In this asana, the body and face are manipulated at once to invoke the force and intensity of a lion’s roar. In fact, this posture is thought to be one of the best face exercises you can get. People often overlook another benefit of Lion Pose: it stimulates the platysma, which is a thin, rectangular-shaped muscle in the front of throat. This exercise will keep the platysma strong as you age.
Getting Into Lion Pose:
Begin by kneeling on the floor with knees shoulder-width apart. Cross your right ankle over your left and carefully sit back on your heels. Make sure your feet are pointing outward and your calves are kept flat on the floor. Lift your chest up just enough that you are not slouching and your spine is fully straightened, but don’t over-arch your back.
Now, place both your hands on top of your knees. REMEMBER: don’t slouch as you do this. Widen your palms and press them firmly against your knees. Splay your fingers like a lion’s claws. Inhale deeply through your nose.
This next step is the focal point of Simhasana, but it can also be quite challenging. If you struggle here, be sure to practice your movements in coordination with each other. So, simultaneously do the following:
- Lower your jaw and open your mouth as wide as possible
- Stretch your tongue out and curl its tip down toward your chin
- Open your eyes wide, looking upward
- Focus your eyes in between your eyebrows or on the tip of your nose
- Contract the muscles at the front of your throat
- Activate your hands, splaying your fingers further out
Now, hold this position and exhale slowly through your mouth. Feel the air pass over the back of the throat as well as the contraction of your throat and neck muscles. You should make a distinct “haaaaa” sound as you exhale.
Don’t forget to give your best lion roar. In fact, roar two of three times then retract your tongue. Relax your face, mouth, eyes, throat, and hands. Cross your ankles the opposite way and repeat Simhasana.
Benefits of Lion Pose:
- Relieves tension in the face and chest
- Improves circulation of blood to the face
- Keeps your eyes healthy by stimulating the nerves
- Stimulates and firms the platysma
- Helps prevent sore throat, asthma, and other respiratory ailments
- May help treat bad breath
- Is said to eradicate disease