Simhasana is derived from the combination of the Sanskrit words Simha(Lion) and asana (posture or pose). The position itself reminds a roaring lion and it connects the physical posture with a specific breathing technique. It’s a truly great practice to relieve tension accumulated in the chest and face as well as it helps firm the muscle on the front of the throat building collagen and preventing the appearing of wrinkles and the pulling down of the corners of the mouth (which is a sign of the mentioned muscle being contracted). In other words, this technique is not only a great fun but it also slows down aging of the skin.
Step-by-step to a Lion Pose:
1. Kneel on the floor and lean forward slightly lifting the buttocks. Cross your ankles and place the left foot closer to the floor and push the feet down. Toes should be directed to the rear.
2. Direct the tower back tailbone towards the floor and pull the spine up.
3. Place your hands on your knees downward. Spread your fingers wide so that it resembles the spread claws of a lion. The hands should be straight and muscles tight along the entire length from the shoulders to the fingertips.
4. Close your eyes. Breathe calmly and deeply. Take a deep breath through your nose. On the exhale, tilt slightly forward, with mouth wide open. Pull out the tongue as far as possible, trying to touch the chin.
5. Turn the wide-open eyes upward, directing eyes towards the "third eye" (a point located between the eyebrows).
6. On a slow exhale release a roar ( "ha"), until you feel it at the end of your throat. Repeat 2 or 3 times.
7. Breathe through your mouth, feel the skin stretched. Hold the position for a moment; close your mouth and eyes. Remain in silence before returning to the position. Return to kneeling position, switch your legs and repeat everything on the other side.
This pranayama practice and pose is to remind us to have fun, let go of what people think and to invite yourself to a practice that serves you! Explore this breath practice in many shapes and take a moment to find what feels good for you! Smile and practice self-love. This is a method I was introduced to by my very good friend, that taught me its one biggest benefit of all; it always brings smile and release tension among the group, the strangers and also within yourself. Don’t hesitate to practice it and trust me it will serve you well!
"Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha" Swami Satyananda Saraswati