lions pranayamaLions Pranayama Purpose

  • Lion’s Breath relieves tension and stress by stretching your entire face, including the jaw and tongue. 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. In addition, it can be done in a seated, cross-legged position or lying down.
  •  Lion’s breath will feel silly; it 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. It is often practiced first thing in the morning to warm you up and increase your energy.

How to Practice Lion’s Breath 

  1. To practice this breath when you are at rest, come to kneel with your buttocks resting on your feet. Iyengar instructs you to criss-cross your ankles under your seat. Alternatively, use this breath while in a pose that you can hold for a period of time.
  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. Try bringing your drishti (internal focus) towards your third eye (center of your forehead) or the tip of your nose as you exhale.
  6. Repeat 4-6 times.