The Yoga holistic approach to health recommends daily cleansing of the nasal passages using a Neti pot, which can help prevent harmful bacteria, dust and chemicals from entering the body and causing infections and irritation.
A Neti pot is basically a specially shaped pot for holding water which has a spouted end designed to fit snuggly into the nostril. It is used to flush the nasal passages and sinuses. In India Neti pots have been used for centuries and even today they are as common as tooth brushes.
How it works is very simple. A saline solution is made up to body temperature using pure natural salt and filtered water. The Neti pot is then filled with the water, the head brought forward over a sink and tilted to one side. The spout of the Neti pot is inserted into the upper nostril and the Neti pot is then raised which allows the water to pass into the upper nasal passage and out of the bottom nasal passage. The process is then repeated by tilting the head the opposite way.
The experience is not at all unpleasant. The important thing is to remain relaxed and breath through your mouth, not the nose. Afterwards, a good blow of the nose removes any remaining fluid and you can immediately feel the difference a good nose and sinus cleansing makes!
Before you begin using your Neti pot, give it a good wash in hot soapy water to make sure it's clean and free from dirt and dust, then rinse it out. Prepare some saline solution and fill the Neti pot with it up to the rim . Insert the spout into a nostril and position the head so that the water runs out of the other nostril under the force of gravity. It doesn't matter which nostril you begin with, but it's often helpful to begin with the nostril which is easiest to breath from. In yoga science this type of Neti procedure is called Jala Neti Stage I.
Neti can be performed over a sink, in the shower or outdoors. For first time Neti users the best place is probably over the bathroom sink in front of a mirror so you can practice the technique more easily.
Turn your head slightly and insert the spout of the Neti pot into the upper nostril. Make sure that the spout is fit snuggly into the nostril so that no water escapes. Continue turning your head into the free nostril is pointing down. Tilt the back of the pot up slightly and at the same time, keep your mouth open and breath through your mouth. The water should now begin flowing out of the lower nostril. Maintain the position and keep the Neti pot tilted up until half the saline solution is used. At this point remove the pot, breathe in through your mouth, and blow the air gently out through your nostrils several times to clear out any remaining water and mucus.