Lion's Breath - Simhasana

How to Do Lion's Breath - Simhasana
Lion's Breath - Simhasana. Ann Pizer


Lion's Breath relieves tension and stress by stretching your entire face, including the jaw and tongue. For all the time we spend stretching every other part of the body in yoga, it's remarkably rare to spend much time on the face. Though there is an asana that goes with this breath as described by Iyengar in Light on Yoga, it really can be done in almost any pose. It's particularly effective in any position where you find your face screwed up with effort.

Lion's breath will introduce some ease and remind you not to take yoga too seriously. If you are getting overheated, try this breath to blow off some steam. It makes you look crazy, which could be part of the reason why it feels so good.


  1. To practice this breath when you are at rest, come to kneel with your butt resting in your feet. Iyengar instructs you to criss-cross your ankles under your seat.
  2. Place your hands on your knees. Straighten your arms and extend your fingers.
  3. Inhale through your nose.
  4. Exhale strongly through the mouth, making a "ha" sound. As you exhale, open your mouth wide and stick your tongue as far out as possible towards your chin.
  5. You can also bring your drishti towards your third eye or the tip of your nose as you exhale.
  6. Inhale, returning to a neutral face.
  7. Repeat 4-6 times. If your ankles are crossed, switch the feet so the opposite one is on top half way through your repetitions. 

    Return to the Introduction to Pranayama.

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