It is estimated that we only use around 10-15% of our lung capacity!
Every Hot Yoga class starts with a breathing exercise: pranayama deep breathing, “good for our lungs and respiratory system”. The word pranayama itself comes from two words: prana meaning life force or breath, and yama meaning control. So this first exercise is initiating us immediately to the idea of breath control (a constant in our yoga practice) and preparing our bodies and minds for the remainder of the class.
We have two sets of ten breaths in pranayama breathing, and each of the 20 breaths steadily increases the lungs’ elasticity. The point of this breathing exercise is to teach us how to access full lung capacity and stimulate blood circulation to the entire body thereby warming our bodies up for the postures ahead of us.