Nasal Cleansing for Yogis

Neti Pot: Why & How?

What we do and what you do, so that we can all enjoy our yoga at Bhumi Yoga!

Neti (nasal cleansing) is one of the six most important kriya technqiues described in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Kriya literally means action or task. Kriyas are meant to clean and purify the body, and part of yoga.​​​​​​​​

So what is a neti pot?​​​​​​​​

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika described Neti as follows: “A cord made of threads and about six inches long, should be passed through the passage of the nose and the end taken out in the mouth. This is called by the adepts Neti Kriya. The Neti is the cleaner of the brain and giver of divine slght. It soon destroys all diseases of the cervical and scapular regions.”

In the West, we tend to use an more “user-friendly” version of this technique using warm water, a pinch of salt and the so called “Neti Pot”.

It is a device to help clean the nasal passage with salt water. Cleansing the nasal passage is essential for good breathing, a requirement for pranayama (breath regulation) and yoga practice, and also to ensure good health.​​​​​​​​


Why is it beneficial, can’t I just blow my nose real hard?​​​​​​​​

Well, blowing the nose is great😆, but it doesn’t clear deep seated “stuff” nor does it restore the mucus membranes.​​​​​​​​

The function of our nose is actually quite amazing:​​​​​​​​

  1. It doesn’t just alarm us when something harmful is around the corner (prevents us from inhaling something noxious) but also​​​​​​​​
  2. It purifies the air before it enters the lungs.​​​​​​​​
The air we breathe in is hardly suitable for entry into the lungs (too cold, dry, polluted). Vibrating hairs screen out dust at the beginning of the nasal passage. Then, in deeper regions of the nose, mucus membranes (important for immune function) remove million of germs contained in air and dust. Additionally the mucus membranes also heat and moisten the air.​​​​​​​​
Continuously being inside in heated or air conditioned rooms, or change in climate, can dry out the mucus membranes, which makes them prone to dysregulation, increasing sensitivity for infection.​​​​​​​​
Flushing the nose through neti improves the function of mucus membranes as unnecessary substances are flushed away. It also keeps the small channels between nose and sinuses open, thereby decreasing the chance of painful inflammation.​​​​​​​​ It’s great for people with allergies.​​​​​​​​

How do you use the Neti Pot?

  1. Add one tsp salt (non-iodine salt) into the neti pot, fill the neti pot with luke warm water. Steer the water to dissolve the salt (has to be completely dissolved).
  2. Observe which nostril is more free at this moment
  3. From the side, put the tip of the neti pot slightly into this nostril (the tip has to be closed by the nostril).
  4. Tilt your head a little bit forward and to the side, above the sink. Open your mouth and tilt the neti pot a little bit higher so that water can run into your nostril. Slowly breathe through your mouth, the water will leave through the other nostril.
  5. After the flush come up with your head and blow out through both nostrils. Make sure you have some tissue close by so you can blow any left material into the tissue.
  6. Repeat this flush with the other nostril.
  7. If needed repeat both nostrils.
  8. After both nostrils have been cleaned, bend forward a little and tilt your head left and right and blow both nostrils until they feel dry.
  9. Use towards daily.


If you have seriously damaged sinuses, an acute infection, or if you had surgeries in the nasal passage, ask medical advice first!​​​​​​​​

The participants of my Ashtanga Intensive have been using the neti pot for the last weeks and notice its benefits.

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