Sutra Neti – Nasal Cleaning in Hatha Yoga

Sutra Neti is a Hatha yoga technique to clean your nasal cavity. Sutra Neti is one of the six methods of purification or Shatkarma as given in the yogic text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika. There are various types of Neti practiced by Yogis including Jala Neti (with water), Dughda Neti (with Milk), Sutra Neti (with cotton string), etc. In Sutra Neti, a waxed cotton string is traditionally used to clean the nasal cavity.

In Sutra Neti, the waxed cotton string is inserted into the nose and then pulled out from the mouth. Then both ends are held with the hands and nasal cleaning is done by to and fro motion of the strings. Nowadays, a rubber catheter is used instead of the string as it is easily available in any medical store.

How to practice of Sutra Neti?

Sutra Neti should be learned from a qualified yoga instructor as it needs guidance in the beginning. This practice is ideally done in the early morning after brushing your teeth, though it can be practiced at any time of the day. Acquire a rubber catheter of size between 1 mm and 3 mm from any medical store. Select a size which you feel is comfortable for you to use, through trial and error or through expert advice.

1. Take the rubber catheter in your hand and very gently insert the tube inside your left nostril. Take care not to rush it; do it very slowly as it can irritate the sensitive membrane inside the nostril. Many people have mild nasal septal deviations, which is more or less harmless. If the deviation is acute then one may feel a block while inserting the rubber tube. Seek expert guidance in such cases.
2. Push the tube into your nostril upwards, till it hits the back of the throat. At this point the tube will bend and go down the throat. Continue inserting the catheter slowly.
3. Open your mouth and use your middle and index fingers to grab the tube from inside your throat. This takes a little practice. Once you get the knack of it, you can do it with ease.
4. Pull the tube out so that part of it is just outside the mouth. Never leave the other end of the tube, which you are holding with your other hand.
5. Now using both hands move the tube in a massaging motion to clean the nostrils and throat.
6. Repeat the procedure with the right nostril.
7. After the practice is over, remove the catheter and clean it. Store the catheter in a clean place for another day’s next practice.

Benefits of Sutra Neti

Sutra Neti has benefits similar to that of Jala Neti. The nasal cavities can get clogged with impurities which may cause infections, inflammations and headaches. Sutra Neti can give the following benefits:

1. It helps to maintain the nasal hygiene by removing the dirt and bacteria trapped along with the mucus in the nostrils.
2. It de-sensitizes the sensitive tissues inside the nose, which can alleviate rhinitis, allergies and some types of asthma.
3. Several health problems like sinusitis, migraine, headaches, can be reduced by doing Neti.

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