Nasal Cleansing - Neti

There are several people who have used and benefited from different methods of alternative healing.

Some of the most common alternative healing sciences or practices that have become popular in the recent times are acupressure, acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation, hydropathy, ayurvedic practices and Yoga, to name a few.

Health and yoga


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Health and yoga

Yoga can be described as an ancient science that can help people lead a long and healthy life.

This science has now become increasingly popular in many western countries, including the United States of America. There are several health condition that can be cured or at least alleviated to a great extent, through the practice of this science. Yoga includes numerous poses, breathing techniques and exercises that can help tone up the body, boost immunity, increase strength, lose weight, reduce stress and get rid of several types of aches, pains, infections and disorders. Some of the various yoga poses and techniques can be used to cure numerous conditions ranging from nasal polyps, to cancer. Since a sinus infection is one of the most common respiratory ailments that people suffer from, it is only common for them to use natural practices to cure this condition. An ancient Yoga practice, which is known as Jala Neti or Sutra Neti, i.e., nasal cleansing can help to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by sinusitis, within a shorter period of time. These techniques are commonly referred to, as Neti Kriya.

Jala neti yoga

In order to perform the nose cleaning, with the help of yoga, you will need a Neti pot, which is a small pot, made out of ceramic and has a conical spout. However, there are several people who also prefer using a stainless steel neti pot instead. These neti pots are usually available at most leading pharmacies, drugstores and health stores. In order to practice jala neti yoga in the right manner, you need to follow the steps that are given below:

  1. Mix one cup of warm water with half a teaspoon of salt, to make a solution. It is preferable to use pure neti salt, for better results
  2. Pour the salt and water solution into the Neti Pot
  3. Place the spout into one of the nostrils. The cone needs to be placed into the nostril and sealed inside thoroughly, with the help of a few gentle twists
  4. Let the water to flow right into the nostril and then tilt your head on to one side, so that the water can flow out through the other nostril
  5. During this procedure, you need to ensure that you breathe through your mouth. Moreover, you need to make sure that you neither sniff, not swallow while the water is flowing between the nostrils, or else you could experience a severe bout of coughing

Jala neti benefits

There are several benefits that have been associated with jala neti, apart from just nasal cleansing. Given below are some of the most common benefits of the jala neti procedure:

  • It acts as a nasal irrigation technique to get rid of all the bacteria and dirt that have been trapped by the mucus, within the nose
  • The risks of suffering from diseases such as bronchitis and asthma can be reduced, by practicing this technique regularly
  • Several people have the tendency of breathing through the mouth, because their nasal passages are blocked by mucus. Jala Neti can help reduce this tendency, thereby reducing the risks of suffering from several diseases and infections
  • This technique can help get rid of the excess heat within the body, which has a soothing effect on the brain and the rest of the body. Therefore, several health problems like migraines, hysteria, mental tension, hypertension and depression can be alleviated through this technique
  • Certain types of ear disorders, which include tinitis, middle ear infections and glue ear
  • It is very helpful in draining out the sinus cavity and all the dirt and bacteria within it. This sinus irrigation reprograms the body's mechanisms against infections such as allergies, hay fever and sinusitis. It also helps alleviate upper respiratory complaints, which include post nasal drip, an inflammation of the tonsils, sore throats and coughs
  • People who are trying to quit smoking should try neti on a regular basis since it reduces the tendency of breathing through the mouth

Sutra neti or Rubber neti

In Sutra Neti a rubber string or a waxed cotton string needs to be inserted through the nostril, so that the nasal passage can be massaged. In order to practice sutra neti, the steps given below need to be followed:

  • Place a rubber string in front of your left nose nostril, holding it horizontally
  • Push this rubber string along the side of your nose, till you can feel it touch the back of your throat
  • Insert your middle finger and the index finger through the mouth to catch the tip of the string at the back of the throat
  • Using one hand pull the string partially out of your mouth gently while still holding the other tip too
  • Move the string in a gentle massaging motion so that it cleans the nasal passage
  • While removing the string, pull it out of the nose
  • Repeat the exercise with the other nostril

Some of the benefits of this exercise are that it reduces congestion, sluggishness and sinus headaches. It also helps increase alertness and overall respiratory health.

