Day 6 of 365 Days to Get Back to Myself
It wasn’t until I had been practicing Yoga for more than 18 years and I FINALLY did my Yoga Teacher Training with Ashram Yoga here in Auckland that I discovered I had totally misinterpreted the whole system of Yoga.
For years I had believed that doing the Yoga postures helped to strengthen the body so it is ready for the cleansing and meditation practices. Not so… according to my teacher Swami Shanti Murti it’s the cleansing practices that are meant to get you ready to do the Yoga postures! Apparently if the body is not cleansed and purified before doing the postures the full benefit of advancement from Yoga posture practice will not be gained.
As I am looking at cleansing my system as part of this 365 day process I decided today to pick up these cleansing practices once again and see how what happens.
There are lots of different Yoga cleansing practices both physical and meditative, one of which is the practice of Jala Neti
Jala Neti uses warm salty water to gently cleanse the sinuses and is used traditionally for helping to clear a cold or hay fever. This year I had quite a strong reaction to something that was flowering with lots of sneezing and sinusitis and I still have a slightly blocked nose. I have often suffered from sinusitis throughout my life, if I get a cold it usually goes straight to my sinuses and I find Jala Neti really helpful when this happens.
To practice Jala Neti it is good to have a Jala Neti pot that is used only for this. It looks a bit like a teapot with a long spout. First you boil some water and dissolve into 1/2 litre of hot water one teaspoon of salt. Once the salty water has cooled to blood temperature it is poured into the Jala Neti pot. With the head in a certain position the salty water is poured into one nostril so it runs out of the other. This is then repeated on the other side. After, a particular breathing practice is used to expel any water still in the sinuses and a short period of quiet rest is required to finish.
If you have never done Jala Neti before it is advisable to get someone experienced in this practice to teach you how to do it as you need to be careful not to get water into your inner ear.
According to classical Yoga texts: Jala Neti removes dirt and bacteria in the mucous of the nasal passages, aids in relieving colds and sinusitis together with various disorders of the ears, eyes and throat. It has a cooling and soothing influence on the brain and mind and gives a feeling of lightness and freshness in the head removing drowsiness. Best done first thing in the morning, Neti should not be done if there is a solid obstruction or a chronic hemorrhage in the nasal passages.
So, just like my juicer has been resurrected, I dusted off my Neti pot today and will start to do it tomorrow morning.