4.20.2011

How to do Neti Kriya

Watch the video to learn how to practice neti, then follow the links below to get your very own neti pot and salts.


12 comments:

  1. Cool, you are a public speaker! great video. I do not do it every day but perhaps I should I certainly feel much better afterwards

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  2. Wow, you're brave. I'm not sure I would video myself using the Neti pot and then post it for everyone to see :-)

    I have one of the cheap plastic ones (which are readily available at places like Target...or maybe I got mine from the regular grocery store...not sure), but I only get seasonal allergies about a week of the year. Sometimes I get stuffy ears from allergies...does Neti pot help with that?

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  3. Always find these so strange, first time a blogger you know and love speaks to camera, kind of like the first talkies, strange but delightful. Good job though, nice neti presentation and one that I could have done with a couple of years ago. Got caught out by a stream of saline coming out on to my mat one morning in one of the first sun salutations should have done your bend over and blow before practice. Haven't used it for ages, I wonder if pranayama has had a similar effect.

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  4. Claudia - Glad you liked it. I don't think everyone needs to do neti every day, but I've always been extra... um... clogged. I used to smoke a lot and I grew up on cheese. Just theorizing, but that might have something to do with it. Neti is the only thing that keeps me free of stuffiness AND it seems to have had a dramatic effect on my immune system. I hardly ever catch colds any more, and if I do, they're gone in 2-3 days.

    Rachel - Yes, the boyfriend advised me against it. He can't even be in the same room with me when I'm rinsing. Ha! But he's also irrationally afraid of eyedrops, so it might just be an aversion to saline.

    As for your question (disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor or medical expert of any kind), Neti seems to help generally with boosting immune function, so theoretically it should help alleviate any allergic reactions you might have, particularly those involved with the production of mucous.

    Grimmly - Talkies... haha! I know what you mean. Sorry if I've shattered any illusions. ;)

    I especially like to do neti before pranayama (not immediately before, maybe 30 minutes prior), but if I can't neti for some reason, kapalbhati seems to have a similarly cleansing effect. And yes, one should never neglect to perform the inverted blow. It can lead to some very awkward situations.

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  5. I love this video! Agree with Claudia: you're a great public speaker :) I have a cheap blue plastic pot. I only use it once in awhile, but then I don't have allergies. I do have extra liquid in my sinuses all the time though.

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  6. Wow, thanks Yyogini. I've never thought of myself as much of a public speaker so I'm really glad the first tutorial has been well-received. Perhaps more to come in the near future...

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  7. Hi Megan, sorry but my english is not very good.
    Anyway I'd like to tell you that you're great! I love this video and I think that you're very brave and motivate to share a private practice like this! Thank you ! I 've never been brave enuogh to do this, but now that I've seen your video it doesn't scare me anymore!

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  8. Hi Francesca Romana Brogani (Love the name!) - I'm so glad the video has eased your fears of neti. That's exactly why I did the demonstration, because I know it can be scary and that's what prevents many from giving it a try. Good luck and thanks for commenting!

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  9. Thanks for the demonstration, Megan. I'd heard of Neti before but I was afraid of trying it until watching this. I did it for the first time tonight (trying to rid myself of this two-month summer cold) and I already feel better—after the hoards of mucus drained out (I wonder how long it had been piling up...).

    I get nasty colds in late September/early October and late January/early February like clockwork. After three years or so of them coming at the same time I feel like they're caused by seasonal allergies I either never had before or were never this bad. I'm hope that by doing Neti either everyday or every other day I can bypass those colds (or at least weaken their strength).

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  10. Hi alexmasica - That's exactly why I started using neti -- terrible seasonal allergies masquerading as a virus. So far, it's worked beautifully. I have been spared by cedar fever (the bane of central Texas) for the last three years. Prior to that, I thought I was walking around with pneumonia or something for months at a time! I still do my neti every morning.

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  11. You mentioned something about cheese - and I had read in several places that milk products produce mucus (I have an aversion to that word, being constantly stuffed up and having colds all the time makes the aversion worse) -- if that's the case, do you recommend avoiding all milk products?

    I thought that non-fat yoghurt (here in WA state there is a brand, Nancy's, that doesn't use any sugar, refined or otherwise, and is full of probiotics and other good things, no artificial sweeteners, lightly sweetened with fruit) was beneficial, that the cultures in it helped with overall health.

