How to get the most from your Neti pot

How to get the most benefit from using your Neti pot. By Emma Gliddon

The practice of Neti is one of the Kriyas or cleansing practices in yoga. It’s incredibly helpful for all sorts of sinus problems — and it just feels really nice to have a clean nose!

I used to get terrible, painful bouts of sinusitis which often needed antibiotics to clear, but since I’ve been doing this, no problems!

Neti is getting more popular and it’s easy enough now to pick up a Neti pot online from your favourite yoga supplier. It’s good to get a specially designed device but they’re not expensive. A clean syringe would also work.

The word Neti is actually from the Sanskrit phrase Neti-Neti which means, not this, not that, and implies a cleansing process.

How to use your Neti pot

We want to use use warm sterile water (not hot!) and rock salt, so that typically means boiling the kettle first.

Boil the kettle using filtered or distilled water if possible. Fill the Neti pot about two-thirds full with the boiled water and stir in a quarter teaspoon of rock salt.

You can buy special Neti salt which comes with a little spoon, but if you are using anything else please make sure it is rock salt, finely ground and preferably organic. Don’t use table salt or sea salt for this practice. Pink Himalayan rock salt is fantastic but do check that it’s food grade. Give it a stir to make sure it is completely dissolved.

Make sure the water has cooled sufficiently before use…you don’t want it too hot!

Find a quiet place like the bathroom to do this, my partner finds it quite alarming to watch!

Tilt your head to one side so the nostril is facing up and gently pour the salty mixture in through one nostril and, voila, it comes out the other and flows into the sink! Repeat on the second side with the other half of the liquid. Any dust, pollen or unwanted material has been flushed away.

Leaning over the sink, exhale sharply through both nostrils to clear any remaining liquid.

Blow your nose gently.

Then, you might want to try doing a few standing forward bends. This will help to clear out any remaining droplets from the sinus cavities in your head. Go ahead and hang down from the waist, catch hold of an opposite elbow with each hand. Swing gently from side-to-side upside down. You might need to blow the nose again! Repeat with a wide-legged variation of the standing forward bend if you like.

Remember, use warm sterile water and rock salt, blow your nose afterwards and invert the head with some kind of forward bend to finish.

Enjoy your freshly washed breathing apparatus, a reduction in allergic symptoms and the benefits of increased immunity too!

Emma Gliddon

Emma is a senior yoga teacher based in North Somerset. She leads classes and retreats through her company Do Yoga