The first posture in the Bikram series is a breathing exercise called Standing Deep Breathing. As a beginner it was quite awkward to coordinate the breath and the arm movements. I was in a class with another newcomer once who commented after class that the sounds from the breathing exercise reminded her of a horror movie! But there are many gains to be made in this posture. We have both continued with our practice to experience the benefits of this practice!
"Because of sedentary habits, most people use only ten percent of their lungs, never allowing the lungs to reach the maximum expansion capacity that Nature intended. As a result, they are susceptible to emphysema, asthma, shortness of breath and dozens of other breathing problems. Standing Deep Breathing teaches you to use the other ninety percent of your lungs.
This exercise should be done before any kind of physical activity. Because it expands the lungs to their full capacity, it increases circulation to the whole body, waking everything up and preparing the muscles for action." (Bikram, p.9)
When I began, I couldn't breathe in or out for the full 6 counts, but with months of practice now under my belt, I am able to inhale for six counts and exhale for six counts! Practice makes progress!