Fri. Dec 13th, 2019

Classic Studies On Yoga

The Online Resource of Yoga

Simhasana: Meaning, Steps, Benefits

4 min read
simhasana Lion Pose

Introduction

Simhasana is a seated yoga position. Almost all medieval yoga texts mention this posture. Moreover, the 10th Century CE Text Vimānārcanākalpa mentions this yoga posture.

Thirumoolar in his text Thirumandiram describes Simhasana. The period of Thirumoolar must be anytime before Sixth Century CE. Not latter than that. This is because Thirujnanasambandar, who was a contemperory of King Varaguna Pandiyan of Seventh Century mentioned Thirumoolar.

Hence it is evident that this posture has been in practice for more than 1500 years.

Simhasana Information

Pose NameSimhasana
Sanskrit Nameसिंहासन
IASTSiṁhāsana
English NameLion Pose
OriginClassic Yoga Period
GroupVirasana
TypeSeated Posture

Simhasana Meaning

Simha means a Lion. Asana means a seat or pose. So Simhasana means Lion Pose. On performance, this posture resembles a Lion. Hence it has got this name.

How to Do Simhasana?

Safety and Precautions

This posture requires the folding of knees. Though it is easy to perform, some people may find it hard to fold the knees as required. They should forcefully fold their knees which may result in injury. They should take care and perform this posture under competent supervision.

Those who already had injury or who had a surgery on their knees should avoid this posture.

Preparatory Poses

One should prepare himself with the following postures before attempting Lion Pose.

Simhasana Steps

Step 1

Sit in Vajrasana with big toes touching together. Keep the knees apart.

Step 2

Lean forward and place the palms on the floor in between the knees, elbows and fingers facing the body. Keep the arms straight and place the upper body weight on the arms. Adjust your forward leaning accordingly. Keep your head straight and a little upward.

Step 3

Fix your eyesight on any object in front. Breathe slowly.

Step 4

At the end of inhalation, open your mouth fully, stretch your tongue out and down towards the chin, and exhale by generating a sound “aaaaahhh” from the deep part of the throat. After exhalation, close your mouth, slowly inhale.

Variation

The yoga texts did not mention the Step 4 in the description of Lion Pose. Step 4 is a part of another variation of this posture called Simha Garjanasana or Lion’s Roar Pose. Lion pose without step 4 is used for meditation.

Follow Up Poses

Subsequently after the performance of Lion Pose, one should follow up with any of the below mentioned postures.

Advanced Pose Considerations

In stead of starting with Vajrasana in Step 1, one may start with Padmasana. In this case, there is a modification in Step 2. One should lean forward and place the knees on the floor. Now the body is supported by the palms and knees only. Continue the pose with the other steps.

Simhasana Benefits

  • Lion Pose without step 4 is very good pose for meditation. It calms the mind and puts oneself into a deep meditative state. Moreover the whole body is completely relaxed.
  • It is a suitable posture for the performance of Shambhavi Mudra and Kechari Mudra
  • Lion’s Roar Pose removes the diseases of the throat.
  • It activates the Visuddhi and Ajna Chakras.
  • Lion’s Roar Pose is good for conditions like stuttering. Apart from this, one gets a beautiful voice.

Simhasana in Yoga Texts

Lion Pose in Thirumandiram

The earliest description of Lion Pose is found in Thirumandiram of Thirumoolar.

Kneel down. Stretch out the arms on them. While opening the mouth, fix the eye sight on the tip of the nose. This is Lion Pose.

– Thirumandiram Verse 562

Lion Pose in Hatha Yoga Pradipika

This text describes Lion Pose in three verses.

Place right ankle on the left side of the scrotum and the left on the right side of the perineum.

Then place the palms on the knees with fingers stretched out. Keep the mouth open and gaze in front of the nose with a controlled mind.

This one is Simhasana, adored by the the greatest calibre. This admirable Asana is suitable for three Bandhas. (Mulabandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandhra Bandha.

– Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1.50, 1.51, and 1.52.

Lion Pose in Gheranda Samhita

This yoga text describes the Lion Pose in two verses.

Place both the heels under the scrotum on the opposite sides, facing up. Placing knees on the floor, open the mouth, fix your eyesight on the tip of the nose, and perform Jalandhara Bandha. This is Simhasana that destroys all the diseases.

– Gheranda Samhita 1.14 and 1.15

Lion Pose in Hatha Ratnavali

According to this yoga text, ten poses are more important than other poses. The ten poses are Svastikasana, Gomukhasana, Padmasana, Virasana, Siddhasana, Mayurasana, Kukkutasana, Bhadrasana, Simhasana, and Muktasana.

Out of these, four yoga poses are more essential. The four Asanas are Siddha, Padma, Simha, and Bhadra.

This text also describes Lion Pose which is similar to the description given by Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

Lion Pose in Hatha Tattva Kaumudi

Verse 7.14 and 7.15 give a similar description of Lion Pose as given in Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Moreover, the next verse explains the benefits.

Nadis regain their functions. All limbs like arms and legs become light. Under the scrotum means side of the perineum.

This is Yogasimhasana that eliminates the diseases of Vada or wind.

– Hatha Tattva Kaumudi 7.16

Thirunavukkarasu Sivasubramaniam

He has got 40 years of experience in traditional yoga philosophy and practice. He is well versed in Classical Sanskrit and Classical Tamil texts. His other area of proficiency includes Tantra and South Indian Astrology.

Latest posts by Thirunavukkarasu Sivasubramaniam (see all)