Just like people are advised to practice Jala Neti or Sutra Neti for nasal cleansing, there is a technique known as Shankaprakshalana, which is known as the intestinal cleansing procedure. However, Shankaprakshalana should not be practiced more than once or twice in a year and that too, only after receiving a go ahead from a doctor.

Since these techniques can be a bit complicated, it is important to perform them only under the guidance and supervision of a qualified and experienced yoga guru. The neti instructions given by the teacher should be followed accurately. People suffering from any severe respiratory or nasal conditions should consult a doctor before trying Neti Kriya.

Jala Neti - Neti with Water Jala Neti is one of the simplest yet most effective techniques. It works wonders for the body, particularly on patients suffering from chronic sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma. It has a profound effect on upper respiratory tract conditions, particularly hay fever. The regular practice of Neti also helps relieve headaches and facilitate prolonged youthfulness.


  1. A special "Neti Pot" is first filled with lukewarm, slightly salted water. Its spout is then inserted into one nostril
  2. Place the cone into your nostril, sealing it inside with a few gentle twists. The position of your head is adjusted, slightly tilted, to allow the water to flow out your other nostril
  3. Breathe gently through your mouth, trying not to sniff or swallow while the water is flowing through

The technique is not half as hard as it appears.

In fact, once mastered, which should take a day or two at most. you will be surprised at both, the technique and its results.

Drying The Nose Drying your nose properly is a very important part of the practice. Never neglect to do this part properly. It is called Vyutkrama, which is nothing but Kapalbhati, explained in detail in stage 5 of this section. A couple of rapid forceful expulsions and all the residual water will be ejected from your nose

Dugdha Neti - Neti with Milk Another version of Netis is using diluted milk, pre-warmed to body temperature, in place of water. It is particularly beneficial to those suffering from chronic nose bleeding or for those who find salt water irritating. Sutra Neti - Nasal Cleansing Using a Rubber Catheter This is a very effective way of opening up the nasal passages to their fullest capacity.


  1. Pass a rubber catheter of about 1mm dimension into your nose through one nostril.
  2. Slowly keep pushing it in until you feel it in your throat.
  3. Now gently draw it out your mouth.
  4. Then gently tug the catheter to and fro a couple of times.
  5. With practice, it can even be passed from one nostril through the other. But this requires a certain level of proficiency and is also not very necessary. The effect, however, is still the same.
  6. Before and after usage it is advisable to rinse the catheter in warm water or medicated oil.
  7. Repeat the exercise with the other nostril

Remember, under no circumstances should you experience pain in the practice. If you feel any pain, it either means you are inserting the catheter too fast, or that it entered the wrong way and is stalled against the nasal wall, unless there is otherwise some other genetic obstruction. In which case, stop immediately, withdraw and reinsert the catheter carefully in another direction until you find a clear unimpeded passage.

Take your time, gently inserting the catheter and always keep breathing normally. It is normal to feel tickled and have bouts of sneezing in the beginning. You may also discharge a lot of mucous, so make sure to keep handkerchiefs or a box of tissues ready. Over time, as the mucous membranes, nerves and tissues get accustomed to the practice, the reaction will automatically reduce.


Both Jala and Sutra Neti help extract all the impurity and bacteria filled mucus from the nasal and sinus cavities. This in turn, will help to restore the body's mechanisms to natural and increase its immunity to nasal allergies like hay fever, sinusitis and other respiratory conditions like sore throats, chronic coughs and colds, post nasal drips, adenoids and tonsillitis. By cleansing the nasal passages it frees them of mucus and automatically reduces the tendency breathe orally. Neti is also of great benefit for eye and ear related disorders. By flushing the tear ducts, it facilitates clearer vision. Further, it has subtle effects on the pineal and pituitary glands that govern the hormonal system, resulting in harmonized emotional behaviour.

Both these practices should, ideally, be done regularly and integrated into one's daily routine like bathing or brushing you teeth.

Sutra Neti can be of great benefit, and is highly recommended, for those who find one nostril more blocked than the other. There appears to be some kind of fleshy obstruction like the cartilage obstructing the nasal passages. Short of a surgical treatment, Sutra Neti is the best alternative for removing such obstructions.

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