When I introduce this pose to a class for the first time, people usually think I’m making it up. The idea is to imitate a lion about to attack its prey. So yes, you will look a tad moronic. But who cares? It is a fabulous stretch for the muscles of the face and neck and eases tension in those areas. The jaws, in particular, hoard massive amounts of tension  It also relieves the symptoms of a sore throat and according to B.K.S. Iyengar, it cleans the tongue and eliminates foul breath. Well worth looking silly for, then!

How to practice Lion Pose:

  • Kneel on your mat. (See Kneeling Pose)
  • Place your hands on the floor in front of the knees with the fingers pointing in towards the body.
  • Inhale, exhale and do the following 5 things in quick succession: (1) come forward onto your hands; (2) open the eyes as wide as possible; (3) look up at the ceiling; (4) stick your tongue out and down towards the chin; (5) roar like a lion making the sound ‘HAR!’
  • Repeat x 6
  • Practice the pose every day for maximum results.
  • Smiling also tones the face beautifully!


If you have difficulty kneeling, place a folded blanket or cushion under the buttocks and if necessary, another one under the knees.

STOP! If you have had knee surgery ask your doctor’s advice before attempting kneeling poses.