Namaste from Pondicherry, India
Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community!
We just measured our lungs here at the ashram. We do this to check in on the effectiveness of the Pranayama practice on expanding lung capacity. We measure all 3 sections of the lungs; lower, middle and high using a tailor’s tape measure and measuring the diameter between the exhale and the inhale. All 3 sections of my lungs were 4” when fully expanded from where they were fully deflated. When I arrived here, they were at 2”, which means that I have doubled my lung capacity in 4 months.
Why would we want to expand our lung capacity?
A great question, thank you for asking! Most of us, and that means all of us, breath just enough to stay alive. Even people who play sports and exercise regularly. Before coming to India, I was playing 3-4 hockey games a week which is a high level cardio sport. I was surprised to learn that my lungs were just a half inch over the average shallow breather, which is about an inch for women and an inch and a half for men. Shallow breathing is an issue and awareness and control of the breath resolves these issues, through the practice of Pranayama.
Expanded lung capacity reduces the risk of almost ALL human diseases. Diseases start with what is called acidosis which is too much carbon dioxide in the blood, which is a poison. As we age, lung capacity shrinks, removing the body’s ability to remove carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. When we expand our lung capacity, the effectiveness of our Asana practice (Vinyasa, Hatha, Any) skyrockets. Without proper breathing in Asana, it is the same as cleaning our apartments or houses with a toothbrush. Breathing removes 80%+ of the toxins from our body so the ability to remove toxins from our body also skyrockets. Breathing correctly also calms the mind and emotions, and cleanses the nervous system.
Pranayama is coming as a practice to Ripple Yoga in April, look for it! We will use different Asanas in this practice to open the lungs and Pranayama techniques that I have learned here to bring awareness to your lungs and to expand their capacity. Pranayama may not look good on Facebook, but this is where the real Yoga practice begins. This is the first step in becoming a REAL Yogi..
Enjoy, keep practicing, continue evolving and so much more to come!! As always if you have any questions, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I answer all emails!!!!
In Unity and Love,