose could also be great for allowing you to regain focus and realign your thought process, if you find your thoughts drifting off into the stresses of daily life then transitioning into the puppy pose can really help to recenter your focus.

It is perfectly natural for your thoughts to drift especially if you are feeling stressed, but yoga is about focusing on yourself and so it can be key to allow your mind to wander, and then regain control and refocus your attention.

Conclusion

Overall, the puppy pose is a great yoga position to practice.

Whether you are a beginner and want to add more elements to your yoga routine, or if you are pretty well-practiced and advanced then it is a great transitional move just to keep that strong form and fluidity when transitioning through positions in your daily yoga routine. 

Laura Simmons
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