Puppy Pose is a simple yet highly effective yoga pose!
To many this pose may not look like a yoga pose at all. It's actually a perfect example of a pose that looks simple but may surprise you. Of course, it's easy to see why it's called Puppy Pose, you certainly do resemble a puppy in a playful posture. If you don't believe it, just take a close look at puppy during playtime.
This pose strongly resembles both Downward Facing Dog and Child's Pose. You could say that it's a little less complicated than Down Dog but probably a little harder than Child's Pose, although that could vary depending on your practice. You'll likely run across this pose in a restorative yoga class as it has become a popular selection among yoga instructors.
Puppy isn't a pose with complicated alignment issues, however for a simple pose it still offers numerous variations and options.
Uttana Shishosana is the Sanskrit name for this posture. The breakdown for the Sanskrit name is as follows, "Uttana" meaning "Stretched Out", "Shishu" meaning "Puppy", "Asana" meaning "Pose". Puppy is the most common name for this posture, but it's also possible that you may hear it referred to as "Melting Heart Pose".
Regardless of what name you use for this yoga pose, there's no denying it's ability to offer wide ranging benefits. Most of the benefits are focused on the upper body including the shoulders, spine, chest and neck. For this reason, Puppy is known as a pose that will aid in reducing tension in the shoulders and neck, a common gathering place for stress.