Cleansing Nostrils – Jala Neti
Benefits: Washing the Nostrils is done for the purpose of clearing the sinuses of mucus, bacteria, reducing allergies to environmental triggers, reducing eye, throat, ear and respiratory infections, speeding recovery from such issues, improving sense of smell and also taste for food. Jala Neti Kriya (cleansing) relieves facial tension, calms nerves and lining in the nostrils, relaxes the brain, a relieves heaviness or pressure in the sinuses.
Preparation: At a clean sink have 1 neti pot (plastic or ceramic) and some tissues for clearing and drying the nose. Fill a large sealable glass jar with 4 Cups of reverse osmosis lukewarm water; add 1 3/4 tsp sea salt. Cover and let salt dissolve. Shake to completely dissolve salt. Pour a little of the gentle saline solution, enough to fill the neti pot 3/4 of the way full.
Washing the Nostrils: Begin with the left side unless the right side is more open. Test by blocking one nostril at a time with thumb or finger to test which is least obstructed. This will often change during different times of the day. To begin with the left nostril, hold the neti pot with the left hand and tilt the head forward and rotate the head to the left so the left nostril is over the right. Leaning forward will effectively keep the saline water from traveling into the throat. The nose and throat are opened to each other via two small holes, one nostril each communicating with the throat. Gently place the spout end of the neti pot at the left nostril opening and press just enough to make a soft seal. Slowing tilt the pot so the saline solution washes into the left nostril. Optimally, the water will pass through to the right nostril and drain into the sink or bowl. Whether this is the case, or if only small drips exit the right nostril or if no water passes successfully, benefits will still be experienced. Once the pot is empty, set the pot down, straighten the head. Leaning over the sink, encourage any water in the nostril to drain by making a face, then simply lightly blow the nose into 1-2 tissues to remove mucus. If there is no mucus, pat the nose dry. Wipe clean the spout and refill the neti pot. Repeat on the right side. Repeat each side again 2-3 more unless flow is streaming out as it goes in. Commonly, there is a difference in flow between left and right at the beginning. Frequency can be daily, 1 x week, or 3 times a day during allergy session, or when there are signs of excess sleep in the eyes, signs of a sore throat presenting.
This technique is a Shatkarma exercise; efforts made balances all three doshas: (kapha, pitta, vata). Also, Jala Neti kriya clears the “vital airs” of the Udana region, throat to the top of the head.
May all beings be at peace and prosper, namaste.