Are you troubled by hay fever, a cold, or do you have difficulty breathing? The ayurvedic ritual Jala Neti Kriya might be the solution!
Jala Neti Kriya is an ayurvedic ritual that involves cleansing the nose with salt water. It has been practiced for centuries in India can help you breathe freely if you are troubled by hay fever, allergies, or congestion. After performing neti you will notice that it is much easier to breathe through your nose and your head will feel much lighter. Because of this, neti is common as a complementary ritual in many yoga practices. Neti can improve clarity of mind and is a great preparation for a yoga or meditation practice.
Fill your neti pot with lukewarm water and salt. Make sure you use clean water. The water that comes from the tap here in the Netherlands is very clean, and can be used straight away. If you are in another country where the water that comes from the tap is not very clean, it is better to use bottled water or to boil the water in advance.
After you've filled your neti pot with clean, lukewarm water you can add the salt. The Nosebuddy neti pot has a measuring spoon, but for all other neti pots you can remember that the water should be as salty as tears. This comes down to about a teaspoon per half liter.
It's best to use salt without additives that is very fine. Fine salt dissolves easier than coarse salt. Some people have a reaction to seasalt, but this differs from person to person. There are also neti pot salt sachets available. These contain the right amount of very fine, additive free salt.
How does it work?
So you've filled you neti pot with lukewarm water and salt. Now its time to cleanse your nose! It is best to do this over a sink or in the shower.
If your nostrils are very congested, then start with the one that is least congested. Place the spout on that nostril and tilt your head slightly to the opposite side and towards the front. This ensures that the water doesn't get in your throat. Now slowly pour the water in your nostril whilst breathing calmly through the mouth. The first time might feel a little strange, but performing neti is not painful and can even be quite pleasant!
After you've filled your first nostril with water, blow the excess water out and repeat the process on the second side. If both nostrils are completely clear of congestion, the water will go in trough one nostril and come out the other! But, don't worry if this does not happen immediately. It can take a while before everything starts moving. Repeat the process on both nostrils as necessary and blow your nose in between.
When you're done with your neti pot it's a good idea to clear all the water from your nostrils. To do this bend over into a forward fold and slowly roll back up. This way you can be sure that there is no water left in the nostrils.
How often should you perform neti?
In general, it is advised to perform neti once a day. This is usually in the morning. But, this is very dependent on personal preferences. Some people perform neti every day because it helps them to breathe freely during their yoga or meditation practice. Others only perform neti when they feel their allergies coming up, or when they are congested. Because there are no chemicals involved in jala neti, it is very soft on your nostrils and can be performed as often as you'd like.