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“The most important piece of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind.” - Rodney Yee

You can build muscles with heavy weights or elaborate machines, but with yoga, you can attain physical, mental and spiritual well-being by using what nature has already provided you. Nature is our first true teacher; yoga teaches us that as all yoga asanas are inspired by nature. Simhasana is one such asana. 

The Lion Pose or Simhasana is a well-known Hatha Yoga asana, its name derived from two Sanskrit words, ‘Simha’ and ‘Asana’, meaning lion and pose respectively. Simhasana is a strong seated asana which requires a strong breathing technique and energetic exhalation. 

This asana reduces stress and anger. True to its name, Simhasana comprises a lion-like posture and roaring sound from the mouth made while assuming this asana. It is also known as Simhagarjanasana.

Read on to know the benefits of Simhasana, the right way to do this asana and the precautions one should take while practising Simhasana.

  1. Simhasana (Lion Pose) steps: correct way to do Simhasana
  2. Benefits for Simhasana (Lion Pose)
  3. Easy modifications for Simhasana
  4. Precautions to take while practicing Simhasana

Although a simple yoga asana, getting into the right mindset before performing it is imperative, much like warming up before any exercise. Follow these simple steps to perform this asana correctly:

  • Sit down on your knees in vajrasana. Spread your knees as far apart as possible. 
  • Lean forward, place the palms between your knees on the floor, but the fingers facing back towards the body. Open the eyes and focus your gaze on the centre of your brow.
  • Keep your mouth closed and inhale deeply while relaxing the body.
  • Exhale through your mouth, bring out the tongue and produce a powerful, clear ‘haa’ sound.
  • Close the mouth and inhale again through the nose.

Simhasana is a simple asana but has numerous benefits for the body as well as the mind:

  • Also termed as the destroyer of diseases, Simhasana controls stress and tension.
  • Simhasana is useful for people with bad breath and for those who stutter.
  • It energizes all the three ‘bandhas’ or locks (Moola, Jalandhara and Uddiyana) and also stimulates our ‘Manipura Chakra’, which is the centre of vitality.
  • It is considered the best facial exercise as it lifts up your face, firms up the throat and increases the flow of blood to the face.
  • Simhasana releases stress from our body, especially from the chest, face and mind. 
  • This asana works as a great anti-aging exercise. It reduces fine lines, removes crow’s-feet (wrinkles around the eye) and gives a fresh glow to the face. 
  • Simhasana is also beneficial for those who experience stiffness in the jaws or other discomfort such as grinding of the teeth, clenched jaws or an asymmetrical bite. 
  • Fixing gaze while practising Simhasana cures the problem of burning eyes.

Simhasana is a more complex variation of the simpler vajrasana. Practising Vajrasana before moving onto Simhasana is an ideal progression. Here’s a simpler method to perform the Simhasana.

  • Sit down on your knees in Vajrasana with the knees apart. Keep your toes in contact with each other.
  • Lean forward, place the palms between your knees on the floor, but the fingers facing back towards the body.
  • Straighten the arms and arch the back, and rest the body on the arms.
  • Tilt the head back to create tension in the neck.
  • Close your eyes and focus your inner gaze at the centre of the eyebrows, also called shambhavi mudra. You can also leave the eyes open which will make you look towards a particular point of the ceiling.
  • Keep the mouth closed and relax.

Asanas like practising Simhasana may look simple but folding the knees and sitting on the legs can be painful for some. Here are a few precautions one must practise:

  • In case of injury, you can sit on a chair and practice Simhagarjanasana.
  • You should not put your hands on the floor if you have weak wrists.
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