How is jal neti helpful as a mode of treatment in yoga?

Neti Yoga forms an important part of Hatha Yoga - the most classical school of yoga. Yoga neti involves cleansing the body, more specifically speaking the air passages in the yoga practitioner's head.

This practice is believed to be excellent for the yogin or the student of yoga. It has many physiological and psychological benefits.


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Two main methods to perform Neti are Jal Neti and Sutra Neti.

Jal Neti or jalaneti is a nasal irrigation technique in yoga used to clean out the nasal cavity and make it free of mucus and debris. The jala neti history dates back many centuries and is an important part of the Shathkarmas, that is, the practices to purify the human body. The other purification techniques or Shatkarmas are Dhauti which is cleansing of the digestive tract, abdominal massage or Nauli, cleansing of the colon or Basti, eye and mind cleansing which is Trataka and cranial sinus cleansing or Kapalabhati.

However, in the West jal neti has been popularized only recently.

Followers claim that Jalneti can rid the body of a variety of diseases and keep them at bay. Yoga nose cleaning by performing jal neti is easier than sutra neti. The more advanced sutra neti or cord nasal cleaning is a yoga nasal cleaning which needs to be performed only under the supervision of a qualified and trained yoga guru.

The Jal Neti procedure involves pouring lukewarm salt water into one nostril and bringing it out through the other nostril. Then the nostrils are alternated. A variant of jal neti yoga involves pouring the water through one nostril and bringing it out through the mouth. In an even more advanced variant of the method, the practitioner takes water in from the mouth and brings it out through the nose.

The jal neti pot or lota is important to be able to practice nasal cleansing. It is a small pot with a spout that fits inside the nostrils. It looks like a small teapot or a small hand garden sprinkler. Where to buy the jal neti pot? It is available only in special yoga stores. These pots are made of brass, copper, ceramic, stainless steel or any other such material. However the jal neti pots in stainless steel are becoming more and more widely used as they can be easily cleaned and have a low maintenance value.

In jalaneti, salt is also a key element. Only pure salt should be used to perform this cleansing technique. Jal Neti and iodine do not go hand in hand; ideally only un-iodized salt should be used to perform this nasal cleaning. It should have no additives, must not be iodized and but naturally should be free of caking agents. Therefore even table salt if possible must be avoided as it contains artificial agents to prevent lumping.

There are many Jala Neti instructions to be kept in mind, if one wants to perform this procedure correctly and to avoid uneasiness. To carry out the basic procedure, mix one teaspoon of pure salt with half a liter of water. The neti lota can contain this isotonic solution. Then carefully insert the spout of the pot in your nostril and give a slight sideways tilt to your head. The water will enter this nostril and flow out from the other nostril. Do not inhale, laugh or talk while performing this. Once this step is done, blow your nose and clear your throat. Repeat the same procedure by starting with the other nostril. In this basic method of jal neti, the water that is poured into one nostril will most probably come out of the other nostril, but sometimes it is possible to have some water flowing out of the mouth. For this reason, it is important to keep the mouth open. Moreover, before starting with jal neti, the stomach should be empty. After jala neti, drying the nose is crucial. If the nasal passages remain wet, you experience cold-like symptoms for a long time and the residual dirty water in the passages can also give rise to infection.

A more advanced yogic cleansing technique called the Vaman Dhauti or Kunjal Kriya is a technique that complements jal neti kriya. Vaman Dhauti mainly involves drinking lukewarm water on empty stomach first thing in the morning and purges it out. This practice cleanses the upper digestive system along with cleaning the respiratory system.

Jala neti health benefits are manifold. It helps remove dirty and infected mucus from the nasal cavity. Jal neti and sinusitis also go a long way and are very helpful.

Practicing nasal cleansing clears the sinus cavities and in turn increases the body's capacity to fight against nasal infections. Similarly, with jal neti, allergies such as hay fever can also be kept at bay. More so, jal neti makes the practitioner breathe more freely with the nose. Therefore, problems such as asthma and bronchitis are also reduced. Sore throats, coughs, tonsillitis can also be cured by performing jal neti regularly. It is beneficial for the eyes and ears.

Jal neti also reduces depression and anxiety. It also helps in increasing the concentration power. It considerably lessens migraines and headaches. It also activates the Ajna chakra or the third eye that helps reaching out to an advanced level of meditation.

It can be effectively used to treat smokers and help them overcome their habit. It brings out mouth breathing and makes the nasal passage more sensitive and this gradually makes the smoker develop an aversion to smoke ingestion.

In jal neti side effects are almost inexistent. It is just very important to follow the instructions carefully and not skip any step. Nasal irrigation or cleansing can be practiced daily. People living in polluted cities should try and make it part of their everyday lifestyle. It can also be performed as often as twice a day.

Yoga for slimming includes the practice of the yoga asanas or postures, the body purification techniques such as jal neti, sun salutations, pranayam, meditation and agnisar which involve rapid contraction and expansion of the muscles of the abdomen.

Jal neti is the practice of yoga which helps to keep the nostrils clean from congestion and mucus creation. It is the best recommended cleansing method for yoga practice.

The practice of Jal neti shows great results on the mind as well as body and there are no complications or adverse effects created in the body. It helps the body to get free from a wide variety of diseases. You need to follow simple easy steps for the practice of jal neti.

All what you need is luke warm water and sufficient amount of sea salt. Neti pot is desirable and it is beneficial for the beginners who cannot insert water in the nostrils with the hand or pipe. Neti pot is specially designed pot with a spout which can easily fit in the nostrils.

Steps for Jal Neti

  1. Take some warm water with a little salt. Initially you can reduce the amount of water. After a few days you may increase the quantity of water as per your comfort level.
  2. Put the spout in one of your nostrils and keep your head tilted sideways
  3. You should not inhale as you pour water in your nose.
  4. The water will flow within the nostril and come out from the other nostril.
  5. You should blow your nose to clear your throat
  6. Repeat the procedure with your other nostril
  7. Keep your mouth wide open for the water to come out from the mouth if desired.
  8. Practice this everyday at least once in the morning.

You need to have great mastery to practice jal neti to acquire best results on the mind as well as the body. Control and concentration is required while putting the water in the nostrils and taking it out from the other nostril.

Jal neti has great benefits if you are prone to constant cough and cold. It should be included in your daily routine and this should be made a regular practice. It helps to purify the path for nasal breathing. It helps to cure a great number of respiratory disorders like sinusitis, bronchitis and tonsils. This posture of yoga also helps to free the mind from the negative feelings and makes the individual alert.

It shows promising effect on the health of the individuals and the results can be seen in short span of time. You should make it a regular practice and once gained mastery over the exercise you will realize its good effects and will enjoy its practice.

You can continuously breathe through your mouth while you practice Jal Neti with both of your nostrils.

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