Jala Neti – Nasal Irrigation
We did this practice with some of you for the first during our recent Yoga workshop and Yoga teacher training – here as promised is some information on how to do this at home. We will be going over this again in future workshops so keep in touch with us for future dates.
Jala Neti involves cleaning both the nasal passage of excess mucous, it is known to increase immunity, relieve muscular tension and get relief for some conditions such as a dry nose, congestion, allergies, asthma, hay fever, headaches, and recurring infections of the upper respiratory tract like sinusitis and tonsillitis. It can also alleviate anxiety and depression and relieve feelings of heaviness from the head. The regular practice of Jala Neti helps to facilitate deep breathing improving the effects of prāṇāyāma greatly.
You can practice this most days, it does not necessarily have to be daily, it can be around 3 to 4 times a week. This all depends on the condition or reason for doing this.
1. Fill a Neti pot in with warm saline water (1 tsp in ½ litre of water). The temperature should be just above the body heat. Mucous membrane is very sensitive to heat so be careful. Remember also to use the correct amount of salt as too much or too little can cause irritation and headache.
2. Tilt your head forward and left over the sink. Place the Neti pot nozzle at the entrance of the right nostril. Open your mouth (to close the passage between nose and mouth) and pour half of the contents of the can to the nostril. The water should come out from the left nostril. Repeat on the other side.
3. When the can is empty, use a tissue to empty the rest of the contents of the nose.
Ensure that the nose is completely dry after the practice. Keep the head forward (like a forward bend) 10 to 15 seconds breathing gently in through nose and out through the mouth, taking 10 breaths. Then fold forward the head into the knees for around 10 breaths, again gently breathing in through the nose and out through the month, these simple steps allow any residue water to drop away.
Then grab a tissue to place around the nose and start rapid breathing through both nostrils (like a sniffing action) keener exhale for 10 breaths. Next closing the right nostril and blowing through the left nostril to the count of 10 breaths, continue with this rapid breathing and repeat by blocking the left nostril and blowing through the right nostril for 10 breaths. If the nose is not dry repeat this procedure again to ensure the nose is fully dry – do not skip this part it is important!
Remember not to expose yourself to cold air right after Jala Neti. Preferably drink a cup of warm water and breathe in the cup for a few times to make sure the nasal passage is left warm. Going out into cold air straight after performing Jala Neti will easily cause the nose to start running.
In the beginning you might experience tingling and some uncomfortable sensations in head. This will disappear with practice. You will have to find the right angle for the head tilt and remember to use the correct amount of salt.
Those suffering from dry nose, can balm sesame oil in the nostrils after Jala Neti. Dip your finger in the oil and insert the finger in the nostril and massage the mucous lining gently.
Here are further detailed instructions for Jala Neti Cleansing from a great website (Jala Neti Pot)
1. Nasal cleansing can be performed over a sink, a bowl on a table, in the shower or outside. First fill the Neti Pot with warm water of a temperature suitable for pouring in the nose – neither too hot nor cold. Just like testing a baby’s bottle, pour a bit on your arm or taste and spit to check the temperature. Pure water is best if available but this is not obligatory.
2. Mix in salt to the proportion of one – level teaspoon for half a litre of water. This equates to 0.9% – the same as human blood – and is called an isotonic solution. Mix the salt thoroughly. Taste the water and spit – adjust if not correct. After several attempts you will be able to recognize the correct mixture by taste. Be sure to fully mix and dissolve the salt.
3. Place the nose cone of the Neti pot into the right nostril, sealing it to the nostril with a few twists and slight pressure. Try to point the spout straight up in line with the nasal passage so as not to block the tip of the nozzle by the inside of the nose. Open your mouth and breathe gently through the mouth. Do not sniff, swallow, laugh, talk or have any movement of air through the nose while the water is flowing through.
4. Now slowly bend forward from the waist so that the tip of the nose is the lowest point of the head; and then tilt/roll the head, so that the left nostril is now the lowest point of the nose. Tilt slowly so that water doesn’t run out the top of the pot onto your face! Keep the nose cone fully sealed into the right nostril so that water doesn’t leak out. Continue breathing through the mouth while the water flows. After a few seconds and the water should run out the left nostril. Keep breathing slowly and gently through the mouth. After the water begins to flow, wait about 20 – 30 seconds for about half a pot to flow right to left, and then remove the pot and stand up.
5. Before changing sides, blow out gently through both nostrils to clear water and mucus from the nose. It is important that you do not blow hard at this point or you will send water up into the ear tubes and sinuses. All that is needed is a couple of slow, soft blows out into the sink to remove the water in the nose. Do not pinch the nostrils to create extra force, or blow hard and vigorously.
6. Repeat steps 3 & 4 as above, but with the nose cone entering from the left nostril and the flow of water going left to right. After the pot runs dry, stand up, blow out gently through both nostrils and then prepare to dry out the nose.
7. If, after doing the above steps, there is still a mucus blockage; the whole process may be repeated several times until it clears. If you regularly need to do several pots to effectively clear nasal mucus, it is easiest to mix several litres of solution in a bowl beforehand.
When not to do Jala Neti:/strong>
o Chronic Nose Bleeding
o Prone to ear infections
o During colds, flus or sinusitis
o When the nose is totally blocked
Benefits of doing Jala Neti
o Removes mucous and pollution from the nasal passage and sinuses
o Allows the air to flow with ease
o Helps with good health: eyes, ears and throat
o Maintains a fresh and youthful appearance
o Calming and soothing
o Alleviates depression, anger, and anxiety.