Every day we breath air in and out of the nasal passageways; this is the most vital source of prana, life force energy, that we get from our environment. Notice how tired you feel when you are congested with a head cold or unable to breath fully- we are not able to access prana/energy from the air, contributing to lethargy, fatigue, malaise and immune system suppression.
Daily neti rinsing and nasya (nasal) oiling keep sinuses clean & clear by preventing accumulation & buildup from environmental contaminants (air pollution, dust, dander, pollen, etc). When sinuses are clear and lubricated, we’re not only less congested & breathe easier (think deeper, fuller breaths with more prana extracted from each inhale) but the sinuses are less likely to become infected & irritated from airborne viruses/bacteria or other allergens.
The benefits of daily nasal cleansing are not only for the nose, but also help with eye & ear disorders; they also nourish the facial skin and deepen the voice. Ayurvedic sages suggested that it even helps combat premature graying of the hair & hair loss!
How to Use a Neti Pot
This is an especially beneficial practice if you have a tendency toward headaches, colds, sinus blockages, sneezing attacks or rhinitis.
Do this practice ideally in the morning, but a neti flush can be done anytime of day as long is its not right after eating a meal.
- Prepare lukewarm salt water; about 1/8 tsp rock salt every 8 ounces. (NOT ordinary table salt). (The will create a burning sensation if it is too salty OR not salty enough- it should feel pleasant, not irritating)
- Tilt head sideways, placing neti spout in upper nostril allowing water to stream through upper nostril & come out lower nostril, doing this outside or over a sink. Take care not to lean forward (water can get lodged in sinuses) or lean back (water can go down throat).
- Switch sides, repeat.
- Thoroughly blow nose afterwards, ensuring that there is no water left in nasal cavities.
Neti rinsing is not recommended if you have frequent nose bleeds or have a deviated septum.
How to Do Nasya Oiling
This practice is done after neti (however, give yourself time to make sure all the salt water has flushed out), however nasya can be done anytime of day & more frequently if the nose feels dry.
- Place 2-5 drops of sesame, olive, coconut oil or ghee (or specially prepared herbal nasya oil) into each nostril daily.
- Place oil on pinky finger, tilt head back or lie down and massage oil into each nostril OR
- Use a dropper to instill oil in nose.
- Inhale oil deeply by closing the nostril not receiving oil and snort.
- You may be able to taste the oil (that’s okay). If some gets into your throat, try not to swallow it (but don’t panic if you do, it’s edible).
Oiling the nostrils is not recommended if you have a fever, active cold or cough.