Updated: Jul 28
This Asana is called Simhasana because in this a person imitates the lion with his jaws thrown wide apart and tongue fully stretched out.
According to Hathapradipika the technique is defined as :
"Gulphau cha vrshanasyadhah sivanya parshvoh khipet
dakshine savyagulfam tu dakshagulfam tu savyake" - H.P 50
Place the two ankles on the either side of the perineum, the left ankle on the right side and the right on the left.
"Hastau tu janvoh samsthapya svangulih samprasarya ca
vyattavaktro niriksheta nasagram tu samahitah " - H.P :51
And then placing the palm on the knees, spread out the fingers, open the mouth wide open and gaze at the tip of the nose.
To start with the person crosses his legs at the ankles so that the heels are set below the opposite and the right ankle is by the left side of the perineum and left ankle by the right side. When this is done a person finds himself sitting on the heels.
To get more comfortable in the position, he can put his whole weight on the thighs and especially on the knees which are made to rest on the ground. This gives a forward inclination of the trunk and buttocks being lifted up from behind.
The muscles of the arms and forearms are stiffened, the elbow fully extended and the palms are made to cover their corresponding knees, the fingers are spread out to imitate the broad paws of the lion.
The trunk is held erect, chest thrown out and the braced up shoulders are made to exert gentle pressure on the knees through the upper extremities.
After this , the tongue is stretched out to its utmost limit and eyes are fixed either between eye brows in Bhumadhya Dristi or at nose tip or Nasagraha Dristi. According to the tradition followed by Swami Kuvalayananda fixing the gaze between eye brows is prescribed, the essence of Asanas remaining the same.
The chin can then be pressed against the chest in the jugular notch or Jalandhar Bandha.
During the pose breathing becomes oral where the air is being expelled through the mouth and most of the air drawn into lungs the same way.
Accroding to Hathapradipika
" Simhasanam bhavededat pujitam yogipungavaih
bandhatriyatyasandhanam kurute chasanottamam" - H.P 52
This is Simhasana, adored by the eminent Yogis. This, the best of the Asanas, facilitates the three Bandhas - Mula, Uddiyana and Jalandhara.
Apart from the above benefits,the external and internal carotids which carry blood to the head are pressed during the chin lock and the blood is also diverted to the organs in the neck.The muscles brought into play in this pose are those of face , neck, the pharynx , the tongue and those connected with tongue.
The cervical vertebrae are fully stretched in the forward bent of the neck and the remaining part of the spinal column also receive a pull.
There are different variations of Lion's pose given in different texts and traditions.The position of the body can also be modified as per the individual need and capacity.
Ref: Yoga Mimansa, HathaPradipika
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