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Lion pose, Simhasana
Photography by natiya guin

Lion pose, Simhasana

by Darlene D’Arezzo darlene d’arezzo
Practice Yoga | Hatha Yoga | | Home Practice


You're gonna hear me roar

The lion is the king of the beasts, the king of the jungle, courageous and strong. The lion is a symbol of strength and nobility. Practicing simhasana,the lion pose, you will find the power and strength within yourself to be bold, honest and direct and to conquer your fears.

If you were like the lion king, brave and unafraid, what sorts of fears and obstacles could you overcome?

Simhasana, lion pose Step by Step

1. Kneel on the floor and sit on your heels. Cross the front of your right ankle over the back of your left.

2. Sit tall with head and chest held high like a lion. You are a lionheart, brave and magnanimous.

3. Place your hands, palms down, on your knees without rounding your shoulders or collapsing your chest.

4. Fan the palms and spread your fingers like the large, sharp claws of a lion’s paw.

5. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Open your mouth wide, stretching out your tongue and curling its tip down toward the chin. Open your eyes wide, slowly breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound. (The breath will pass over the back of the throat.)

6. Older children may try to set their gaze or drishti at the spot between the eyebrows. This is called mid-brow gazing, bhru-madhya-drisht. Or, direct the eyes to the tip of the nose, nasa-agra-drishti.

7. Close your mouth and eyes. Take a short break in between each repetition. Roar two or three times.8. Then switch up your ankles, placing the front of your left ankle over the back of your right, and repeat for the same number of times

Variations

1. Practice roaring like a lion king, lioness and lion cub. Do you find that the energetic effects differ?

2. Kneel and sit with your big toes together and your knees spread wider than hips width. Then, lean your torso forward and press your palms on the floor between your legs, with fingers turned back toward your toes. Keep your elbows as straight as possible.

3. Sit with your knees and heels together if crossing them is uncomfortable. You may kneel on a folded blanket to pad your knees, shins, ankles, and the tops of your feet.

4. Sit in the lotus pose, padmasana. Sitting, place your right foot at the top of your left thigh and your left foot at the top of your right thigh.

5. Pounce like a lion. Spring forward as you roar in each of these variations: bring your weight forward with hands on knees or bring your whole body forward, placing your palms on the floor to support yourself.

6. Practice looking in a mirror.

Reflections

1. Ask yourself: What fears do I need to overcome to move beyond my limitations?

2. Ask yourself: Do I have words and feelings that I choke back? They can be released with the breath and its sound. How much time do I spend in fear, trying to avoid anger? Do I limit myself to silence or allusion so not to hurt anyone?

3. Ask yourself: Do I allow my emotions to control me?

4. Ask yourself: How do I use my power and strength?

Benefits

• Alleviates tension in the face, throat and chest.
• Alleviates bad breath.
• Trains the various muscles involved in speech and is helpful for those who stutter.
• Elevates your spirits.

Contraindications

If you have knee pain or a knee injury, then be careful and, if necessary, practice simhasana sitting in a chair.

Have fun practicing simhasana, lion pose

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