Author: Randeep Singh / go to all Techniques of Yoga articles
Neti is one of the six Shatkarmas-
Shat means six and Karma means action
– or six purification techniques/practices
as propounded in Yoga Upanishads. Jalneti is one of the Neti.
The ultimate aim of Yoga
is attaining the steady state of Mind.
Only a purified Mind
can be steady and thus all
of the Yoga techniques work toward purifying different
aspects of the physical body, the physical identity of the individual spirit or Purusha.
Neti is a process of cleansing and purifying the nasal passages. Yoga looks upon the nasal passages with utmost importance. The mucus secreted in the nares is meant to be expelling the trapped dust in the form of toxins and other chemical pollutants, being inhaled with air, with its natural movement towards the exterior. Given the increasing load of ever polluting air, the natural cleansing ability of the nose falls short of its capacity, necessitation an extra effort from us for doing the same in order to maintain our health.
As per Yoga, we do not breathe with both the nostrils simultaneously; one nostril is active at any given point of time which switches breathing with the other at specific intervals in a day. The left nostril is supposed to host the terminal end of one of the major nerves known as Ida and the right nostril the Pingala. Both of these are magnetically charged in relation to overall Prana in the body. The balance between the two is crucial for a steady nervous system, in turn, impacting the Mind. Even if one of the nostrils is clogged ( as while sleeping on one side the nostril on the upper side gets clogged as it remains unused in that period) this balance is disturbed, impacting the magnetic harmony.
Moreover, any change in the volume, quality of air inhaled due to these blockages translates negatively to the quality of the blood cells as well as the overall circulatory, digestive and nervous systems due to Dominos effect. This also affects the body temperature and pulse rate, the aging process too gets accelerated as a result. Most of the nasal infections and disorders can be prevented by including cleaning of the nostrils in our morning ablution routine.
The process of Neti or nasal cleansing is divided into three types: Jalneti or water snuffing; Sutraneti or cleansing the nares by a threading them; Gharshananeti or scrubbing of the nostrils with a suitable probe. Jalneti is further divided into three categories: Vyutkramakapalbhati or snuffing water with one nostril alternately or with both nostrils and then ejecting it through the mouth; SitkramaKapalbhati or snuffing the water through the mouth and ejecting it from the nostrils; Siddha Jalaneti or snuffing the water through one nostril at a time and expelling it through the other nostril without letting it escape from the mouth, similarly repeated with the other nostril.
Here we are going to discuss Sidhha Jalneti in detail.
Technique of Jalneti:
- Boil water, cool it till it goes lukewarm or a little higher than the body temperature
- Add common salt to it in the proportion of a quarter of a teaspoon in a glass of water ( 250 ml) making it around 0.9% on the concentration
- Stand squarely, legs apart, body weight evenly distributed on both feet, lean forward, close the eyes for a short duration and relax the whole body
- Make the cup of the right palm and pour some water as prepared into it
- Start breathing through the mouth, close the left nostril with the left thumb and dip the right nostril into the water contained in the right palm tilting the head slightly
- Snuf the adequate quantity of water through the right nostril, now tilt the head towards left and let the snuffed water from the right nostril flow out of the left nostril
- Now change the palms and start snuffing from the other nostril repeating the entire process
- Repeat three times on each side
- Thoroughly dry the nostrils by blowing air from both on the upper side of your hand till you can see the moisture droplets falling on it from the air being expelled keep blowing and wiping these moisture droplets till the air coming out is completely dry.
Precautions to be taken while doing Jalneti with Hand:
- Salt is added to ensure that the osmotic pressure of the water equals to that of the fluids in the body minimizing any chance of irritation of the mucous membrane, in case the quantity of the salt is not as mentioned a sensation of burning or vomiting can be experienced
- After Jalneti dry the nostrils by sneezing water droplet out completely at least up to one minute, otherwise, you may get symptoms of cold or irritation of the nasal passage
- While drying the nostrils never use much force in blowing as that carry the risk of water being pushed into the ears
- In case water enters the throat or mouth adjust the position of the head as indicated
- There must be a gap of some hours between the last meal and the time jalneti is done
- Do not lie down for up to a period of half an hour after you have done jalneti
- Avoid drinking water or eating anything till about half an hour after you have done jalneti
- Avoid tilting of head backwards while doing Jalneti
- It should be preferably done in the morning and followed by warming up of the sinuses by rubbing – friction – with fingers, known as kapalrandradhauti. Watch a video on Kapalrandhradhauti
- It’s better to do it by hand only, with pots in case the angle goes wrong there is a possibility of water entering the sinuses, which isn’t good
Duration & Repetitions:
- Should be done once a day, 3 – 4 times a week
- It takes around five minutes for doing Jalneti
Contraindications – When not to do :
- Acute Myopia – It will negatively impact the retina
- Someone who already has an ear infection
- Existing nose infection ( cold, and sinusitis are not considered infections)
- In case someone is suffering from chronic bleeding of the nose, do it under expert advice only
- In case you persistently have the problem of passing water through the nose due to structural blockage, take expert opinion
Advantages – Benefits of doing Jalneti Regularly:
- It clears out the respiratory passage and returns the tonicity of the nasal membranes, this helps prevent respiratory diseases like asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and pulmonary tuberculosis
- Benefits the ears, the issues related to the eyes, helps improve the condition of myopia, allergic rhinitis, tinnitus, hay fever, certain types of deafness like glue ears, tonsillitis, inflamed adenoids
- It improves concentration and memory and is a good technique to be included in the curriculum on yoga for boosting the memory
- It improves creativity ( helps in professions dealing with creativity)
- Reduces the frequency of nasal infections as the flushing of the nasal cavity strengthens the inner membranes over a period of time and is included in our curriculum on yoga for nasal health
- Reduces the habit of breathing through the mouth in children
- It relaxes the facial muscles, reduces tension in nervous tics and Bell’s palsy helping to maintain the youthful look
- Helps in treating epilepsy and migraine, diminishes anxiety, reduces the propensity to get angry, and alleviate depression and induces a light and fresh feeling in the head
- It stimulates a number of nerve endings in the nose connected to various centers in the brain, the activities of these centers are revamped by jalneti, it also helps by keeping the nasal membrane moist
- A balance is experienced between the left and the right brain due to the balance achieved in the Ida and Pingala nerves
- It helps to awaken Ajna Chakra
Kapalrandradhauti -Warming up of the Sinuses
When one is done sneezing the residual water particles from the nostrils after doing Janeti, one must for sure do a series of sinus warming facial massage movements known as Kaparandradhauti, in order to prevent the sinuses from getting infected in case any percentage of moisture is left behind. It is a part of the Yoga for curing vertigo as it increases the blood supply to the inner ear which is responsible for the balance of the body.