Neti: Shatkriya for Sinus Problems

healthy sinus and sinusitis

Jal Neti

Sinus is a problem which is caused by clogged nasal passage, and Neti which is one of the shatkriyas is the cleansing technique used for cleansing the nasal passage. There are three kinds of Neti in Shatkarmas taught at all the institutes of Yoga Teacher Training in India:

  • Jala Neti using water
  • Sutra Neti using a wet string and
  • Ghrita Neti using Ghee.

Neti and its Effects

Jala Neti is the cleaning of the nasal passage using salt water. This kriya allows the nasal passage to be free of blockage resulting in unheralded passage of air to the lungs. With continued practice the person will experience some great medical benefits. The most prominent benefits of Jal Neti is less cold and cough and increased resistance to bacterial and viral infection. It also helps in serious diseases like asthma and tuberculosis.

The process of Jal Neti:

  1. A small pot with a nozzle is used in Jal Neti. This pot is filled with clean, lukewarm salty water. Generally, the pot is made of brass or ceramic which does not react with salty water.
  2. The water is poured in the left nostril, and then the head is tilted so that water comes out of the right nostril.
  3. The process is the reversed where the water is put in right nostril and made to come out of the left nostril.

Important: Only one teaspoon of salt should be dissolved in one Litre of water. This makes the water isotonic and it passes freely through the nasal passage without being absorbed. The isotonic water cleans the nasal passage and the also the blood vessels are stimulated.

Effects of Jal Neti – Some of the effects of Jal Neti are:

  1. Stimulation of olfactory nerves resulting in an improved sense of smell.
  2. Stimulates nerves in face and nose and brain which increases blood flow to the face.
  3. Help activate the lymph nodes in the nasal region. Lymph nodes are vital for healthy secretion of mucus for protecting the nose against dust and pollution.
  4. Increased blood flow in the cranial muscles helps strengthen the eye muscles.
  5. Soothes the brain resulting in a decrease in stress and tension caused by pollution and unwarranted thoughts.
  6. Opens and balances the pranic channel as it helps in the improved flow of pranvayu (air) to the lungs.

Sutra Neti

There are some other ways of Neti like the sutra Neti where a wet string is used to cleanse the nasal passage. In Sutra Neti, a cotton cord is used. The cord is inserted into one nostril and the pulled out of the mouth. The cord is then slowly pulled in both directions alternately to clean the nasal passage. Sutra Neti is more complex than Jal Neti and should only be used if Jal Neti is unable to clear the blockage in the nasal passage. It is beneficial for those having a fleshy obstruction in the nasal region. Sometimes ghee or milk may be used to perform Neti. All these forms have a good effect on the health. However, they should be practiced under the guidance of a qualified Yoga teacher.

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