    Is yoghurt also something that increases congestion? I had thought (and please correct me if I am wrong) that whether one could/should eat something was also at least partially dependent on background, where your antecedents came from; if they've been eating white rice for millennia, it doesn't cause the same sort of blood sugar spike as it does for someone whose antecedents haven't had the same diet, for example.

    My people, from what I can determine, come from the area that became Germany and Eastern Europe in general. From what I understand, dairy products were eaten regularly as a base part of their diet, and have been eaten for thousand(s) of years. For that reason I had assumed that a similar adaptation had occurred and that dairy was "safe" as long as it was non-fat.

    If this is error, I'd appreciate knowing - I would then stop eating non-fat yoghurt and skim milk, if indeed they are a probable or definite cause or contributing cause of congestion.

    About the Neti pot -- it's a bit off-putting, and looks uncomfortable. Can the use of it be painful (if used correctly) or cause damage to one's sinuses?

    If not, I'd want to try to get over my squeamishness and try it. I'm so very tired of living on decongestants... they're toxic, they elevate blood pressure, and I'm not a fan of taking pills if I can avoid it. The sprays aren't pleasant to use and they cause rebound congestion; not a solution.

    I want to be able to do breathing exercises (such as the one's on Claudia's website and I'm sure, here too) but if I can't breathe properly I can't do them, and the other benefits of being congestion-free are very appealing. I had started to wonder if I was forever stuck between not being able to breathe, or taking decongestant tablets and sustaining the damage they cause.

    Thank you for putting a video up that shows how to use it, although I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm still somewhat confused as to the process. Do you inhale or pull the water in on one side, and then it pours (on its own) out of the other? Does it come out of the other side by itself, or do you push it out, and if so, how do you push it out on one given side? How much water do you take in on each side, how do you know when to stop?

    It's very discomfiting to ask these technical and (embarrassing) questions, but all I've been able to find looking at several other websites is something along the lines of "it goes in one side and comes out the other" without much further explanation.

    Your video was very well done, you really do explain things well. Particularly helpful in that it explained things in a straightforward manner and provided more detail, including many of the benefits and demystified the process considerably. I apologize for still still having some remaining "how do I do this exactly?" questions, and it is no reflection on your video - just my lack of knowledge.


    You've already done a lot by creating the video; if there is a resource on a website or elsewhere, I'd be very happy to read up there; I realize I asked a lot of questions and apologize for taking your time.

    Thanks again.

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  12. Hi Janice -

    First and foremost, please don't be embarrassed or apologetic about your body or your questions on how to care for it. You must first face the sometimes messy business of finding health before you can address these problems honestly and earnestly.

    I do not necessarily recommend avoiding all dairy products. I struggled with respiratory infections and allergy attacks of all kinds for many years and I found that milk makes it worse, but cheese and yogurt do not seem to cause problems. In fact, dairy is currently an important source of protein in my diet. However, it is possible that your own sensitivity to dairy is greater than mine, so that might be a better option for you. I recommend experimenting with your diet -- cutting out dairy for one week, then maybe gluten the next week, and then sugar for a week after that -- to find out how these foods are really affecting the way your body functions. Then, with the understanding you gain from that experimentation, adjust your diet accordingly.

    I have heard similar theories about different ancestries having different nutritional needs, but I am neither a nutritionist nor an anthropologist, so I won't comment further. It is my feeling that the individual needs to assess one's own needs through careful attention to the body.

    As for the neti, it is messy and highly un-sexy, but it is also healing and effective. It should not hurt when done correctly, but if you use too much or too little salt, it is possible that you will experience a slight burning or stinging in the sinuses for a brief moment. Even when done correctly, the sensation does take a while to grow accustomed to.

    The water is poured in one nostril as the head is tilted so that gravity pulls the water through the sinuses and out the other nostril. There is no active sucking or blowing during the rinsing itself. It is a passive process. DO NOT inhale the water. It doesn't matter how much water you use as long as you get the ratio correct: 1/4 tsp salt to 8 oz of water. I use half my neti pot in one nostril, and then half in the other. If I'm fighting off a cold, I use a whole pot in each nostril.

    In addition to neti, there are a couple of pranayama practices that have been helpful to me in keeping my airways clear: kapalbhati (skull-shining breath/breath of fire) and nadi shodana (nerve cleansing breath/alternate nostril breathing). I don't have detailed explanations of these practices here on the blog, but you can find them described elsewhere.

    Thanks for the comment. Hope this helps!

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