In my previous article on Tadasana, I’ve explained few common instructions applicable to all the asanas. Simha means Lion. The name given is not to suggest to the individual practicing this asana should take to animal tendencies, but one should transcend them with the practice of this asana regularly. Lion is the king of the animals. One tries to imitate the facial expressions of the lion and one is expected to do this asana by notionally adopting the lion-roaring mood. Forget the fear that the name of this asana generates. This asana may be performed by all age groups including the old and the weak. It is also easy to perform. The other name for this asana is Bhairavasana. Bhairava refers to one of the forms of Lord Shiva. One should do this asana with an open mouth and protruding tongue.
Technique / Method
- Kneel down; your body weight is spread equally on both the knees and you have knelt in a perfectly balanced position of the body. Your calves and heels take their part of the body weight and the toes are pointing back. Keep the knees 6-12 inches apart depending upon your comfort level. Your head and spine should remain erect.
- Press your palms on the knees concerned and extend the fingers straight. You are in the Vajrasana now.(The Thunderbolt Pose)
- Make the mouth wide open as much as possible. Exhale with your mouth and nose and at the same time, extend your tongue to the maximum extent out of the mouth, bringing it towards the chin. Press in the abdomen and hold the breath. Be an actor in the drama. Widen the eyes, bare the teeth, stretch the facial muscles and you now have a terrifying look. You are in the final posture of Simhasana.
- Roar like a lion. Take a gap and roar again. It can be repeated several times.
- Remain in the position for about 10 seconds or more depending upon your comfort level.
- Instead of looking straight you may also press the chin against the chest. Focus the gaze in the middle of the eye brows (which is also known as the place for the Third Eye) or look downwards in the direction of the tip of the nose. These are known as Bhrumadhya Drishti and Nasagra Drishti respectively.
Physical/therapeutic benefits of Bhairavasana
- Recommended for those with bad breath.
- Relieves tension on the facial expressions and lightens the chest congestion.
- Helps to get rid of wrinkles of the skin and the neck. Tightens the corners of the mouth and gives good shape to the face.
- Cure for unspecified number of diseases.
- Acts as tonic for the cure of respiratory ailments. Good to the recovery process of sore throat. Neck muscles get proper exercise, blood flow increase in that area.
- Those with thyroid problem should do this asana regularly.
- Increases the oxygen taking capacity of the lungs.
- Streamlines three important Bandhas—Muladhar, Jalandhar and Uddiyana.
- Helpful in voice-related issues, stammering and throat-related diseases like tonsillitis and hoarseness. The stretching of the tongue takes care of these ailments.
- Sharpens memory and helps better concentration. Improves voice-quality.
- Conducive to long-life. This is known as anti-ageing asana. Instills confidence.
Knees take the maximum strain while performing this asana. Those with knee injuries or suffering from knee problems may practice this asana in a different style. Instead of kneeling on the floor, use a chair for support. Do this as long as you are comfortable in the posture. It all depends upon one’s age, fitness and will power.