Lion Pose

Lion Pose

The Lion Pose, or Roaring Lion Pose (whose original Indian 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.

Lion Pose is considered a base pose as lion pose variations can be derived from this pose.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin in Hero Pose (Virasana) seated on the shins with knees together and big toes touching. Sit back onto the heels and elongate through the torso.
Step 2
Bring the palms to the knees.
Step 3
Inhale slowly as you again lengthen from the tailbone to the crown of the head.
Step 4
As you exhale deeply, spread the fingers (claws) wide.
Step 5
Open the mouth wide, sticking the tongue out and down with the tip reaching for your chin.
Step 6
Reach the eyebrows up and gaze up towards the third eye (space between eyebrows).
Step 7
Prevent slouching by broadening through the chest and drawing the shoulders back and down away from the ears.
Step 8
The exhale should be audible as you make a roar with a "haaaa" sound, emptying your breath.
Step 9
On the next inhale, bring the face back to neutral, relaxing the neck, chest, and hands.
Step 10
Repeat for at least 8 rounds of breath.

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Relieves tension in the chest and face.

An often-overlooked benefit of Simhasana is that it stimulates the platysma, a flat, thin, rectangular-shaped muscle on the front of the throat. The platysma, when contracted, pulls down on the corners of the mouth and wrinkles the skin of the neck.

Simhasana helps keep the platysma firm as we age.

According to traditional texts, Simhasana destroys disease and facilitates the three major bandhas (Mula, Jalandhara, Uddiyana).

Contraindications

If you have a knee injury, always be cautious in flexed-knee sitting positions and, if necessary, sit on a chair to do the pose.

Photo poses in different angles

Tips

The hands and shoulder blades are sympathetically connected. As you spread the right palm on the right knee, feel how the shoulder blade spreads across your back. Similarly, as you press each palm against the same-side knee, feel how the same-side shoulder blade presses more deeply into the back, helping to lift the heart.

Modifications & Variations
  • Lion Pose II
  • Lion Pose Hands Under Legs
  • Lion Pose Thunderbolt Legs
  • Lion Pose Close Up
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Bound Angle Pose
  • Staff Pose
  • Easy Pose
  • Reclining Hero Pose
  • Reclining Bound Angle Pose
  • Hero Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Lizard Pose
  • Lion Pose Close Up
  • Lion Pose Hands Under Legs

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana has been actively practicing yoga for 5 years. In addition to practice, she studies various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.