Neti kriya is one of the six components of shatkarma or the cleansing techniques. Shatkarma involves six practices known as Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Trataka, Nauli and Kapalabhati, out of which neti is aimed at cleansing the nasal tract mainly. Neti kriya is of utmost importance to yogis as yoga is all about postures and breathing techniques, and jal neti helps with clearing the nasal tract and clear off any blockages.
Jal neti is a nasal irrigation yogic technique which is used to cleanse the nasal cavity and make it free of debris and mucus. The history of jal neti dates back to hundreds of years and its procedure involves pouring lukewarm saline water from one nostril and getting it out from the other. This entire process is then altered on the other side. A variant of jal neti involves pouring water in through the nose and bringing it out through the mouth.
The jal neti pot is important to perform the neti kriya. It is a small pot like a vessel with a small spout which fits the nostril perfectly. The vessel almost looks like a small teapot and can be purchased online or offline from any store supplying yoga accessories. Neti pots are mainly made of copper, brass, ceramic, stainless or plastic, etc. however, the most popular ones are the stainless steel ones as they are very sturdy, long-lasting and easier to maintain.
Salt is a key component when performing jal neti. It is suggested to use only pure salt for this practice as table salt contains iodine and other additives in it as well. The salt used for performing the neti kriya should not contain any sort of additives to it.
When you first look at this practice, it may seem like a daunting task. But once you get the hold of it, which doesn’t take long, it is very easy to perform. To perform the procedure, combine 1 tsp. of pure salt with 500 ml of warm filtered water. You can make the solution in the neti pot itself or make it in a separate vessel and then transfer it to the neti pot.
The health benefits of jal neti are manifold. It helps remove infected and dirty mucous from the nasal cavity. Practicing jal neti helps with clearing the sinuses and improving body’s capacity to fight against nasal infections. Allergies such as hay fever can also be treated with regular practice of neti. Jal neti makes the practitioner breathe more freely which helps in curing asthma and bronchitis. Sore throats, tonsillitis, cough can also be treated by performing jal neti regularly.