Pranayama, also known as yoga breathing, improves your physical, mental, and emotional health. The regulated breathing practice helps to extend your breath, enhance lung capacity, increase mindfulness, and promote a good night’s sleep. When paired with certain asanas, Pranayama can create a mind-body connection beyond breath with benefits that can heal both physically and mentally. One pose, Lion Pose, focuses on physical posture and breathing exercises.
Lion Pose is a seated yoga pose that features a gentle backbend all while releasing tension in your chest, face, and throat muscles. It also eliminates waste byproducts, toxins and stimulates your upper chest, throat, and face.
Benefits of Lion Pose
Lion Pose, much like other yoga poses, targets the body — but more unusually, it also helps to exercise the face!
Enhances Throat and Face Relaxation
Lion Pose is an essential part of the fifth chakra or energy center that focuses on improved expression, communication, and creativity. Practicing Lion Pose moistens your throat and removes obstructions. It also relaxes your neck and facial muscles, allowing you to concentrate and speak better.
Additionally, the pose stretches your face muscles and relieves tension and tightness in your throat by increasing oxygenated blood flow. It opens your throat chakra, eases your mind, and improves your confidence — making it a powerful, awakening, and energetic move.
Stimulates Vocal Cords and Diaphragm
By including an active breathing technique, Lion Pose engages your lungs, throat, and face, stimulating your diaphragm and vocal cords. The yoga pose is ideal for anyone with speech impediments.
Vocalists and singers will also appreciate this yoga pose! Your voice-box or larynx has tissue folds known as vocal cords that protect the airway, regulate airflow into the lungs, and produce sound for speech. The movement of Lion Pose increased blood flow to the vocal cords and diaphragm, allowing for better voice amplification. This is benefited by the “Haaa” sound you make during the exhalation.
Relieves Tension in Facial Muscles
A 2020 study highlights that facial muscles play a crucial role in mastication and expressions. The temporalis, lateral pterygoid, and medial pterygoid are muscles that help in mastication. Likewise, buccinators are muscles in the face that aid in chewing and facial expressions. If there is tension in these facial muscles, you will find it difficult to make different faces or express emotion. The Lion pose is an excellent way to relieve tension in your facial muscles and promote a steady and smooth blood flow to the face.
Rejuvenates the Skin
A 2016 research study shows that Pranayama breathing techniques can enhance your skin, especially in the face and neck region. The holistic breathing triggers natural skin rejuvenation and the anti-aging process.
Moreover, it stimulates your optic nerves, reduces eye strain, and maintains your thyroid and parathyroid glands’ health. The Lion pose keeps your skin tight and relaxes your muscles, leading to a well-toned face and neck. Other health benefits of the Lion pose include:
- Alleviated stress and anxiety
- Improved sleep
- Reduced hypertension levels
- Boosted lung capacity
- Increased cognitive functions
- Decreased cravings for cigarette smoking
How to Practice Lion Pose?
Lion Pose is an excellent breathing asana that has many benefits, especially to your lungs, face, and throat. Here are the steps to perform the Lion pose.
- Before you start the pose, make sure your body is well-rested.
- Get into a kneeling position with hips resting on your feet.
- Place your hands on the knees and keep your arms straight.
- Extend your fingers and inhale some fresh air through your nose.
- Exhale through your mouth by making a “Haaa” sound.
- Make sure you open your mouth wide while exhaling.
- Similarly, stick your tongue out toward your chin.
- Focus on your forehead’s center or your nose’s tip.
- Inhale and return to a neutral face. Repeat at least 5-8 times.
There are many yoga breathing (Pranayama) techniques, and each offers unique health benefits. Lion Pose is an excellent Pranayama technique that benefits your physical and mental health. Regulating your breathing with Lion Pose can extend your breath, rejuvenate your skin, stretch your facial muscles, clear the throat of obstruction, and strengthen your vocal cords.