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We have reached the 21st century and talk about being technologically, economically, scientifically and materialistically advanced, yet there are so many factors on which we have just no control. We may control pollution, but we cannot control the aftermath arising out of pollution. Scientists working at the University of Pune’s department of health sciences have already sounded alarm bells on the hazardous effects of vehicular pollution on human body and mind. Children are worst affected and that too at thrice the rate of adults. And it is going to take a heavy toll in the near future. And the irony is that it kills us slowly. It will not be very long when we will see hospitals full of patients suffering from asthma, cardio–vascular diseases, cancer, all sorts of infections, respiratory problems, digestive disorders (also due to pollution), running nose, common cold & cough, allergies, septic pharyngitis (throat infection), migraine, mental tensions and stress, loss of memory and concentration, headaches, sinus, problems of the eyes, epilepsy, psychosomatic disorders, depression, stress related disorders, and the list being never ending.

Do our modern medicines and medical men have any control over this? And do we have permanent solution for pollution? Is a theme of writing this particular article.

Jala Neti (Nasal Wash): One of the cleansing processes
In Hatha Yoga there are simple techniques for cleaning the upper respiratory tract or system or the nostrils. Behind our nose lies a part called as nasopharynx. We cannot clean this nasopharynx by blowing of nose. It is known as Shuddhi Kriyas or cleansing process or nasal wash. It plays very important role in cleaning nasal cavity & nasopharynx. This ensures healthy and pollution free breathing and sensitivity for subtle experience that lead to inner awakening. Neti can be called a “Nasal douche”. Take warm water, which is slightly above the body temperature. Add salt to this water at the rate of half a teaspoon per glass of 300 ml. This is equal to the salinity of the mucous secretions in the respiratory system. If the water is warmer or colder or the salt is more or less, there will be some irritation in the inner system, which may cause discomfort. Saturated salt water has high osmotic pressure. It is a law in physics that fluid flows from low osmotic pressure to higher osmotic pressure. In inflammatory conditions of nasal cavity including sinuses, there is congestion and edema of nasal mucosa. Naturally during “Jalaneti” fluid from mucosal cells comes out which relieves the congestion and edema very fast. This helps in better functioning of mucosal cells and also opens up closed openings of the sinuses in nasal cavity.

In our nose there are nerve endings of olfactory nerve, which are responsible for our sense of smell. During “Jalaneti” these nerve endings are stimulated saline that give us very pleasant sensations. These pleasant sensations have a very beneficial effect on centre of emotions located in limbic systems of brain.

This center of emotions has connections in medulla oblongata. The centers for control of BP, respiration are located in medulla oblongata. The favourable effects on centre of emotions also effect the medulla and can relax the person thoroughly. This may help in relieving high BP, asthma or even epilepsy. These all ailments are very closely related to emotions. If you have a problem of DNS (deflected nasal septum), then you have to practice Sutraneti first and then come to Jalaneti.

The Technique
To have a nasal wash with saline luke warm water. Fit the nozzle of the pot into the nostril (let the septum be horizontal). Star pouring water into any one nostril, water automatically is drained from the other nostril. During the process use only the mouth to breathe.

What is required is a small pot with a spout, which can be inserted in one of the nostrils. Care should be taken that we breathe in and out through mouth only, so that water does not enter the windpipe. This can make one cough or choke. However, just practice a few deep gargles till the choking sensation subsides. Initially, some discomfort is caused by droplets of water sticking to the mucous membrane after practicing Neti. These can be expelled by rapidly exhaling air by contracting the stomach in rapid jerky moves in quick succession. Therefore I advice, it is better to practice Jalaneti under the guidance of an expert Yoga teacher.

Jalaneti should be followed by
  1. Alternate nostril Kapalbharti, 5 rounds 10 exhalations through each nostril is suggested. For closing alternate nostril, refer 12 Anulom Vilom. Reason for practice of Kapalbharti after Jalaneti is to expel lingering drops of water in the nose, which can become a source of infection. In case either one or both nostrils are blocked practice of alternate nostril Kapalbharti is strictly ruled out.
  2. Kapalbharti–10 rounds of exhalation. If both nostrils are blocked, Kapalbharti is ruled out.
Neti is also practiced with the soft cotton strings. This is known as “Neti”. This process is must for those people whose bone in the nose is bigger than normal. People who suffer from frequent nasal bleeding should not practice Jalaneti or if they do, only under expert‘ supervision. People who are sensitive to the administration of nasal drops also should learn to practice neti under the guidance of a qualified Yoga–teacher. People who suffer from chronic colds or those who breathe in toxic fumes, like tobacco smoke, suffer from impaired vision or hearing in the long run. If the upper respiratory system remains congested with mucous secretions and other impurities like dust particles, smoke emitting out of diesel and petrol vehicles, and microbes in the air, there are chances of bacterial infection, which is normally diagnosed as septic pharyngitis. Air passages behind the nose and the mouth is also connected to air captivities behind the eyes and the eardrums. These passages help to protect the delicate organs of the audio–visual system against fluctuations in the external atmospheric pressure. And thus the Jal Neti plays are important role in the upper respiratory system in the human body to work round the clock.

Compiled by
Dr. Nitin Unkule
Kaivalya Yoga Institute,
1013/16 Shivajinagar,
Pune 411 016,
Maharashtra, India
E–mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.