Neti: The Nasal Sweeper
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Neti: The Nasal Sweeper

Nasal douche is also beneficial for dryness of nose, sins, congestion, hoarseness, migraine headaches, convulsion and certain eye and ear problems. ThereÂ’s a precaution, though, that Neti should not be done after a bath, eating, sex or drinking alcohol or during pregnancy or menstruation.


The body is considered the city of nine gates. Considered the seven gates upward are two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and a mouth. The two subterranean gates are the genitals and the rectum. When the nine gates are clean and working properly, then the body is healthy. Within this body the living being is the king or ruler. He uses all these gates or holes to enjoy different types of sense pleasures. Although he is very proud of his power to see or hear, he is nonetheless dependent on the assistance of nature. it is very difficult to enjoy our eyes, for instance, if there were no sun to illuminate or surroundings. And we cannot enjoy the various aromas, if there were no air to carry them.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, a description of the body as the city of nine gates is given. “The two gates situated in the east give enjoyment to a person with the help of different airs, which constitute the breathing process. Through these gates the living entity goes into the town of saurabha or aroma.” Of the nine gates of the body, we will note how the eastern gates or the nostrils are maintained.

Today, when the air we breathe is so polluted, and the Asian diet is centered around the mucous forming food such as rice and starchy food, we need to maintain clear nasal passages. In yoga, this is achieved by doing a regular douche in own as Neti, a vital hygienic practice for those who do deep breathing. Neti expels the toxins accumulated in the throat, nose, sinus or head. Prana, the life energy, enters the body through the nose. Prana maintains sensory and motor functions. Nasal douche like Neti corrects the disorders of prana affecting the higher cerebral, sensory and motor functions.

Neti loosens and flushes away dried mucus, dissolve and expel dust, grease and other pollutants. It thoroughly washes the sensitive olfactory endings, thus enhancing their capacity to extract and assimilate chi from the air. Practicing this technique also awaken the ajna chakra (third-eye chakra).

Nasal douche is also beneficial for dryness of nose, sins, congestion, hoarseness, migraine headaches, convulsion and certain eye and ear problems. There’s a precaution, though, that Neti should not be done after a bath, eating, sex or drinking alcohol or during pregnancy or menstruation.

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Here’s how to do Neti.

Get a glass of warm, not hot water and put a pinch of salt in it (approximately one teaspoon per half liter of water; more or less salt can be used according to a person’s sensibility). Make sure that the salts dissolve completely. Wash your hands thoroughly. To clean your right nasal passage, cup your right hand, and pour some of the salt water into it. Bend over slightly and raise your right hand to your nostril. Close your left nostril by pressing your pinky and ring finger (or your middle finger) against it while putting your right nostril in the water, ready to suck it in.

Gently suck water into the right nostril, but no longer sucking more water, slowly tilt your head backwards so that a little water flows through the nostril and enters the mouth. Be careful that before you tilt your head back that you have stop sucking water. Otherwise it will go into your lungs and you will start coughing. Just keep enough suction so that the water you’ve taken in doesn’t flow back out the nostrils. Spit the water out of your mouth. Do the same thing with the other hand and other nostril. Do two to five times for each nostril.

To drain as much water out of the nostril as you can, you can perform the double Angle Pose or asana afterwards. This Double Angle Asana is done by clasping your hands at the back and bending your torso at the waist, and stretching your clasped hands as far as you can behind your dropped head. Stay with your head dropped down for approximately 30 seconds, gently blow air out of your nostrils a few times. Stand erect. Water may drain out the nostrils.

Then closing the left nostril, breathe gently but rapidly through the right nostril, emphasizing the exhalation. The aim is to dry the nostril. Do this 20 times. Then do the same with both the nostrils open.

You can do Neti one to three times daily, depending on how clean or dirty the air is and how your sinus conditions are.

In the beginning, the nostrils are burn slightly. This is probably the nostrils aren’t used to having water pass through them. After a few times, the burning will stop. However, the burning may be caused by not doing it properly. Also in places where there is extreme air pollution, the nostrils will naturally have black or brown dust in them. It is best to preliminary cleansing of the nostrils with water and one’s finger. This prevents the pollutants from entering the sinuses when the water is sucked in.

A word of caution: This is not a hard technique, but it needs to be done carefully. While sucking the water into the nostrils, be careful that you don’t suck it too hard. This will cause unnecessary burning. Also, be careful not o inhale water into the lungs. Furthermore, make sure that the salts are completely dissolved in the water before using it. Obviously, use water which is clean enough to drink and without any debris. Of course, while drying the nostrils, don’t exhale too forcefully, or damage will occur. People who tend to have nosebleeds should not do Neti.

In doing the Neti, one essential requirement is to keep calm and keep your mind on what you are doing. Don’t get tense up when water would enter through your nostrils. Remember if you just to persist a little bit scent that pass you unnoticed will play aromatic sonatas in your nose and your sense of taste – which is closely connected to your nose-improves manifold.

With the practice of Neti and deep breathing, head cold sufferers will have an effective relief. Viruses are not the primary the cause of colds and other respiratory diseases. The root cause is a pathological toxicity of the nasal membranes, which causes them to be inflamed and impacted with a dry crust of toxic mucus that promotes the ideal environment for these viruses. As these toxins accumulate, they severely damage nasal membrane and render the nasal passages susceptible to attack by viruses. Viruses are a symptom, not a cause of head colds. So kiss your head colds good-bye and enhance your vitality with Neti.

Ronthoughts Journal 1996

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Comments (12)

A very interesting and informative article, Ron. I had never heard of this device or this procedure before.

I have heard of Neti pots but the process always sounds nasty.

Doctor recommended! well share info!

Extremely interesting and a first among many others for me...excellent Ron.

Ranked #1 in Yoga

Thanks everyone - appreciated.

Thanks for your neti guide. :-)

Very interesting article, Ron.

Thank you for sharing this very informative and interesting article.

Ranked #1 in Yoga

Thanks Chan, Michael and Caryn.

With allergies, I do this several times a week. It is doctor recommended.

Ranked #1 in Yoga

Thanks Sandy - appreciated.

Fascinating post and so very educational. I learnt so much here. The nine gates theory is extremely interesting; excellent tips, as usual. Thank you, dear Ron and enjoy your day, my dear friend!