Neti Practice

Neti is an essential practice for cleansing our nasal passages. Breath is the life force – Prana, and a clear passageway of this Prana in the form of clean oxygenated breath directly to our brain is essential for clear thinking and vitality of the brain. An oxygen-deprived brain is foggy, cloudy, dull and unresponsive. Prana in the brain on the other hand improves blood circulation there and rejuvenates the mind.

This practice has been performed by yogis for thousands of years as part of their morning routine for excellent reasons. In todays polluted environment, this is ever more essential for our well-being.

Our sense of smell is heightened with the practices of Neti and Nasya. The smell is the first stage of activating the digestive juices as our saliva is stimulated by the smell of good food. When we swallow the saliva it produces the stomach’s juices – igniting the Agni and improving our digestion.

How to do the Neti Practice.

-Obtaining a Neti pot is helpful, as it is designed specifically for this practice. It looks like a small teapot with a spout that can direct the water directly into the nostril. However not having one is not an excuse not to do the practice ! as a regular cup will suffice!

-It is best performed first thing in the morning – after oil pulling and tongue scraping, but may be done anytime except within an hour before sleeping.

-Make a solution of approx 1/2 teaspoon of quality non-processed sea salt or Himalayan rock salt in 1 cup of warm/ blood temperature clean water in your Neti pot or a thin-lipped small cup. Herbs such as a pinch of turmeric may be added in the case of inflammation or infection.

–Prepare the space- by either being outdoors or over the bathroom sink or a large bowl. You may need tissues and running water to cleanse what comes out.

– Lean forwards with your head tilted to the side and gently pour the liquid in one nostril whilst breathing in that nostril and blocking the other nostril.

-Stop pouring on the exhalation, tilt the head in the other direction and breathe out the other nostril, blocking the one you just poured the solution into. The idea is to wash between the two nostrils.

– Repeat a few times on each side, then tilt the head backwards and forwards, and side to side, to remove any excess water from the sinuses.

-Blow the nose if necessary, and notice the clean fresh breath.

You may need to follow up with a Nasya therapy the same day,( at least an hour later) if you are a Vata Dosha. Since Vata are dry by nature, the sinus not only needs to be washed, they need to be oiled, just like you would the skin if it is dry. Nasya is an oil treatment in the nasal passages which soothes and eases irritated mucous membranes and can be highly effective in reducing airborne allergies and even asthma attacks. See Nasya for more information about this.

For more information, please read our article on healthy ayurvedic morning routines.

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