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Puppy Pose

Puppy Pose

The Puppy Pose is a wonderfully relaxing and gentle stretch that targets the upper body, particularly the shoulders, chest, and spine. This exercise is inspired by the adorable posture of a curious puppy sticking its head out, making it both cute and effective. It is commonly performed in yoga practices and is known for its ability to alleviate tension and stress in the upper body. To get into the Puppy Pose, start on all fours with your knees directly under your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. With a deep exhale, slowly walk your hands forward while simultaneously lowering your chest towards the floor. Keep your hips stacked over your knees and extend your arms forward as far as you comfortably can. As you lower into the pose, you'll feel a deep stretch in your shoulders, chest, and along the length of your spine. It's important to maintain a slight engagement in your core to support your back and prevent excessive strain. You can modify the intensity of the stretch by adjusting how far you walk your hands forward. Remember, the goal is to find a position that feels challenging but still allows you to relax into the stretch. Practicing the Puppy Pose regularly can lead to increased flexibility and mobility in the upper body, improved posture, and reduced tension. It can also be a valuable exercise for those who spend long hours sitting or working at a desk, as it helps counteract the rounded shoulders and hunched posture commonly associated with sedentary lifestyles. Incorporate the Puppy Pose into your fitness routine or simply enjoy it as a standalone stretch to promote relaxation and release built-up tension in your upper body. As with any exercise, listen to your body, and if you experience any discomfort or pain, ease up or consult a fitness professional for guidance.

Instructions

  • Start on your hands and knees on a mat or comfortable surface.
  • Position your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees hip-width apart.
  • As you exhale, slowly lower your buttocks towards your heels.
  • Extend your arms in front of you and rest your forehead on the ground.
  • Relax your entire body and take deep breaths.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths or for as long as you feel comfortable.
  • To come out of the pose, slowly inhale and press your hands into the ground to lift your torso back up.

Tips & Tricks

  • Properly warm up your body before attempting the Puppy Pose to prevent injury.
  • Focus on your breath and practice deep breathing during the pose to help relax your mind and body.
  • Engage your core muscles to maintain stability and support your spine while in the Puppy Pose.
  • Allow your chest and shoulders to open up by gently pressing your chest towards the ground.
  • To deepen the stretch, push your hips back towards your heels while keeping your arms extended.
  • If you feel discomfort or strain in your neck, try placing a bolster or folded blanket under your forehead.
  • Maintain the pose for a duration that feels comfortable to you, gradually increasing the time as you become more flexible.
  • Listen to your body and modify the pose if needed, using props or adaptations to ensure safety and comfort.
  • Incorporate the Puppy Pose into your regular yoga or stretching routine for improved posture and shoulder flexibility.
  • Practice mindfulness during the pose by focusing on the sensations in your body and allowing tension to release.

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