:) Yes, all of u, right -- the ratio is 1:4:2 and yes, even if you said 4 inhale, 16 retain and 8 exhale. However, this (4-16-8) is the `lowest' ratio -- u have to progressively increase it for greater yogic benefits.. In the ashram, we have gone upto 8-32-16 in the advanced teacher's training course -- but that is under controlled conditions. Even here, I think not many were comfortable doing that. If you know a person who sits up front in the asana class but chooses a dark corner in the pranayama class that he or she expects to be cheating:) But this time, when I was there for the last ATTC Prahlada did, I finally enjoyed pranayama without straining. What a high! The thing is pranayama involves a long sweeping learning curve... so it takes its own time. But the least u want to do for health is to at least practice the minimum, lowest ratio of 4-16-8 ..
The main pose in the surya namaskar (which, sad to say so many yoga schools don't teach at all well because it is difficult to correct, for the instructors) is named after a certain number of body parts touching the ground...
Name of the pose, anybody? But if that is too much to ask, what about the number of body parts hitting the ground in it?