Lion pose, which activates Vishuddhi (throat) chakra and stimulates the thyroid gland, may be practiced anytime, however if you’re shy you may want to start in the privacy of your own home by yourself. As you get comfortable try it out with a friend. You may feel silly at first but keep practicing and eventually you might just get to a point where the shyness disappears.
When teaching this posture I get a kick out of the expression on some people’s faces when they see my lion’s face for the first time. After a few more tries the nervous laughter subsides and everyone fully participates expressing their best lion’s roar, finishing together after a few rounds with a collective and happy sigh.
The benefits of lion pose are many; including boosting self-esteem and self-confidence, releasing tension and experiencing the rush of endorphins through the body from the resulting laughter!
Here’s how to do it:
- Sitting comfortably or even standing up, as you inhale raise your arms up above your head spreading your fingers wide.
- As you exhale open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue curling the tip down towards your chin while contracting the muscles at the back of your throat to make a loud ‘haaa’ sound.
- During your exhale, at the same time, open your eyes wide and direct your gaze upward while simultaneously drawing your arms down towards your rib cage and curling your fingertips as if you are stretching your lion paws.
- Repeat 2 to 3 times then sit or stand still for a few moments and notice the effects on your body.
- Another variation for your arms while sitting is to place your hands on your knees with your fingertips pointing down towards the ground while roaring.