The practice of jala neti is recommended in the cleansing practices of both Yoga and Ayurveda. You should clean your nose every day just as you clean your teeth. This keeps your sinuses clean and helps to combat colds and allergies such as hay fever.
How do you do jala neti?
The practice involves pouring water into one nostril and letting it run out the other.
It is best to use a neti pot like the one pictured. Prepare a mild saline solution at body temperature. If it is too hot or too cold you are more likely to get some pain in the sinuses than at body temperature, and you will not run the risk of burning those delicate tissues. Test it like you would test a baby's bottle, on the inner wrist. the salinity is also so that the solution would not seem alien on the body.
Recipe for saline solution
In 350ml of body temperature water stir in 3gm (a small level teaspoon, you can be a bit approximate) of non-iodised sea salt.
Clean tap water is fine, if you are super worried about bugs then go for a purified water, but just think about if you worry about it when you go swimming in a pool or the ocean. Sure, you would not swim in polluted water and you shouldn't pour polluted water into your nose, but if you'd swim in it it is OK for jala neti.
How to do it?
Over the bathroom sink, or out in the yard, or (my favourite) in the shower, insert the spout of the neti pot into one nostril. Turn the head on the side lifting the pot up, at such an angle that the water runs out the other nostril. Pour half your solution through one nostril and then do it back the other way.
Drying the nose
After doing the jala neti, blow strongly through one nostril, blocking the other, and then the opposite side, and perhaps both together to blow out any remaining solution and any dislodged gunk. It can be helpful to bend right over as well so it drains out.
Moistening the nose
My Ayurveda consultant advises putting a little oil or ghee into the nostrils to moisten them after this practice.
Where can you get a neti pot?
Yoga Spirit Studios stocks neti pots for sale like the one pictured. They are strong, made of food grade plastic and are 350 mls. Price is $14.50. Come and visit our YogaShop on your way to class or during Office hours.