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Neti in Yoga, Types, Steps, Benefits

Neti

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Overview

Neti in Yoga is the process of cleansing the nasal passage. It is one of the Shatkriya, the six yogic cleansing processes. To perform this Kriya correctly, you must have a Neti Pot, a pot specially made for this purpose. Also, you must know how to use a Neti Pot.

Medieval Yoga texts like Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, Hatha Ratnavali, and Hatha Tattva Kaumudi describe this cleaning practice in detail.

In this article, we discuss its meaning, types, steps, precautions, dangers, and benefits. Moreover, this article helps to learn how to use a Neti Pot.

Neti in Yoga Meaning

In Pali language, Neti means the one that leads, guides, or caries away. In Sanskrit dictionaries (Monier Williams and Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries), we could find the meaning of Neti as the drawing of a thread through the nose and mouse(as a kind of penance). Besides this, there is another meaning in Sanskrit namely ‘Not this or ‘Not so’ (Na iti). But this meaning is not relevant to our context and hence we may ignore it. A large part of Pali and Sanskrit word-stems are identical and therefore, we may take the meaning of Neti as carries away in Pali for our purpose. Neti is the process that carries away the impurities.

Types of Neti In Yoga

There are two types of Neti in Yoga namely Sutra Neti and Jala Neti.

Sutra Neti

Sutra in Sanskrit means a thread. Hence, it is the process of cleansing the nasal passage with the help of a thread. Medieval yoga texts predominantly describe only Sutra Neti.

A six inches long string of threads should be passed through the nasal passage and the end be taken out in the mouth. Adepts call it Neti Karma.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1.29

A cotton thread was prepared and dipped in melted beeswax before inserting into the nasal passage in traditional yoga practices. Presently, yogis use a rubber catheter or thin cotton thread lubricated with butter. You can easily buy a suitable thread or rubber catheter online for this purpose.

Steps to Perform Sutra Neti

  1. Assume a standing position or a sitting position with the trunk erect.
  2. Then, lubricate the catheter or the thread with one end and insert it into the nasal passage. Twisting the thread will make it glide smoothly into the passage.
  3. When the thread reaches the top of the throat, open the mouth and get hold of the thread.
  4. After holding both ends of the thread with your hands, move it forward and backward gently ten to twenty times.
  5. Then, pull out the thread from the nose and repeat the same process with the opposite nostril.

Benefits of Sutra Neti

By Practicing Neti Kriya, the Yogi obtains Khechari Siddhi. Also, it destroys the phlegm and gives clairvoyance or clear sight.

Gheranda Samhita 1.51

Sutra Neti Precautions

The inner lining of the nose is very smooth. It is possible that the practice, if not done correctly, can damage the inner lining. To avoid this danger of Sutra Neti, learn this kriya from a Yoga Teacher.

Also, people having tendency of nasal bleeding should avoid this practice.

One should ensure the thread or catheter is strile and clean.

One should avoid the vigorous practice of this Kriya which may lead to velopharyngeal stenosis requiring surgical intervention. (H. Tiwana et al)

Jala Neti

Jala in Sanskrit means water. Therefore it is the process of cleansing the nasal passage with water. One should practice Jala Neti after Sutra Neti for better results. A Neti Pot is required for its performance.

How to use a Neti Pot

Jala Neti in Yoga Practice Notes

Neti can be practiced daily before the practice of Asana and Pranayama. In case of cold and nasal blockage due to cold, one can practice this kriya multiple times daily. However, one should avoid this practice after a meal. After the completion of Sutra Neti, One should practice this Kriya for better results.

Precautions

Water should not enter the mouth or throat.

The proportion of salt to water should be ideal. Otherwise, it will give irritation.

Persons having structural blockages in the nose should avoid this practice.

Benefits of Jala Neti Kriya

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