We’re in the heat of the summer and it’s a Leo’s time to shine. In Astrology, a Leo is characterized by warm and action-oriented qualities, and graciously shows love and affection. Other positive traits include their loyalty, optimism, and energy, making them great at carrying out complicated team-oriented tasks.
Regardless of your sign, take the heat of the summer to focus on your inner lion. Whether you’re hosting a summer gathering or spearheading a new project, a Leo’s work ethic and positivity will help you navigate your tasks with ease. Lion’s Breath is a great way to set these intentions. This form of breathwork increases prana—life force energy—and stretches the muscles in your face, neck, and throat. Let loose and roar.
Lion’s Breath: Simha Pranayama
Pronounced: sim-HAH prah-nah-YAH-mah
Type of Yoga Practiced In: Lion’s breath can be practiced in all styles of yoga.
Benefits: Lion’s Breath not only stretches the muscles in your face, but it also relieves tension and tightness while improving circulation. It’s an energetic and awakening breath that will also help to ease the mind. Lion’s Breath opens the throat chakra and helps to boost confidence. Like Ujjayi breathing, it’s a warming breath that will increase your internal temperature and better prepare you for yoga asana.
- Sit in a comfortable seat and close the eyes for a few slow deep breaths. Many people like to practice Lions Breath sitting on their heels, with knees together and spine tall and straight. Hands can rest on thighs. Take a few moments to deepen the breath and find an even length inhalation and exhalation.
- Bring your awareness to the third eye point as you breathe. Begin to deepen the breath as you relax the shoulders down the back.
- Take a deep inhale through the nose and open your mouth as you exhale. Stick your tongue out and stretch the muscles in your face as you exhale making the sound “haaaaah.” Your mouth should be as open as possible. This is Lion’s Breath!!
- Practice this for three to four rounds and then bring the tongue back into the mouth and relax your face and throat. Take a few deep breaths here.
Length of Practice: Lion’s Breath is a great way to start the day or begin your yoga practice, and it’s also a good breath to sprinkle throughout your practice and day. Try doing Lion’s Breath for a few rounds at first. Work your way up to 10 rounds.
Speed of Practice: The length of inhalations and exhalations should be even in length and speed. The speed depends on the depth of your breath. The practitioner determines the speed. The deeper the breath, the better.
Recommended Asana: Try Lion’s Breath seated with legs crossed, lotus pose, or sitting on the heels. You can always incorporate Lion’s Breath into your yoga asana. You may also want to try this breath during cat/cow pose, or during class when you need a boost of internal heat and energy. Also, practice this pranayama throughout your day when you’re feeling slow or sluggish.
Fun Fact: It is said that Lion’s Breath will help with bad breath.