Just as a goldsmith removes the impurities of gold by heating it in the hot furnace, by strongly blowing the blowpipe, so also the yogic aspirant removes the impurities of the body, the senses and the mind, by blowing the lungs, through the practices of pranayama. Such is the importance of Pranayama.
As a person with sedentary lifestyle reaches middle age, lung tissues tend to grow less and less elastic and lung capacity decreases. Pranayama can help reduce backaches, headaches, rheumatism, stiffening muscles and joints. It also helps in proper circulation of blood which is impeded by a sluggish diaphragm or hardening arteries.
Better functioning of autonomic system improves the working of lungs, heart, abdomen, intestines, kidneys and pancreas. Digestive system improves and diseases pertaining to digestive organs are cured.
General irritability due to lethargy/ fatigue vanishes. By pranayama practice all body organs gets more oxygen, toxins are removed from body, therefore onset of various diseases is prevented. Pranayama strengthens the immune system.
As per yoga philosophy, longevity depends on your breathing rate. Lowering of breathing rate is likely to increase your life. For example, a tortoise takes four to five breaths in a minute and it lives up to 200 years or more.
Therefore, it is recommended to start learning pranayama from a yoga teacher without any delay in order to experience the immense benefits of pranayama. Benefits of yoga breathing can be realised only by experience.