An Ancient Yogic Practice = Present Day Benefits
History of the Neti Pot
For thousands of years, yogis have practiced shatkarma: the six methods of purification in Hatha Yoga, designed to bring strength and health to the body and clarity and harmony to the mind. These purification processes are both preventative and curative. One of the six techniques is Neti, the practice of sinus irrigation. It is based on the belief that clear breathing leads to clear thinking, thus achieving a higher state of meditation. It is also believed that nasal irrigation can help overcome addictions such as smoking, alcohol, and even mood swings.
Yogic science gives as much weight to the cleansing processes of shatkarma as it does to pranayama or asana.
Why flush the sinuses?
Our bodies are designed to breathe through the nose, not the mouth. The nose filters and conditions incoming air, and is a first line of defense against pathogens. The hygiene of the nose is linked to conditions such as sinusitis, migraines, allergies, and asthma. So a saline rinse can be one of the best natural health tools you can use. Neti is a very simple practice to keep the sinuses clean and to relieve problems linked to the nasal and sinus cavities. It just takes a few minutes and can become as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth in the morning.
Here’s a brief article about why people swear by the neti pot.
What You Need
A great demonstration and guide to this practice is available here. While it is not a substitute for medical treatment, it has many beneficial uses.
Benefits of using a Neti Pot
- improves nose breathing
- moistens and soothes dry nasal cavities
- removes excess mucous
- cleanses the nasal passages and gently washes away dust, dirt, pollen, infectious organisms and environmental pollutants
- reduces the frequency and duration of colds
- reduces chronic sinusitis symptoms
- reduces allergy symptoms
- flushes the tear ducts and helps improve eyesight
- improves the sense of smell and taste
- a viable alternative to using antibiotics to treat a sinus infection
- helps you breathe more freely when practicing yoga or meditation
- calms the mind
The Neti Pot looks a little bit like a genie’s magic lamp…perhaps for granting wishes for good health and natural relief from sinus symptoms : )
Note to Self: Just Breathe
This article was contributed by Jane Hill – fierce Bikram Yogi, lover of all things natural, and my best yoga buddy. Look for more articles by Jane in the Off the Mat Chats section of Views From the Podium!