Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

The name Simhagarjanasana is derived from Sanskrit where “Simha” means “lion”, “Garjana” means “Roar” and “asana” means “Pose” or “Posture”.

The English name of this asana is called The Roaring Lion pose. While practicing the expressions will be changed to resemble that of lion’s expressions and so it is called Simha Mudra.

Lion’s Breath increases the internal temperature of the body and thus prepares you for further yogasana.

It is considered best when Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose is practiced early in the morning. However, if because of some reason, you are not able to practice it in the morning, you can this pose in the evening as well. Mornings are preferred as the food is digested and your body has the energy to perform the asanas. But make sure that when you are practicing this pose in the evening, you should have your food five to six hours before you practice as your food takes this much time to digest.

Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose is a very good stretching and relaxing exercise for the body. It is a balancing asana and stretches the spine, legs, arms, abdominal muscles and chest. It can be performed by people from all age groups. It is a very simple and effective yoga pose.

How To Do Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion Pose?

To practice Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose, you must get into Vajrasana first.

Steps to Get Into Vajrasana or the Thunderbolt Pose:

  • To practice Vajrasana, sit with your legs outstretched on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Kneel down while bending your lower legs backwards in such a way that they are kept together and the big toes of both the feet are crossing each other.
  • To practice Vajrasana, gently lower your body on the lower legs in such a way that the thighs are resting on your calves.
  • Keep your hands on your knees and set your gaze on a point and look forward while keeping your head and neck straight.
  • Maintain your breath while practicing Vajrasana. You should inhale and exhale deeply while sitting in this position.
  • Close your eyes while breathing and focus on the eye center and try to calm your mind.
  • Beginners should try to stay in this position for 5-10 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 15-20 minutes or for as long as you can.

Steps to Practice Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion Pose

  • To practice Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose, get into Vajrasana.
  • Make sure that in this position, your knees must be a little apart around 45- 50 cm apart.
  • Place the palms of the hands on the floor between the knees
  • Make sure that your fingers are pointing towards the body.
  • Lean forward a little forward in this position.
  • Make sure that you are resting the body on the arms.
  • Make sure that your arms in this position are kept straight.
  • From this position, arch the back and gently tilt the head back so that there is a comfortable amount of tension in the neck.
  • Also, make sure that you do not strain your neck while practicing this asana.
  • Open the eyes and gaze at the eyebrow center or you can concentrate on the eye center while keeping your eyes closed.
  • In this position, you can also get into Shambhavi mudra.
  • Relax the whole body in the final position of the asana.
  • Also make sure that you keep the mouth closed.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose.
  • At the end of inhalation open the mouth and extend the tongue out as far as possible towards the chin.
  • While slowly exhaling, produce a clear, steady 'aaah' sound from the throat, keeping the mouth wide open.
  • At the end of exhalation, close the mouth and breathe in.
  • This completes one round of the asana. You ca practice 6-7 rounds of asana.
  • Beginners should try to stay in this position for 1-2 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 3-4 minutes or for as long as you can.
  • After the practice, rest your body in Shavasana for 1-2 minutes.

Breathing Pattern To Be Followed While Practicing Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion Pose

  • Inhale deeply while separating the knees of both legs from each other while getting in Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose.
  • Maintain a constant breath while you are in Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose Keep inhaling and exhaling deeply while being in Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose.
  • Exhale deeply once or twice after releasing the pose.

Preparatory And Follow Up Poses To Be Practiced With Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion Pose

Preparatory Poses: The various preparatory poses to be practiced before Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose are Dandasana or The Staff Pose, Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose.

Follow Up Poses: The various follow up poses or Pranayamas to be practiced after Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose are Anulom Vilom or The Alternate Nostril Breathing, Kapalbhati Pranayama, Vajrasana or The Diamond pose, Uttanasana or The Standing Forward Bend Pose, Balasana or The Child Pose and Dhanurasana or The Bow Pose.

Benefits of Practicing Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion Pose

  • Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose is the easiest and most comfortable of the meditation postures.
  • This pose facilitates mental and physical balance without causing strain or pain.
  • Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose is good for practice of meditation and pranayama.
  • This yoga pose is the easiest alternative for those who have tight hips and cannot sit in advanced postures like Padmasana.
  • It brings a sense of calm and peace through your mind and body.
  • Simhagarjanasana can be utilized without ill effect by persons who are unable to sit in the more difficult meditation postures.
  • The Roaring Lion pose helps in relaxing your brain.
  • Your back becomes stronger and steadier with regular practice of this yoga pose.
  • Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose gives your knees and ankles a good stretch.
  • Your body alignment is improved with regular practice of this pose.
  • Practicing Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose helps elongate your spine.
  • While practicing this yoga exercise, you will feel the stress, tension and anxiety melting from your body.
  • Simhagarjanasana helps in balancing the mind, increases the power of concentration, and induces physical and mental relaxation quickly. The thinking process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of The Roaring Lion pose.
  • It refreshes and rejuvenates you and also relieves you of stress and mild depression.
  • Simhagarjanasana pose helps in increasing flexibility during difficult situations. Brings and maintains a state of perfect health of the kidneys, prostate, and urinary tract.
  • Regular practice of The Roaring Lion pose prevents hernia.
  • This yoga pose promotes flexibility in the body.
  • This exercise is generally practiced in combination with sarvangasana and shalabasana.

