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Jal Neti - An Importnant Yogi Purification Practice

The benefits and Practice of Cleansing the Nose
1 min

Nasal cleansing’ has its origin in ancient India and has been practiced for centuries by yogis. Popularly known as ‘Jal Neti’, it was done with the help of the Neti-pot. One of the six purification kriyas (or shatkarmas), Neti is a yogic technique which was used to clean sinuses. Over the time, our sinus cavities get clogged with impurities which can cause infections, headaches, and inflammation. Cleansing kriyas prepare the body for higher practices of yoga. It was believed that nasal hygiene is important as lack of it can also lead to a migraine, allergies, and asthma. Neti was usually practiced in the morning after finishing the daily rituals. After all, the key to yoga and meditation is to be able to breathe freely and having practice Jal Neti weekly was highly favoured.


Ayurveda prescribes certain home therapies for maintaining a healthy respiratory system; Neti being one of the six purification systems of  Yoga. Cleaning of the nasal passage to get rid of mucus, bacteria and to ease allergies and asthmas of some types is recommended via several different methods.

The Kriya

Jal Neti, also known as nasal irrigation, requires the passage of water from the each of the nostrils, via the nasal passage and out from the other nostril or the mouth. This stream of water dislodges mucous, flushes away bacteria and clears the sinuses. It is thought that Jal Neti also helps in easing headaches and can restore the sense of smell and therefore taste in some cases. It is also believed to help improve eyesight. At a spiritual level, the Neti kriyas are thought to help in advanced meditation because of the way they impact the psychic chakra (Ajna Chakra).

Benefits of Jal Neti

There are numerous benefits of Jal Neti. Naming a few:

  • Memory and concentration is improved.
  • It is also beneficial for problems associated with the nasal and sinus cavities.
  • Neti has a preventative effect against head colds and sinusitis.
  • With regular use, Neti can also cure or at least ease hay fever and pollen allergies.

How to perform Jal Neti

Use sterilized warm water with isotonic salt added to it is used for Jal Neti –ideally, a proportion of one tea spoon to half a litre of water is good. This will taste less salty than sea water. A kettle-like pot with a spout, usually made from copper, steel or ceramic is used to pour the water for this kriya. Water is placed in the pot and then poured via the spout into the nostril while tilting the head sideways at an angle so that the water enters the nasal passage. The water will pass through and come out of the other nostril. The same process is then repeated via the other nostril. While doing the kriya, remember to breathe calmly through the mouth. After the kriya, blow your nose to remove any remnant water, followed by about 30 Kapalbhati movements.

You can also sniff the water into the nostril while tilting the head back so that the water then comes out of the mouth, which is then to be spat out. Once these types of Jal Neti are mastered, it is also possible to perform the kriya in reverse so that water is taken in via the mouth and snorted out via the nostrils.

Jal Neti –  Precautions

Rather than trying it by yourself, it may be best to learn how exactly to perform Jal Neti with an experienced yogi so that you know about the correct angle to tilt the head. Use right ration of salt and water, it should not irritate your nostril and cleaning is done well. Not using sterilized water or using the wrong angle could cause discomfort or even in cases, infection. So it is best to follow the tutelage of someone experienced to get the best benefits of Jala Neti.

Here is the list of all 6 purifications (Shatkarmas) methods (just for information, we will lokk at them in other posts): 

  • Trataka kriya – clearing the mind through gazing
  • Kapalabati  Pranayama – cleaning the respiratory organs
  • Neti Kriya – cleaning the nasal passage
  • Nauli Kriya – cleaning the abdominal organs
  • Basti Kriya – cleaning the colon
  • Dhauti Kriya – Cleaning the stomach

Have a go with Jal neti, it is the easiest of all 6 kriyas that will not dissapoint you!

“A HEALTHY OUTSIDE STARTS FROM INSIDE”

Detoxifying body is very important because when you eliminate the foreign particles you will be half healthy. This JAL NETI is an important method to protect our body, so try to include this in your daily routine to have healthy life.


About the author

Irina Bachvarova

Yoga Guru

Master in Sports Pedagogic and director at Bulgarian Ashtanga Yoga Academy.

Irina is the author of the first Bulgarian book for Ashtanga Yoga and trusted Yoga Guru for TV series, produced by Bulgarian National Television.



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