Simhasana Pranayama, or Lion’s Breath, is a powerful breathing exercise that has been used in yoga for centuries. This technique helps to open the chest and throat area while calming the mind and reducing stress and anxiety. In this article, we will discuss What is Simhasana Pranayama, the benefits of Simhasana Pranayama and how to incorporate it into your yoga practice.
Simhasana Pranayama can be incorporated into any yoga practice to help increase energy levels, improve digestion, and calm the nervous system. It is a great way to relax the body and mind while still providing a challenging physical workout.
You will learn how to use this technique to increase your energy, improve your digestion, and calm your nervous system. So, let’s dive into the wonderful world of Simhasana Pranayama and find out how it can help improve your yoga practice.
What is Simhasana Pranayama?
Simhasana Pranayama or the Lion’s Breath is a yoga breathing technique that helps to strengthen the thyroid and parathyroid glands, reduce anxiety, increase energy levels, and improve digestion. This pranayama is usually performed in any kneeling or sitting position, although you can practice it while sitting on a chair as well.
According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipka, a 16th-century text on hatha yoga, Simhasana Pranayama or the Lion’s Roar is used to heal diseases of the throat, tonsils, and the area behind the palate. This technique can also be used to treat diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.
Simhasana Pranayama translates to Lion’s Breath, which is an appropriate name for this powerful breathing exercise. The lion is seen as the king of the jungle and is symbolic of courage and strength. This pranayama can help to build confidence, improve self-esteem, and give you the courage to tackle new challenges in life.
Benefits of Simhasana Pranayama
Simhasana Pranayama has many benefits. Here are few of them for you to consider today.
- Simhasana Pranayama helps in opening the chest and throat region that improves the ability to speak with a full, rich and expressive voice. It can also help mellow your voice which helps in singing.
- Simhasana pranayama can reduce anxiety, allow for better sleep, better digestion and a calmer nervous system.
- Simhasana pranayama can also help reduce blood sugar and improve digestion.
- People who suffer from anxiety, blood pressure or diabetes may find Simhasana Pranayama helpful in controlling their symptoms.
- Simhasana pranayama helps in releasing the accumulated tension in the body due to contractions or unexpressed emotions.
How to Practice Simhasana Pranayama?
When practicing Simhasana Pranayama, keep the following things in mind:
- Find a quiet, peaceful place to practice yoga. It is best to do yoga in a quiet room where you can find peace and privacy without interruption.
- Sit in Vajrasana or the kneeling position and rest your buttocks on your feet. Iyengar Yoga recommends crossing your ankles under your seat to practice the lion pose.
- Straighten your arms and place your hands on your knees. Now open and spread your fingers. This mudra of outstretched fingers symbolizes the claws of a lion.
- Start with inhaling deeply through the nose.
- Exhale forcefully through your mouth, making a “ha” sound by intensely contracting the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. Also, open your mouth widely while exhaling and stick your tongue towards your chin as far as possible.
- While exhaling, bring your vision to the middle of the forehead, i.e., the third eye chakra.
- Also, as you exhale, press your hands to your knees and lift your heels slightly to engage your entire body like a lion while roaring.
- Once you exhale entirely, sit back on the heels and breathe in your natural flow.
- Repeat this 3-5 times. Switch the crossing midway through the practice, if you have crossed your ankles.
Increase Energy Levels with Simhasana Pranayama
Simhasana Pranayama is a great way to increase your energy levels. The deep breathing and sounds made during the exercise help to oxygenate the body and cleanse the system. Simhasana Pranayama also stimulates the thyroid gland, so it is especially helpful for those who suffer from low energy.
This gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, and development. Stimulating it can help to increase energy levels and boost your metabolism. This pranayama is also helpful for those who suffer from insomnia, as it can help to reduce anxiety, which often interferes with quality sleep.
Improve Digestion and Calm the Nervous System with Simhasana Pranayama
Simhasana Pranayama is also helpful for those who suffer from digestive disorders or anxiety. Deep breathing during this exercise helps the body to relax, improving the ability to digest food while calming the nervous system.
This can be helpful for those who suffer from digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome or acid reflux. For those who struggle with anxiety, Simhasana Pranayama can be a helpful tool to calm nerves and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. It can also help those who suffer from insomnia due to anxiety.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Simhasana Pranayama
It is important to note that Simhasana Pranayama is not recommended for pregnant women or those with high blood pressure. Additionally, those who are new to yoga should start with Simhasana Pranayama while seated in a chair.
Make sure to sit upright and keep the spine long to avoid putting too much pressure on the abdomen and stomach. Those with a weakened immune system should avoid this pranayama.
There are a few things to watch out for while practicing Simhasana Pranayama. Make sure not to over breathe or hyperventilate while doing this exercise. It is normal to feel lightheaded while simulating, but this should pass once you have finished the exercise.
Additional Tips to Get the Most Out of Simhasana Pranayama
- Practice this pranayama in a place where you can be alone and in a comfortable position.
- Sitting in kneeling may not suit people with knee injuries or arthritis. In that case, people should choose a sitting position that works without pain or discomfort.
- Focus on your breath, either concentrating on its movement in your body or on the sound it makes.
- Start with a few deep breaths, taking the time to focus on the rhythm of your breath and allowing your mind to relax.
- Once you feel calm and relaxed, you can start the pranayama.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, taking the time to completely fill your lungs and expand your belly.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds, and then exhale forcefully through your mouth, making a gentle sound.
- Repeat the pranayama 3-5 times.
- Once you feel relaxed and calm, you can finish your practice.
Simhasana Pranayama is a great breathing technique that can help to increase energy levels, improve digestion, and calm the nervous system.
It is best to practice it in a quiet room or a place where you can find some privacy and not be interrupted. Once you feel calm and relaxed, you can finish your practice. Make sure to keep an eye out for common mistakes and keep these tips in mind to get the most out of this pranayama.
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