Neti is an important part of Shatkarma, the yogic system of cleansing techniques. It is intended to clean the air passageways in the head. The two main variants are jala neti (using water) and the more advanced sutra neti (using string).
Jala Neti ‘removes mucus and pollution from the nasal passages and sinuses, allowing air to flow without obstruction. It helps prevent and manage respiratory tract diseases such as asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis‘
– from Swami Satyananda Saraswati – Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha
Rinsing the nasal passages with sterile saline solution helps to flush out irritants like dust and it is very healing to the delicate nasal membranes. For this technique, lukewarm salt water/saline solution is poured into one nostril using a neti pot (neti lota), so that it leaves through the other. The procedure is then repeated on the other side, and the nose is dried by bending forward and by rapid breathing without force. Throughout the process, we breathe through our mouth. After the process, rest in child’s pose for a few minutes with a towel. You may find some water is still flowing out from the nasal passage.
After nasal cleansing with the neti pot, you may find the air passageway is slightly very cooling and fresh. Needless to say, the nostrils are clean and breathing becomes slightly easier. 🙂
This is my first time doing Jala Neti and it is indeed a very refreshing experience. Performing pranayama after jala neti brings practices to a whole new level 🙂