Precautions And Contraindications While Practicing Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion Pose

  • Avoid practicing Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose if you have hip and knee injuries, or if they are both inflamed.
  • People with slipped disc problem should practice The Roaring Lion pose very carefully.
  • You can use cushioning to make yourself comfortable while practicing Simhagarjanasana.
  • Do not practice this pose if you do not feel comfortable during the practice.
  • Do not over do this exercise if you feel pain in your body.
  • Start the practice mildly and then increase the repetitions as per your capacity.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing The Roaring Lion pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • It is most beneficial when you stay aware of the stretches while practicing Simhagarjanasana.
  • This pose is forbidden for people suffering from Sciatica but people say that if it is practiced moderately by people suffering from Sciatica, it helps in relieving the sciatic pain.

Tips While Practicing Simhagarjanasana Or The Roaring Lion Pose

  • Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose is a relaxing posture which may be practiced after extended periods of sitting in siddhasana or padmasana.
  • Make sure that you hold the spine upright while practicing Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose.
  • Concentrate on the eye center and try to equalize the weight on the right and left side of the body while practicing The Roaring Lion pose.
  • While holding Simhagarjanasana, place the hands on the knees in Chin or Jnana mudra to derive maximum benefits from the asana.
  • You can experiment with various heights of support to find the most appropriate position for you to hold this pose for a longer duration.
  • Beginners or aged people or people with very tight hips can practice the pose seated in a chair. Leaving one foot flat on the floor, cross the opposite ankle over the knee of the grounded foot. Hold the pose for up to one minute and then repeat on the opposite side.
  • You can also sit with your back against a wall for the back support initially while practicing this yoga pose.
  • You can also place a yoga block between the wall and your shoulder blades to support you back and to hold the pose in the right posture while practicing Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose.
  • Whenever you feel tense and frustrated, just get into Simhagarjanasana to find peace. Get on to the ground and sit quietly. As you slow and deepen your breath, you will feel the frustration leaving your body slowly.
  • You can also keep a folded blanket under the buttocks. Whether a blanket is used or not, it is important that the buttocks rest firmly on the ground in order to stimulate muladhara chakra.

Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion Pose Variations

Variation I:

  • To practice this variation of Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose, get into Vajrasana.
  • Make sure that in this position, your knees must be a little apart around 45 to 50 cm apart.
  • Place the palms of the hands on the floor between the knees
  • Make sure that your fingers are pointing towards the body.
  • Lean forward a little forward in this position.
  • Make sure that you are resting the body on the arms.
  • Make sure that your arms in this position are kept straight.
  • From this position, arch the back and gently tilt the head back so that there is a comfortable amount of tension in the neck.
  • Also, make sure that you do not strain your neck while practicing this asana.
  • Open the eyes and gaze at the eyebrow centre or you can concentrate on the eye center while keeping your eyes closed.
  • In this position, you can also get into Shambhavi mudra.
  • After performing shambhavi mudra, perform kechari mudra.
  • Keep the mouth closed.
  • Fold the tongue backward so that the tip and underside presses against the soft palate.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose.
  • At the end of inhalation, release the tongue, open the mouth and extend the tongue as far as possible.

Variation 2:

  • To practice this variation of Simhagarjanasana or The Roaring Lion pose, get into Vajrasana.
  • Make sure that in this position, your knees must be a little apart around 45 to 50 cm apart.
  • Place the palms of the hands on the floor between the knees
  • Make sure that your fingers are pointing towards the body.
  • Lean forward a little forward in this position.
  • Make sure that you are resting the body on the arms.
  • Make sure that your arms in this position are kept straight.
  • From this position, arch the back and gently tilt the head back so that there is a comfortable amount of tension in the neck.
  • Also, make sure that you do not strain your neck while practicing this asana.
  • Open the eyes and gaze at the eyebrow centre or you can concentrate on the eye center while keeping your eyes closed.
  • In this position, you can also get into Shambhavi mudra.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose.
  • At the end of inhalation open the mouth and extend the tongue out as far as possible towards the chin.
  • While slowly exhaling, produce a clear, steady 'aaah' sound from the throat, keeping the mouth wide open.
  • Move the tongue slowly from side to side, while making a long 'aaah' sound.
  • At the end of exhalation, close the mouth and breathe in.
  • This completes one round of the asana. You can practice 6-7 rounds of asana.
  • Beginners should try to stay in this position for 1-2 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 3-4 minutes or for as long as you can.
  • After the practice, rest your body in Shavasana for 1-2 minutes.

Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose

  • To practice Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose, sit with your legs outstretched on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Kneel down while bending your lower legs backwards in such a way that they are kept together and the big toes of both the feet are crossing each other.
  • To practice Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose, gently lower your body on the lower legs in such a way that the thighs are resting on your calves.
  • Keep your hands on your knees and set your gaze on a point and look forward while keeping your head and neck straight.
  • Maintain your breath while practicing Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose You should inhale and exhale deeply while sitting in this position.
  • Close your eyes while breathing and focus on the eye center and try to calm your mind.
  • Stay in this position for a few breaths while practicing Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose
  • Now, from this position, separate the knees as far as possible
  • Make sure that while separating the knees your toes should be in contact with the floor.
  • Separate the feet just enough to allow the buttocks and perineum to rest flat on the floor between the feet while practicing Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose
  • Try to separate the knees further or as far as you can while practicing Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose
  • Make sure that you do not strain while separating your knees while you are trying to get into Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose
  • Place the hands on the knees with your palms downward while practicing Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose
  • When the body is comfortable you can practice nasikagra drishti and concentrate on the nose tip.
  • As the eyes become tired, close them for a short time and then resume and fix your gaze on the nose tip while practicing Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose
  • This is the final Bhadrasana or The Gracious Pose
  • Beginners should try to stay in this position for 5-10 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 15-20 minutes or for as long as you can.
Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: January 17, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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