There are so many benefits to this backbend, namely that you stretch the spine and open up the chest. The more the back arches, the more the front side of the body opens, which allows the heart chakra to open as well. And of course, this in turn improves posture.
Bonanno adds that this pose is also a great shoulder stretch. On top of that, your arms and abdominals get some gentle stretching, and you can release all the pent up tension we so often hold in our upper back and shoulders.
Last but not least, Puppy is a slight inversion, meaning your heart is higher than your head. Inversions are calming, help facilitate circulation, and can leave you feeling generally more more zen. A win-win for the body and mind!
The bottom line is, there’s nothing like a good backbend to help improve your posture and open up your heart. The next time you feel like you need it—whether you’ve been slouching or your heart feels closed off—be sure to include a round or two of Puppy pose in your next yoga flow.