The breath in this pose should pass over the back of the throat, as this is said to stimulate the tonsils and the immune system. It strengthens the lungs, the throat and the voice. It is also believed to cure bad breath. The exhalation can be performed two or three times in succession, or as many times as one likes.
As well as stimulating and stretching the muscles of the chest and face, lion pose specifically works on engaging the platysma, which is the flat muscle at the front of the throat. Practicing lion pose is said to keep this muscle firm during the aging process, preventing it from pulling on the corners of the mouth and wrinkling the neck.
Different variations of this posture place the hands in different positions; for instance, the fingers can face back toward the body. Some texts suggest the ankles should be crossed so that the body rests on just one heel, with the heel stimulating the perineal area.