Neti or Nasal Cleaning

Cleaning the sinuses and nasal passages

This practise provides instant relief from hay-fever attacks and drippy noses. The water cleans away the mucus and the salt sterilises the nasal passage killing harmful bacteria and viruses  Following the description is a simplified practise without using a pot then the classical description.

Jalaneti Kriya

Jalaneti is a simple, yet very powerful Yogic cleansing technique of the nasal passages. The aim of the process is to purify the breathing path right from the nostrils to the throat. It removes excess mucus and pollutants from the nasal passages and sinuses allowing air to flow without obstruction.

It relieves allergies, colds, and sinusitis. Jalaneti can prevent and treat other disorders of the ears, eyes and throat, as well as respiratory tract diseases such as asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis. The practice rinses and therefore opens up the nasal passages, which can help relieve mouth breathing.

In addition to this, Jalneti helps reduce muscular tension in the face, resulting a fresh and youthful appearance. It treats and alleviates anxiety, anger, depression, headaches & migraine. It also improves eyesight & arrests premature greying. Neti is excellent for those trying to give up smoking. It is extremely helpful in pregnancy & for singers. In addition, It balances the flow of the breath & very good for nervous system. It takes only a short time to master the technique and then it takes only a few minutes to perform the practice.

Why Neti

The nasal passages play a very important part in purification and cleansing the air as it enters the body through the nostrils. When we inhale, we also inhale dust particles and germs. To prevent these toxins from entering the lungs, nature has designed a filtering system. Firstly, the tough hair in the nostrils helps in filtering the gross dust particles & prevents them from entering into the lungs. Secondly, the mucous membranes are ciliated & the tiny hair called cilia removes particles & germs from the air as it passes. The dirty mucus is normally blown out, snorted and coughed out or swallowed but sometimes due to a gradual build up of dirt they can become clogged and require cleansing.

Neti removes any build up of particles and germs that isn't blown out or swallowed, leaving the nasal cavities clean and free of foreign objects. Due to gravity and the vacuum pressure created by the flow of water, the sinus passages are also drained relieving running sinuses and sinus pressure. Neti activates all the mucus membranes in the body including the stomach and the eyes. Cleansing with salt water keeps the mucus moist, the cilia hair is stimulated and encrustations, dust and allergy-provoking substances are removed. Regular practice of Jalaneti helps to establish the correct working environment of temperature and humidity in the nose.

How To?

Simple version for quick sinus relief:

  1. Add a teaspoon of salt into a full glass of clean luke-warm water and dissolve.
  2. Dip your nose into the water and gently inhale drawing the water into your nose but no so much as you choke - be gentle.
    • If this feels far too weird or foreign, be aware of what you are doing and the sensation, then let the water flow out and blow your nose.
    • Repeat this several times until it begins to feel more comfortable and providing that your nose is not too blocked up you should feel some small measurable relief.
  3. When you are comfortable doing the above, sniff water into your nose, close your nostrils and keeping your mouth open, tilt your head up and the water will flow into the back of your mouth from where you can spit it out.
    • This really begins to drain the sinuses and a considerable amount of mucus can be released. As water begins to flow around your sinuses, the salt kills off harmful bacteria.
    • The first time you do this, there may be a slight stinging sensation inside your nose but this should quickly pass and providing it's reasonably comfortable, repeat a few times until you are comfortable with the practice. This is often enough to terminate the sneezing associated with hay-fever and nasal irritation.
    • Blow your nose and generally lots of snot will come out
    • Repeat as needed


A special neti pot (which has a spout) as the right image, a pot of clean luke-warm water, a teaspoon of salt.


    Dissolve salt in clean lukewarm water. Now clear your nostrils so that water can enter therein and leave. Sit in squatting position or stand erect with legs apart, with the body weight evenly distributed between the feet, and bend forward. Now insert the spout gently into one of the nostrils. Slowly tilt the head to the other side so that water runs into one nostril and comes out through the other. Let the mouth be open to breathe. Allow the water to flow freely through the other nostril continuously. Remove any mucus from the nose by blowing gently. Repeat the process with the other nostril. (The water simply flows up one nostril to just above the bridge of the nose where the usual air flows meet, backwards into the middle cavity and then the water flows down and out the other side of the nose. In this route, it passes by the frontal and mid nasal sinuses).

Important Points

To do neti, first check the Swar (the sound of breath) of the nostrils and find out which side of the nostril is flowing more smoothly. Start from that side. Otherwise do deep breathing exercise a few times.

While the water is running in the nostril, let the mouth be open and breathe through mouth very gently.

During the practice, do not inhale through the nose or else the salt water will go inside the mouth.
Initially, when water enters the nose, there could be an itching or irritating sensation causing sneezing. However, with repeated practice these symptoms will cease.

The nose should be dried properly after Jalaneti. Any water left may cause cold and sneezing. Drying of nose can be done by bending in all directions and exhaling forcefully.

Jalaneti is practiced in the morning before asanas and pranayama. However, if necessary, it may be performed at any time except just after meals.

Jalaneti Kriya can be done everyday like brushing your teeth and one can get wonderful benefits by sparing just few minutes.

In chronic nosebleeds, severe cold or earache.

Neti Kriya must be learnt and practised under an experienced instructor.

When you find this easy and comfortable, and if your city has a clean water supply, you can just use tap water.

Jal Neti A to Z Practice, Benefits & Its Precautions by Yogi Nityanandam Shree in Hindi


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