Yoga cleansing exercises are known as ‘kriyas’. They assist our bodily functions to remove waste products.Since we live in a world where the air, water & food are quite polluted, we need ‘kriyas’ as our bodies can’t quite deal with this pollution on its own anymore.
There are 2 ‘kriyas’ which I practice on a daily basis:
- Neti – nasal cleaning
- Kapala Bhati – cleanings of lungs and bronchial tubes (a page on this Pranayama will follow soon)
In this post I’d like to explain the benefits & the how-to of the nasal cleaning. Neti is a simple technique for cleaning the nose, nasal passages and sinuses. This cleaning method is especially beneficial for people that suffer from allergies, often have congested sinuses OR common colds. It’ll help to maintain easy breathing and combats pollution. The neti pot is used together with lukewarm water and some (preferably) Himalaya salt. Instead of buying medicine when you do get sick, jala neti is an easy, cheap way to prevent you from getting sick.
Jala Neti (sanskrit) means water cleaning. You can buy a neti pot online (i.e.: yogashop) or in a yoga studio near you (i.e. Sampoorna in Brussels) and only need salt (i.e. sea salt or Himalaya salt). A neti pot will cost you between 5 & 20 euros (depending on the quality, type (plastic or ceramic).
How to use the neti pot?
- Poor lukewarm water in your neti pot,
- Add a teaspoon (but less in the beginning, experiment as it may burn) of salt to the water & stir,
- Hang over the sink & poor the water into one nostril, keeping the head tilted pot-side up,
- Keep your mouth open to breathe through your mouth,
- The water will come out of the other nostril, let the entire content of the neti pot run through your nostrils,
- Blow out the excess water through both nostrils and repeat the process with the other nostril
In the beginning you might find it scary or some water will come into your mouth, don’t worry nor get scared, take your time, experiment with more or less salt, colder or warmer water until you’ve found which combination of salt/ water works best for you. Do not inhale the water, it’ll simply flow through the nostrils through the tilting of your head.
You’ll be amazed of what comes out of your nose and how much lighter your head feels after this cleaning exercise.
Repeat it on a daily basis.
If you feel a cold coming up, or already have one, you can repeat jala neti two to three times a day.
TIP: add the jala neti to your morning ritual, after a little practice you’ll only need 5 minutes for both nostrils and will immediately after feel the difference as it’ll be much easier to breathe & do your Pranayama.