Happy Hump-asana Day: Extended Puppy Pose/Uttana Shishosana

Ahoy, me hearties! No, it’s not Talk Like a Pirate Day yet [another 221 days – calm down], it’s just hump-asana day again!

[Pirates have nothing to do with today’s posture, that was just for fun]

Today’s hump-asana flavor: Extended Puppy Pose / Uttana Shishosana

Photo credit: YJ

The bad news:  Uttana Shishosana can be ruthless if you are tense in the upper body and shoulders. In fact, it’s one of my least favorites – which means I way need it, right? The good news: it can be crazy calming and stretch those shoulder earrings [reeeal good!] once you find a comfortable tolerable stopping point.

Simply begin on all fours. Walk the hands forward until they are fully (or your version of fully) extended out in front of you. Draw your navel up and hips back as you extend the hands forward, in order to keep the hips over the knees. Without allowing your elbows to touch the ground, press down through the hands while continuing to slightly pull back with the hips. You should feel a fairly intense inner-shoulder stretch. If you don’t feel enough there, extend your arms out further and put your chest on the floor.

*A good place for a blanket is under the knees.

Like I said, this pose is killer on my shoulders, so I usually try a variation. If you struggle to find a comfortable place in this pose, too, try a supported variation. Now, I’m not trying to rival Christina Aguilera’s Super Bowl National Anthem performance [booya!]*, so I won’t risk misspeaking. I’ll send you to a more restoriative-based expert instead: Try this passive version on Sara’s Do Restorative Yoga blog (second pose down).  Looks cozy!

*Just had to get that one in there.

Happy Hump-asana Day, fellow yogis! Get your minds out of the gutter – Hump-asana Day, traditionally known as Wednesday or “Hump Day” in lamens/working-folk tongue, is a mid-week yogi treat. Hump-asana Day features a snippet of a pose worth spending some time exploring. And since they’re ALL worth exploring, we’ll never run out of poses for Hump-asana Day – rejoice!

Published by Amanda Niznik

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