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Practice easy breathing with Jala Neti (neti pot)

Currently, we spend so much time at home & are quite worried about our health. One way to occupy yourself in a positive way is to practice prevention regarding your health.

Yoga and yoga cleansing exercises for example.

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 more and more polluted, we need ‘kriyas’ as our bodies can’t quite deal with this pollution on its own anymore.

There are 2 ‘kriyas’ which are easy to practice on a daily basis:

  • Jala Neti – nasal cleaning
  • Kapalabhati – cleanings of lungs and bronchial tubes

Jala Neti is a simple technique for cleaning the nose, nasal passages and sinuses. This cleansing 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 Himalayan or sea salt. Instead of buying expensive nasal sprays, jala neti is an easy, cheap way to prevent you from getting sick.

jala netiJala Neti (sanskrit) means water cleaning. You can buy a neti pot online (i.e.: online) or in a yoga studio near you (i.e. Sampoorna in Brussels) and only need some salt (i.e. sea salt or Himalayan 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?

  1. Poor lukewarm water (ideally filtered water) in your neti pot,
  2. Add a teaspoon (but less in the beginning, experiment as it may burn) of salt to the water, cover the neti pot with your clean hands and shake well,
  3. Hang your head over the sink & poor the water into one nostril, keeping the head tilted pot-side up,
  4. Keep your mouth open to breathe through your mouth,
  5. The water will come out of the other nostril, let the entire content of the neti pot run through your nostrils,
  6. 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 swallow 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, 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 a few minutes for both nostrils and will immediately after feel the difference as it’ll be much easier to breathe & do your Pranayama.


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Yoga & hygiene: the importance of having your own yoga mat

Yoga is good for you for many reasons, for example it boosts your immunity, hence try to practice regularly.  Even if you’re not feeling well, you can still practice, at home, a soft and slow routine adapted to your needs of that moment.

As people are feeling more insecure about their own health for the moment, it’s wise to take a good look at health & your yoga practice, at home & in the studio.

  1. Practice basic common sense, first of all, if you don’t feel well (under the weather, coughing, sneezing etc.), please refrain from going to your yoga group practice, as you don’t want to share your germs with your fellow students or teacher.
  2. Washing hands regularly obviously should be a normal practice.
  3. Basic hygiene rules for coughing & sneezing.
  4. jala netiPractice neti pot cleansing regularly to facilitate Pranayama and keep your nostrils clean and clear (for sale in your yoga studio).
  5. Use a tongue scraper to keep your tongue & mouth free of germs (for sale in your yoga studio).
  6. Furthermore, I would like to share with you the importance of having your own yoga mat. When you practice yoga, you most likely sweat a bit (or a lot) and lose some cells caused by the friction on the mat, these you better keep to yourself, so don’t lend out your yoga mat either preferably. More importantly, every time you practice your yoga asanas you generate energy and this energy goes into the yoga mat. You want to keep this energy flow to yourself and not get someone else’s energy mixed with your own by using another person’s mat. So my advice is to buy a yoga mat that you can take with you to your class, use at home and bring on trips as well. If you don’t yet have your own mat, you can bring a (yoga) towel to the class to cover a studio mat until you’ve gotten your own.
  7. Clean your mat after your practice.
  8. Change your yoga clothes regularly (preferably after each practice).

Nowadays it’s easy to find affordable good quality mats, a reliable online store is yogashop or buy one in Sampoorna Yoga Studio in the center of Brussels.

Some do’s & don’ts regarding your yoga mat

  • Be careful when using soap when cleaning your mat, the soap can leave a film on the mat which causes it to be slippery. Best to rinse it with some water and air dry or use a cloth and (homemade) cleansing spray.
  • Always let your mat air after practice.
  • Avoid lending your mat to a friend, for hygiene and energy reasons as explained earlier.

Example: my yoga mats

  • Manduka eKOhome practice: a very good choice as very comfortable, it’s quite expensive but will last you forever. I use this Manduka mat for my home practice. It’s thick & heavy, so not easy to carry with you to yoga practice outside your home. It’s easy to keep clean (use a cloth and your homemade cleansing spray).
  • travel mat: ultra thin mat that folds and  is easily added to your luggage. It’s a good choice if you want to practice yoga on for instance the hotel carpet floor but don’t want to carry a big yoga mat with you while traveling. Also practical to bring to the yoga studio to place on top of the mats they provide for you.
  • yoga towel: excellent choice to use in on top of your yoga studio mats, this one has good grip, is easily washable and light.
  • ECO: a very good choice for ecological purposes and also very high comfortable rating! It’s 6mm thick so this is particularly nice if you have a sore neck from Sarvangasana (shoulderstand). It’s heavier and rolls less easily, so this is more a mat for home practice.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Easy breathing with Jala Neti

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 netiJala 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?

  1. Poor lukewarm water in your neti pot,
  2. Add a teaspoon (but less in the beginning, experiment as it may burn) of salt to the water & stir,
  3. Hang over the sink & poor the water into one nostril, keeping the head tilted pot-side up,
  4. Keep your mouth open to breathe through your mouth,
  5. The water will come out of the other nostril, let the entire content of the neti pot run through your nostrils,
  6. 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.