by Guest Author
Do you suffer from allergies? Sinus problems? Frequent headaches? Nasal infections?
How is the autumn effecting you? Find your nostrils are blocked, affecting your pranayama?
Looking for a way to gently clear the mind before meditation?
The practice of Neti is for you.
Neti is one of the easiest and quickest shatkarmas* to learn. Its mastery can be accomplished within a couple of goes then effortlessly incorporated into your daily life. You can do Neti in the morning as well as before meditation or yoga.
Basically it involves running warm saline water through one nostril at a time (often translated as a ‘nasal rinse’). This only takes about 5 minutes and leaves you feeling refreshed and ready for meditation, the day, the evening, whatever!
Many balk at the idea of water running through one’s nostrils but the fact is there are no nerve receptors up there. It is actually a relatively sensation-less practice. Additionally the water is near body temperature and a little salt ensures it passes comfortably and easily.
There is the feeling of a slight pressure shift as the water gently begins to push through. After having completed the practice on both sides, the nasal cavities are thoroughly dried using specific breath techniques and you’re done.
The immediate feeling after the practice is of clarity. You feel a distinct lightness in the head, a very real sense of being in a ‘clear head space’. With the head and nose cleared, meditation comes smoothly. As the breathing is balanced so is your energy more balanced.
From Swami Satyananda’s Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha (1);
Neti removes mucus and pollution from the nasal passages and sinuses allowing air to flow without obstruction. It helps to maintain good health of the eyes, ears and throat….relieves muscular tension in the face…alleviates anxiety, anger and depression, removes drowsiness and makes the head feel light and fresh. Most importantly however, neti helps to awaken ajna chakra.
From his Yoga and Kriya (2) book;
Neti is the best method of preventing and eliminating colds. It is effective in removing headchaes, insomnia and tiredness.
As with all Yogic practices there is the overt side of benefits as well as the subtle, the unseen side. We must remember the design has purpose, be it bhujangasana, Om chanting or shatkarma and neti’s ultimate purpose is energetic preparation for inner sadhana. It exerts a profound influence on the pranic body and in time helps to balance the main energy channels in the body. Naturally it positively influences Ajna chakra, to awaken and stimulate the third eye.
Neti is far superior to modern replicas which can force water up the nose against gravity. Most unsavoury and in my opinion quite a dangerous therapy. There is no control and the body can react negatively, let alone the mind’s reaction.
The solution used in these products is far from natural working to ‘thin the mucus’. You may wish to wiki ‘Fluticasone propionate’, a nutritious sounding product used in commercial nasal sprays. It can actually suppress human growth hormone in children among other things.
Neti is the natural, yogic method which is safe, helps you be healthier and open the intuitive door. It has therapeutic, preventative and promotive applications. Isn’t Yoga an amazing science? The asthmatic, common-cold sufferer and meditator can all gain benefits from the regular practice of Neti.
I’ll be running a Neti workshop on 13th of June where I will give a demonstration of the practice then assist those who wish to try it. Numbers are limited so please get in contact with me to book.