Pose of the Week: Simhasana

Friday, 18 October 2019 17:58

This week’s pose is Simhasana 2. Simha means a lion. Asana means pose or posture.


BKS Iyengar in Simhasana 2 in Light on Yoga (1966)
In last week’s blog I mentioned that when you are new to yoga you may be bewildered by the number and variety of asanas. This asana, Simhasana 2 is certainly exceptional and unusual. The tongue protrudes and the exhale is strongly performed through the mouth. This, in itself, is significant as in all the other asanas we are required to breathe solely through the nose. 
So, we protrude the tongue and exhale through the mouth with a kind of Ahhh sound. What does this do? What effect does it have? (Try it yourself and get back to me…. ;)
The strong exhale through the mouth has the result of a deeper and more substantial inhale. Also, in Simhasana 2 the chest is fully expanded and open, creating more internal space for a deeper,  more energetic breath.
The sound of the exhale creates a deeper inhale. Just as we do when we chant. Chanting can be seen in two distinct ways. One is the audible sound relating to the pitch and tone of the sound produced having an affect on the breath and also the consciousness (think of how your favourite music effects you in a deep, unidentifiable place). The other is the significance of the language, in the form of words and meaning. 
At Yoga Path, depending of which class you are attending, we chant Om, Gayatri mantra and/or the Invocation to Patanjali. Each hold a unique significance, both in origin and effect. I will be exploring this further in weeks to come.
Geeta Iyengar (BKS Iyengar’s daughter) touches on the purpose of chanting:
"We chant (Invocation to Patañjali) so that at the very beginning that feeling of sanctification comes from inside, with the feeling of surrendering oneself, because nothing can be learned in this world unless you have the humility to learn."
See you on the mat :)
Led Practice this Saturday at 10am. Book your place now. https://yogapath.punchpass.com/classes/444555
For students with annual membership led practice is FREE.  For others, it is $15 cash at the counter. Or $150 for 10x Led Practices, valid for 12 months: 
Nicole Schroeter
Certified Iyengar Teacher
Yoga Path
Learn more about your yoga - become an Iyengar Yoga Teacher
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