As we know there is a lot of courage in yoga. Some days there is courage simply to put on yoga pants, to walk into a crowded studio, to walk into an empty studio, to sit with ourselves, to try a new posture, to feel silly, to not know what to do. These are no small feats, and for having the courage to give it a go, great job. There are other days when the courage lies in trusting that we know ourselves, we know our limits, and we know when to push them, to try something new and different, to be bold, to be daring.
Then there are poses like Lion that require courage to simply give it a whirl, because, frankly, it looks ridiculous. And, I will NOT be the first one to say, that there are times and spaces where it FEELS ridiculous as well. I have no confirmation from ancient texts that this is where Lion: Simhasana drew its name, or because someone thought it looked fierce, which it does :), though this is what I would like to believe. So if you have the courage to give Lion pose a try, take a seat and be courageous!
Coming into Lion: Simhasana:
- The preferred way to sit in Lion is to sit with the heel under the glutes. You are welcome to use a prop under your bum to lift, so there is not so much strain on the knees. If this orientation does not work at all, find a comfortable way to sit.
- Place the hand on the thighs, palms down to start.
- Breath in, lengthening the spine through the crown of the head, while allowing the eyes to roll back slightly in the head (think of trying to look at your third eye point)
- Allow the jaw to fall open, and the tongue to slightly fall out of the mouth, letting gravity take hold.
- On the inhale (through the nose if possible) you will draw the head towards the ceiling/sky, keeping the neck long. Try not to let the head drop back.
- On the exhale, through the mouth with sound the head will come back to its neutral space. This is one round. Try a few breaths.
- Some practitioners bring the hands up, and make and almost claw-like posture in front of the body, that choice is up to you, or they can rest on the thighs.
Benefits to Lion: Simhasana
- Great for opening up the glands on the front of the throat, assisting with drainage in the tonsils.
- Promotes deep breathing and focus on the breath.
- Relieves tension in the face and jaw
- Keeps us courageous and lighthearted.
Go ahead… google some images of Lion Pose, you will not be disappointed!