Jal Neti kriya

Jal Neti – An important Yogic purification

Jal Neti is something that I learned in early childhood in my family seeing my uncle, father and mother performing it. With the time, it also integrated into my morning ritual. I experience the powerful benefits of Jal Neti kriya and would love to share in this post. It is not a surprise it is heavily under estimated and little known.

It is not a surprise that Jal Neti is heavily under estimated and little known in the west.

Ayurveda prescribes certain home therapies for maintaining a healthy respiratory system; Neti being one of the six purification systems of  Yoga. Cleaning of the nasal passage to get rid of mucus, bacteria and to ease allergies and asthmas of some types is recommended via several different methods.

The Shatkarma (Sanskrit: षटकर्मन ṣaṭkarman) is to cleanse the subtle channels of karma as well as remove impurities and restore proper functioning of the physiology of the body.

About Jal Neti

Jal Neti, also known as nasal irrigation, requires the passage of water from the each of the nostrils, via the nasal passage and out from the other nostril or the mouth. This stream of water dislodges mucous, flushes away bacteria and clears the sinuses. It is thought that Jal Neti also helps in easing headaches and can restore the sense of smell and therefore taste in some cases. It is also believed to help improve eyesight. At a spiritual level, the Neti kriyas are thought to help in advanced meditation because of the way they impact the psychic chakra (Ajna Chakra).

Benefits of Jal Neti

There are numerous benefits of Jal Neti. Naming few – Memory and concentration is improved. It is also beneficial for problems associated with the nasal and sinus cavities. Neti has a preventative effect against head colds and sinusitis. With regular use, Neti can also cure or at least ease hay fever and pollen allergies.

How to perform Jal Neti

Use sterilized warm water with isotonic salt added to it is used for Jal Neti –ideally, a proportion of one tea spoon to half a litre of water is good. This will taste less salty than sea water. A kettle-like pot with a spout, usually made from copper, steel or ceramic is used to pour the water for this kriya. Water is placed in the pot and then poured via the spout into the nostril while tilting the head sideways at an angle so that the water enters the nasal passage. The water will pass through and come out of the other nostril. The same process is then repeated via the other nostril. While doing the kriya, remember to breathe calmly through the mouth. After the kriya, blow your nose to remove any remnant water, followed by about 30 Kapalbhati movements.

You can also sniff the water into the nostril while tilting the head back so that the water then comes out of the mouth, which is then to be spat out. Once these types of Jal Neti are mastered, it is also possible to perform the kriya in reverse so that water is taken in via the mouth and snorted out via the nostrils.

Jal Neti –  Precautions

Rather than trying it by yourself, it may be best to learn how exactly to perform Jal Neti with an experienced yogi so that you know about the correct angle to tilt the head. Use right ration of salt and water, it should not irritate your nostril and cleaning is done well. Not using sterilized water or using the wrong angle could cause discomfort or even in cases, infection. So it is best to follow the tutelage of someone experienced to get the best benefits of Jala Neti.

Here is the list of all 6 purifications (Shatkarmas) methods: 

  • 1. Trataka kriya – clearing the mind through gazing
  • 2. Kapalabati  Pranayam – cleaning the respiratory organs
  • 3. Neti Kriya – cleaning the nasal passage
  • 4. Nauli Kriya – cleaning the abdominal organs
  • 5. Basti Kriya – cleaning the colon
  • 6. Dhauti Kriya – Cleaning the stomach



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