If you've been hit with a final bout of winter sniffles this week, you're not alone! It's totally common to get sick at the junction of two seasons, when natures doshas are all amix. Take care of your nose and zoom into Spring with our beloved Lacey Haynes....
So many of us spend countless hours fixing up our bodies on the outside - putting on makeup, tidying our nails and picking out nice clothes.
Purifying and cleaning the inside of the body is far more beneficial than a pedicure or snazzy fringe. Sutra and Jala Neti might seem gross or make you a little squeamish at first, but with practice, patience and relaxation, cleaning out your nose becomes kind of fun
Yogic cleansing techniques, also known as kriyas, are used to purify the inside of the body. The two below are meant to cleanse the respiratory system, restoring balance while cleaning away any unwanted muck (you know, like boogies).
These yogic kriyas have been around for thousands of years and are actually more rooted in the traditional practice of yoga than the sun salutation or stretchy yoga pants.
Jala Neti is when salt water is passed from one nostril through the nasal cavity and then out the other nostril. It helps to keep the sinuses healthy and free from excess mucus. If you have chronic sinus problems, this might be a really great practice for you to explore.
Sutra Neti is the act of flossing the nasal passage. It is an ancient and effective cleansing technique for both body and soul. It opens up the sinuses, helping to improve eyesight while also removing excess mucus from the nose and throat. Some say it also aids in clairvoyance. I think this is true.
Disclaimer! Since Sutra Neti is an advanced form of cleansing, I'm claiming this article as show and tell only. If you decide you want to try it out, I recommend doing it with an experienced teacher first. Jala Neti is pretty accessible though so do your research and give it a go at home. Let me know in the comments below how it goes!
Creating some flow
Jala Neti is actually really easy. With a specialised Neti Pot, you run purified, luke-warm salinated water through your nasal passages to remove any impurities or unwanted funk. I find it especially helpful when I've been in dry, dusty climates or when I'm feeling a little congested. After flying or being in air-conditioned environments, it always makes my sinuses feel refreshed and restored. Jala Neti is a must before performing Sutra Neti.
Getting my nose floss on
This cleansing technique is called Sutra Neti. Always lube up the sutra with some ghee (clarified butter) so that it slides in with ease. You can also use coconut or sesame oil if you prefer. As you can see, I'm keeping my cool, staying relaxed and being gentle. Once the sutra passes through my sinuses, it's easy to reach in and grab it at the back of the throat.
After some slow and gentle flossing, you can see that I remove the sutra by pulling it out through my mouth. This helps to remove any excess goo and completes the cleansing cycle. It feels weird but also really good, ya know?
The b side
Sometimes, one side is a bit of an ass hole. This side was stubborn so I had to come at it from a few different angles about half a dozen times. Then it got a little stuck in my throat and took a few extra moments to pull out, at which point I began to gag, laugh, cry and dribble all at the same time. It doesn't look pretty but really, it's not so bad. If you freak out then it becomes a drama. But if you breathe, stay present and relax, things get sorted out pretty quickly.