Finding Relaxation and Release: The Restorative Power of Supported Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Supported Puppy Pose, also known as Uttana Shishosana, is a deeply restorative yoga posture that offers a gentle stretch for the spine, shoulders, and arms.

By using props for support, this pose allows practitioners to experience a sense of surrender and relaxation while releasing tension from the upper body.

In this article, we’ll explore the technique, benefits, and variations of Supported Puppy Pose, as well as how it can enhance your yoga practice.


To practice Supported Puppy Pose, begin by kneeling on your mat with your knees hip-width apart. Place a bolster or a stack of blankets horizontally in front of you.

On an exhale, slowly lower your chest and forehead toward the bolster, allowing your arms to extend forward and rest on the prop.

Keep your hips stacked over your knees and your arms shoulder-width apart. If needed, place additional props under your chest or forehead for support. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, allowing your body to soften and release into the stretch.


  1. Spinal Stretch: Supported Puppy Pose gently stretches the muscles along the spine, promoting greater flexibility and mobility in the back.
  2. Shoulder and Arm Release: This pose helps release tension in the shoulders, upper back, and arms, making it especially beneficial for those who spend long hours sitting or working at a desk.
  3. Heart Opening: Supported Puppy Pose opens the chest and heart center, encouraging a sense of expansion and openness in the upper body.
  4. Stress Reduction: The supported, passive nature of this pose induces a state of deep relaxation, calming the nervous system and reducing stress and anxiety.
  5. Improves Posture: By stretching the chest and shoulders and lengthening the spine, Supported Puppy Pose can help improve posture and alleviate stiffness from slouching.


  • Wide-Legged Variation: Instead of keeping the knees together, spread them wider apart to create more space for the torso to sink between the arms.
  • Arm Variation: Experiment with different arm positions, such as reaching the arms out to the sides in a wide “V” shape or bending the elbows and placing the palms together in prayer position behind the head.


Supported Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana) offers a gentle yet effective way to stretch and release tension from the upper body while promoting relaxation and stress relief.

By incorporating this pose into your yoga practice and using props for support as needed, you can experience increased flexibility, improved posture, and a greater sense of overall well-being.

Whether you’re seeking to release tension from the shoulders and spine or simply unwind and relax, Supported Puppy Pose provides a nurturing practice for both body and mind.

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