The Lion Pose, or Roaring Lion Pose (whose original sanskrit name is Simhasana) in yoga is suitable for people of all ages, as it is relatively easy to perform. ‘Simha’ in Sanskrit means, Lion, and this posture gets its name because the face of the person performing it resembles the face of a Roaring Lion (Simha Mudra), with open mouth and extended tongue.

Simhasana is considered a base pose as simhasana variations can be derived from this poses which can be practiced in Vajrasana, Padmasana, sukhasana, Gorakshasana.

Lion Pose variations can therefore help us to grow and build further confidence in our yoga practice no matter what the starting ability levels are. And this is where our role as a yoga teacher becomes very important. In addition to the above, many yoga teachers include pose variations when giving sequence handouts to a mixed ability class to cater to everyone’s needs and also to their private clients.

Simhasana Steps:

1.Sit on Dandasana, the base pose of sitting postures.
2. Kneel down on the ground and bring the body to Vajrasana, placing the soles of the feet close to your buttocks and sit on the heels of the feet.
3. Take a few breaths here expanding the spine upwards and bring the chest out.
4. Inhale and placing the palms and fingers grip on the floor in front of you, raise the body and come forward. Exhale completely here.
5. Inhale again and bring the feet on the floor, opening the knees wide apart, and slowly place all the toes on the floor picking the heels off the ground.
6. Continue having the palms on the floor and adjust the body and bring the toes together and the heels together. Exhale completely here.
7. Ensure the soles of the feet are touching each other and the knees are off the floor and are hip distance apart.
8. Inhale again and bring the palms onto the knees and sit straight raising the body upwards and balancing the body on the toes and heels. Exhale as you stretch the body upwards.
9. Inhale and then open your mouth fully, bringing the tongue out and curving it towards the chin.
10. Bring the face down by placing the chin close to the chest and gaze at one point with eyes wide open. Exhale through both your nose and mouth while the tongue is out.
11. Widen the eyes, bare your teeth and stretch your facial muscles (like smiling deep) so that your face looks terrifying like a roaring lion.
12. Inhale again and hold the breath here pulling in the abdomen and bringing in the belly to make it tight. Put pressure on the mouth and jaws by smiling deep and “throwing” the tongue out.

Variation Simhasana – Simhagarjanasana (Lion Roaring Pose)

  1. For roaring variation, while holding the breath, make sound at the back of the throat like that of a Lion and continue it as long as you are comfortable. The roaring sound of the Lion produced at the back of the throat should be smooth and yet loud.
  2. Roar long and loud. Once done, don’t release the tongue but continue holding the tongue out and make sure the eyes are wide open. Holding this pose even after the roaring of the Lion sound is done is the most important part of this yoga mudra.
    3. Remain in this final posture after the roar is done for about 10 seconds or as per your comfort.
    4. Release the pose and sit down again in Vajrasana, close your eyes and relax your breath and body. Take few breaths here and go back into Lion’s Pose again. Repeat this for about three rounds making the roaring sound longer each time.

Benefits of Simhasana (Lions Pose):

Exercises Facial Muscles:
The roaring of the Lion pose (Simhasana) provides a good exercise to the facial muscles
It therefore maintains the firmness and luster of the facial skin

Specific Muscles:
This yoga pose helps to balance and to strengthen the muscles of calves, thighs and buttocks.

Soothes Eyes: It is said that the practice of this posture brings smoothing effect to the eyes and helps in reducing eye strain
This yoga pose stimulates the nerves keeping your eyes healthy

Stronger Voice:
This yoga pose helps in voice-related difficulties, throat related problems, and is good for singers.

Rejuvenates Face:
This yoga pose helps to Improves circulation of blood to the face

Improves Digestion:
As the abdomen is pulled in, it aids in good digestion

Improves Carotid Sinus Nerves Functioning:
This posture with the mouth wide open, aids in better functioning of the carotid sinus nerve

Improves Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands:
This pose also aids in the functioning of the thyroid and parathyroid glands

Calms Mind: This pose brings calmness to the mind by removing the stress through the roaring sound of the lion.
Specific Illness:
This yoga pose helps prevent sore throat, asthma, and other respiratory ailments.

Contradiction of Simhasana:

If you have weak wrists then perform simhasana asana sitting in vajrasana, don’t put your hands on the floor.
Do not practice this asana for more than three minutes.
Be careful while practicing simhasana with a broken or injured knee or ankles.
Avoid performing this asana with an injury in the face, neck, throat cavity or tongue.

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