Neti is an Ayurvedic practice that rinses the nasal passages with water and cleanses them thoroughly. It is an extraordinary ritual that clears the nose and the head and can help achieve more clarity and purity. Here we show you how nasal rinsing works and why you should think about incorporating Neti into your morning routine from now on.
What is Neti?
In Ayurveda, Neti is a nasal cleansing that can be performed regularly. The practice is a component of Hatha Yoga and is designed to harmonize the body and balance the three doshas. From an Ayurvedic point of view, an excessive Kapha dosha, in particular, can lead to phlegm, which then settles in the typical Kapha regions such as the head and chest area. Neti is used to dissolve this mucus so that we feel freer and more relaxed all around.
Two types of ayurvedic nasal rinsing
Neti has been used in ancient India for many years as a method for cleaning the nasal passages. There are several different ways to practice Neti, but in Ayurveda, nasal rinsing is usually done with oil or water. Other possibilities include the use of milk (Dughda Neti) or ghee (Ghrita Neti).
So the two best-known methods are certainly Sutra Neti, cleaning with a cotton thread, and Jala Neti, rinsing with water. Now let us take a closer look at these two practices.
Sutra Neti: Nose cleaning with cotton thread
In this nasal cleansing procedure, a soft rubber catheter about 30 cm long or a waxed cotton string is passed through a nostril and then pulled out through the mouth.
After the string has been gently pulled back and forth a few times, the other nostril is attached. Admittedly, the practice sounds a little strange at first.
But in fact, it has a pleasant massaging effect and stimulates the reflex zones in the nose.
For this reason, it is said to be especially useful for people with breathing problems or narrowed nostrils!
However, a little practice is needed before this technique is effective. Those who have never tried it before should, therefore, not try Sutra Neti alone!
If you still want to give it a try, do so under the watchful eye of a qualified yoga teacher. Only when you are a little more experienced can you do it yourself.
Jala Neti: nasal rinsing with saltwater
In Jala Neti, the nose is rinsed with an isotonic saltwater solution using a so-called Neti Pot. The Neti Pot or Neti Pot looks a bit like Aladdin’s magic lamp and has an elongated beak. The whole thing works like this: Water is poured into a nostril with the jug and then flowing through the mouth. This rinses the nasal passages properly and opens the airways. No wonder that the Jala Neti nasal shower has a fixed place in the Ayurvedic morning ritual for many people!
Here too, a little experimentation is necessary until the water runs as it should. But in contrast to Sutra Neti, this technique can be used even by laymen without any problems. We will now show you how this works.
Ayurvedic Nasal Rinse: Instructions for beginners
Do you want to clear your sinuses and thus increase your well-being? Why not try Jala Neti! All you need is a Neti Pot, best made of ceramic, metal, or toxic-free plastic and is available in health food stores or pharmacies. You can easily make the saline solution yourself. All you have to do is mix a teaspoon of sea salt or iodine-free salt with half a liter of warm water until it dissolves.
Then it can already start:
- Lean over a sink and put your head slightly tilted.
- Now insert the beak of the pot into a nostril and pour the water into it. Open your mouth and let the water flow out again.
- While doing so, breathe through the mouth in a relaxed manner. With a little practice, you will quickly find the right position to hold your head so that the water can flow optimally.
- If the jug is half empty, place your head on the other side, and change the nostril. When the pot is empty, blow your nose again thoroughly to remove any water residue. Your nose is now pleasantly free also!
If you wish, you can incorporate this practice into your Ayurvedic morning routine and practice it daily before breakfast and yoga in the morning. Ideally, it would help if you did it on an empty stomach. If the salt water makes your nose feel a little dry, you can apply a little ghee to the mucous membranes with your finger afterward.
Tip: Does the water burn your nose? Then it is most likely too cold, too little in quantity, or with too much salt.
What Jala Neti can do
After a pleasant morning shower, we feel much better right away – and our noses think the same! Neti is a natural and gentle cleaning of the paranasal sinuses.
Natural salt is particularly beneficial for the mucous membranes and respiratory tract and is therefore ideal for nasal rinsing. In this way, a nasal douche gently frees the body from cinders and mucous.
But basically, the rinsing is beneficial for all the sensory organs in the head and strengthens the eyes, nose, and ears. Even the mind should benefit from it. Indian yoga teachings assume that clear breathing also leads to clear thinking.
The freer the nose is, the better the thinking and meditation work. But that is not all that Jala Neti is supposed to achieve because it has several more positive effects:
Cleanses the brow chakra and relieves headaches
Migraine and headaches can be a sign of a disturbed brow chakra. With Jala Neti, the forehead chakra is stimulated, which calms the head and relieves stress. Neti can even have a calming effect on tension in the face, anxiety, depression, and anger. The head feels lighter again, and you can start the new day with fresh courage.
Prevents colds and respiratory diseases
With Jala Neti, relief or at least relief from colds and diseases of the respiratory tract should be created. It is said to positively affect sinusitis and inflammation of the ears, eyes, and throat. People suffering from asthma or hay fever can also benefit from it because pollen, dust, and bacteria are washed away.
Refreshes the mind
Neti is also said to dispel tiredness and strengthen the ability to concentrate. The mind becomes more transparent, and the brow chakra can flow freely again. This not only leads to an alert mind but also strengthens the intuitive abilities again.
When should Neti not be performed?
Basically, Neti is not dangerous and can be done every morning. However, there are certain conditions under which it should be avoided. For example, if you suffer from chronic nosebleeds or severe problems in the ear, nose, and throat area, it is better not to do Neti. Nasal rinsing should also be omitted for the time being after injuries or operations in the face, especially the nose area. To be on the safe side, we recommend that you check with a doctor to see if nasal rinsing is a good idea in your case.
Free your nose from waste products and clear your body and mind with Neti, the ayurvedic nasal rinsing! Take your time to try it out in peace and benefit from the cleansing effect. Once you get used to it, you will notice that after a morning nasal shower, you will feel much freer and purified right away! In this sense: Have fun trying it out!