Seasonal changes are upon us and although always beneficial, the practice of neti/nasal irrigation is enhanced at this time of year.
In the world of yoga and ayurveda neti is used to reduce the occurrence or the impact of the common cold, flus, allergies, headaches, digestive problems, weight issues, skin issues and more.
It is also used to enhance our pranayama practice (breathing techniques). My previous blog explains the practice of alternate nostril breathing which is one of the most efficient practices to connect with the power of conscious breathing.
In addition to the stated health benefits, the belief is that if the breath is clear and unobstructed it improves mental and emotional clarity which reduces stress and enhances overall well-being.
Neti pots look like little tea pots. They can be purchased at most health food stores, some pharmacies and some yoga centres carry them as well. Expect to pay about $10-$15. If you don't drop it, it will last for years; very good investment.
Neti How To
Mix 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized salt with one cup of warm distilled water. Stir until it dissolves. Put half the solution in your neti pot. Note that the amount of salt varies a little depending on people and seasons. You may need to adjust. Keep in mind that the practice of neti, does not burn or hurt. So if you experience discomfort, you need to adjust your salt.
Standing over the bathroom sink tilt your head slightly to the left, insert the spout into the right nostril and slowly poor the solution until it filters through the left nostril. Then move to the other side. Once completed blow your nose to drain all the water.
- You may experience blockages and the water will not flow through. With practice it will. Don't force it, just stay committed.
- You will need to explore to find the perfect head tilt.
- Relax and breathe through the mouth as you pour the water.
- Ensure to keep your neti pot clean.
- Like most things, neti is not for everyone. Nose bleeds, sinus infection, severe nasal blockages for example require expert guidance.
- If you're a beginner use the neti for health maintenance rather than for therapeutic purposes.
- If you have doubts speak with a practitioner.
There are many herbs such as tulsi and gotu kola and essential oils that can be added to enhance the experience and bring individual benefits. For this you need to work with an Ayurvedic practitioner. If you’re interested contact me.
Neti may seem strange at first but within one or two comfortable experiences the weirdness becomes normal. So normal that you may find yourself promoting it to friends and family at the next party.