I got back from Glastonbury Festival on Monday and having spent almost a week outside in the so-called British summer, I have a cold. A bad one, fever and all. I can't actually remember the last time I was ill like this and I have been trying my best to rid myself of it as quickly as possible. In between ginger shots, homeopathic cold remedies and lots of green veg, I decided to use my neti pot, something I've done maybe just once or twice since being taught how in India last year.
So your first question is probably 'what on earth is a neti pot?!'
Neti pots are used to perform a yogic nasal cleansing technique known as "jala neti" (water cleansing). More commonly, this may be referred to as nasal irrigation. The neti pot is filled with (usually) salted water or a saline solution, which is then used to flush the sinuses. While in Western culture, this technique is not widely known or practised, in India for example, many people include it as part of their daily cleansing routine, much like brushing your teeth. It is said to reduce the risk of developing a cold, or speeding up the healing process. It may also be effective for those suffering for allergies and irritations such as hay fever.
So how do you use one?
- Firstly, always clan your neti pot before use with hot water and soap.
- Then make the saline solution by mixing fine non-iodized salt, with warm filtered or boiled water until the salt is completely dissolved - most pots come with measurements for this.
- Bend over a sink and turn one ear towards the basin, with your forehead and chin level in one line. Keep the mouth open and breathe in and out of the mouth - this will close off the throat, allow you to breathe and ensure that the nasal cavity is cleansed correctly.
- Insert the spout of the pot into one of the nostrils (the one away from the sink) and tilt the pot so that the saline solution begins to pour into the nose. The solution will begin to flow out of the opposite nostril.
- Use about half of the solution, then swap to the other side.
- Once you have used up the solution, blow your nose to get rid of any excess water.
You can purchase a neti pot from lots of yoga studios, or alternatively you can pick one up on Amazon via this link here. I'd love to hear how you get on with this so get in touch if you give it a try!