Lion

This roaring pose brings blood to the face, improving your complexion.

Caution: Because this pose involves holding your breath, if you have high blood pressure or heart or circulation problems, consult your doctor before practicing this pose.

  1. Kneel down and sit on your heels, toes turned under. Lengthen your spine and rest your hands on your thighs, fingers spread.
  2. Inhale deeply through your nose. Retain your breath as you lean forward, sliding your hands down your thighs. You can place your fingertips on the floor with your palms on the edge of your knees, or keep your hands on your thighs.
  3. Now exhale as you open your eyes as widely as possible, stick your tongue out and down, and stretch your fingers forward and apart. Tense the muscles of your face and neck as well as those of your hands, arms, shoulders, and torso. As you exhale, roar loudly like a lion by making a loud “ahhh” sound. Continue to roar for the length of your exhalation while gazing up at the point between your eyebrows.
  4. When you’ve completed your exhalation, slowly retract your tongue and close your mouth. Inhale through your nose as you return to the starting position, sliding your hands up your thighs and sitting up straight again. Breathe normally as you rest for a few seconds, completely relaxing all the muscles that you have tensed.
  5. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Make It Easier

In step 1, keep the tops of your feet flat on the floor instead of tucking your toes under.

Hints

  • Keep your spine lengthened as you lean forward.
  • Before you roar, focus on your deep inhalation. Fill your lungs completely, starting with your lower lungs all the way to the very top of your lungs. Then, stick your tongue out as far as you can while you roar like a lion.
  • Focus your attention on the sound, making it loud, steady, and even.  Feel your neck and facial muscles stretching.

Benefits

  • Stretches and tones all the facial muscles (helping prevent and reduce wrinkles)
  • Helps relieve ear, nose, and throat ailments
  • Good for the eyes and ears
  • Benefits the thyroid and other glands in the neck
  • Helps improve the quality of the voice
  • Helps overcome stuttering
  • Stretches and strengthens the tongue and massages the larynx
  • Increases circulation to the throat, helping prevent colds
  • Strengthens the lungs 

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