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Neti (nasal cleansing)

Updated: Mar 6, 2022

Neti is cleansing exercise (shatkriya).

Neti is one of the shatkarma practice.

Neti works like an ENT specialist cleansing the eyes, nose and throat.

It helps to clean the nasal passages, sinuses, whole throat and whole wind pipe.

In Hatha Yoga, 4 types of neti are described: jala neti, sutra neti, ghrita neti and

dugdha neti. Nowadays, jala neti and sutra neti are commonly used for the benefits of the neti.

See the description of Jala neti and Sutra Neti below:

Jala Neti

Jala Neti (nasal cleansing with water) is a preparation of the sutra neti. In Hatha Yoga Pradipika, neti means sutra neti. There is no description about the jala neti. But those who cannot do the neti by the thread in the beginning, they should practice the neti karma by the water.

Practitioners will be benefited partially by the water (jala neti) also.


You will need:

  • Lota (neti pot).

  • Warm water.

  • Salt (Himalayan or rock salt).

  • Towel.

  1. Prepare a saline warm water.

  2. Fill the neti pot with the prepared salty water.

  3. Check which nostril is active. If your right nostril is active, then hold the pot from the bottom by the right hand and fix/insert the nozzle into the right nostril.

  4. Open the mouth, and inhale and exhale only through the mouth.

  5. Tilt your head to the left side.

  6. Continue breathing through the mouth. After few breath, water will automatically start coming through the left nostril.

  7. When your pot got empty, then fill it again and repeat the same thing by the other nostril.

  8. Dry the nostrils through the kapalabhati.

Sutra Neti

Sutra Neti (nasal cleansing with thread) is an advanced process of cleansing the nose. It removes the accumulated mucus and blockages from the nasal passages. More deeply compared to jala neti. In this way, free flow of the air through both nostrils is achieved and that's very important for many Yogic practices as well as general health... Sutra Neti gives a frictional massage to the internal mucus membranes of the nose, strengthening the membranes, making them more efficient and more able to work effectively.


According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, sutra 30, a well lubricated thread of 12 fingers length is to be inserted in the hole of the nose and draw it out from the mouth, this cleansing process is known as Neti by the accomplished yogis.

You will need:

  • Neti pot.

  • Warm water.

  • Salt (Himalayan or rock salt).

  • Towel.

  • Sutra (thread or catheter).

  • Almond oil.

  1. First practice the jala neti, following the previous indications.

  2. After completing jala neti, take the sutra or catheter. Gently put the narrow (closed end) of the catheter or the waxed end of the cotton thread cord into the active nostril.

  3. As you slowly push the sutra into the nostril, slowly twist it so that it enters the nostril easily.

  4. If you realize the sutra has reached in the throat region, take it by the 2 fingers (middle and index finger) and put it out little bit from the mouth.

  5. If your catheter stopped somewhere and not reaching the throat, open and close the mouth successively and press the sutra inside gently. Definitely, it will reach in the throat region.

  6. Hold the both ends of the sutra by the both hands and gently pull the sutra backwards and forwards.

  7. Move the sutra 7 to 10 times in the beginning few attempts.

  8. Now pull the sutra completely (remove it) from the mouth. Wash the sutra and repeat the same thing from another nostril.

  9. After doing the sutra neti from both nostrils, one time jala neti is necessary to wash the mucus from the nasal passages.

  10. Dry the nostrils doing the kapalabhati.

  11. In the beginning 1 or 2 rounds of kapalabhati you can do in uttanasana for good cleansing of the water, then normal kapalabhati (on your mat).

  12. When you realize the nostrils have dried, no water remain in the nostrils, lay down in savasana and put 2+2 drops of the almond oil in both nostril.


According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, sutra 31, this cleansing process known as neti cleanses frontal sinuses; bestows extra ordinary vision, destroys group of difficult diseases occurring above the shoulder.

  • Removes mucus and pollution from the nasal passages & sinuses, allowing the air to flow without obstruction.

  • Helps to maintain the temperature of air and also the moist.

  • Regular practice of sutra neti can cure the problem of sinusitis.

  • Excellent method of preventing all the Kapha doshas (coughing, cold, asthma…).

  • Helps to prevent and manage respiratory tract diseases.

  • Improves the sense of smell.

  • Helps to maintain good health of the eyes, ears & throat

  • Relieves muscular tension of the face and helps the practitioner to maintain a fresh and youthful appearance.

  • Has a calming and soothing effect on the brain.

  • Alleviates anxiety, stress, anger, depression, removes drowsiness and makes the head feel light and fresh.

  • Harmonizes the activity of both hemispheres.

  • Also helpful to awaken Ajna chakra.


  • If somebody gone through with surgery of nose recently, then ask your teacher.

Healthy suggestions:

  • Avoid the practice in cold and windy places.

  • Don’t use the air conditioned for 2-3 hours after the practice.

  • Just after the practice, if you have to go outside and there is pollution, use the mask for 2-3 hours.


  • While you practice sutra neti, don’t force yourself too much, you may not succeed first or second attempt. If you not, it’s ok, do only jala neti.

  • Drying the nostrils are very important.

  • Learn in the guidance of the teacher.


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Hari 🕉!!!

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