Pranayama is the skillful use of body and breath to participate in one’s wellbeing. Prana isn’t air, it is space dust, it is all the cosmic matter of the atmosphere weighted. The atmosphere is filled with ions, ores, minerals, and this magic is floating all around. One doesn’t just get these minerals because of the very fact one breathes; rather, one must use the tool to extract this cosmic food. The tool used is the thyroid, the ventilation system of the body. Breathing through the nose, one’s breath gets filtered and heated and sent to the respiratory filtering station (the lungs) to be processed. This ‘oxygen’ then fills our cells and, if used properly, feeds our brain and body. The toxins that sit deep in the lungs are expelled, allowing us to participate in eliminating waste matter.
In the pranayama practice we play with manipulating the chemistry of our glands and creating space for our organs so they can work like pumps, as designed. Note that chakras and glands are same thing, it is just a different language and a different culture. You can get joy in any language, you can get a great meal with any spice. It is you, and what you put into it.
Keep in mind that whatever one overuses eventually wears out. The goal is to refine what one always uses, whilst having an exploratory dialogue of what one doesn’t use, one’s weak spot. This allows one to have an experience that may not have been available before. The practice works with the information the body relays. The information is not to be judged; it is never right or wrong, it is information that is speaking to the personal, so that you can participate in working where you don’t normally go. Try to watch your self with wonder, compassion, curiosity, and understanding.