I want to share with you this practice from Kundalini Yoga, that can help expand lung capacity. I’m a certified level 1 Kundalini Yoga teacher. This kriya/practice is very helpful. Please take your time, read through once or twice, and then practice. You can begin with shorter times for each exercise and build up your time as you feel more comfortable.
Note: Always listen to your body. If something feels uncomfortable or painful, stop and adjust or move to the next exercise. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Kundalini Yoga Kriya for Expanding Lung Capacity
From Kundalini Yoga, Sadhana Guidelines 2nd Edition
(Please read through first time, then practice) Photos: Linette Mattei
- Sit in Easy Pose/cross legged (you may want to add a cushion or if you are unable to sit on the floor it’s perfectly fine to sit on a chair). Raise the arms up with the elbows bent at a right angle. Now bend the wrists so that the palms are facing up. Maintain this position for 1 minute. To end: Inhale deeply, and hold for 10 seconds. Exhale. Repeat this 3 more times, then exhale and hold the breath out (for as long as you can). Apply mulbandh/root lock. Inhale, hold briefly and exhale. You can learn more about root lock/mulbandh, here.
2. Sit in Easy Pose with Venus Lock (interlocked fingers, men with right thumb on top, women with left thumb on top) resting your hands on your lap. Begin Long Deep Breathing for 10 minutes. With each inhalation, fully expand and raise the rib cage. If you are not used to breathing in this full, deep, smooth manner, you might experience a transient adjustment or get light headed. Though an infrequent effect, it passes quickly if it occurs. Firm concentration at the brow will alleviate most imbalances. If it persists, stop and be sure your breathing pattern is correct and that you are not paradoxically breathing. If you are a beginner, you can breathe for a shorter time, stop briefly and resume the practice until the time is completed. Very quickly you will be able to do the entire time comfortably and with increasing steadiness, alertness and vitality. Move from this exercise immediately into the next.
3. Sit up with the legs extended. Bend forward and hold the toes or back of the knee. Inhale, exhale and hold the breath out. Pump the belly as many times as possible, then inhale and exhale, repeat 2 more times.
Exercise 1 turns on the energy to the lungs and heart. Exercise 2 uses the energy to expand the lung capacity. Exercise 3 balances and distributes the prana.