Ancient Habits We’re Bringing Back: Neti Pot
Ancient wisdoms, passed down from generation to generation, for the modern girl.
Our sisters from past centuries treated their bodies like temples, and they radiated from the inside out as a result.
At Sakara, we love to pull from past traditions because they hold a level of wisdom, a level of sacredness, and a level of natural intuition that we can easily fall out of touch with in today's world.
In this series, we'll go one by one through the sacred practices and healthy habits that our ancestors held, in order to stay present, authentic, and healthy.
Today we start with the neti pot.
What It Is: An ancient form of nasal irrigation, the neti pot was first developed in the Ayurvedic tradition in ancient India. The word neti literally means nasal cleansing in Sanskrit.
The act of irrigating the nasal was also called jala neti and considered one of six necessary cleansing practices to do on a daily basis. It was believed that clear breathing led to clear thinking and was often done before meditation or yoga.
Using a neti pot has both phsyical and energetic purposes that many modern ladies lust after today. The mucus inside our nostrils holds onto the dust and dirt that we breath in throughout the day. While this is super important for keeping our lungs clean, the debris can eventually end up in our stomachs. Nostril mucus eventually moves backward until being swallowed - yuck.
Health benefits from a Neti practice:
1. Clears the nostrils so that debris doesn't stay trapped in your body or make its way down to your gut, which means less toxins for your body to deal with.
2. Can be used seasonally to clear the sinuses and significantly ease the discomfort of backed-up passageways (aka your new best friend during allergy season).
3. Blocked sinuses can cause puffy eyes and dark circles, so clearing them can shift the brightness and tightness around your eyes (yes, please!).
4. On an energetic level, nasal irrigation helps maintain balance in the kapha dosha. The kapha dosha is associated with earth and water and is strongest in the morning, which can lead to sluggishness and congestion when not balanced. Using the neti pot daily is said to move the extra kapha energy and benefit the entire body + mind.
Where to Get It: Neti pots are widely available in drug stores, Whole Foods, and of course online. Our favorite neti pot is available on HimalayanInstitute.org. It is super affordable at $17 and there is a starter kit available for $35 complete with Neti Salt and Neti Wash Plus.
How to Use It: Mix half a teaspoon of nonionized salt with two cups of warm water until salt complete dissolves. Fill your neti pot and lean over sink, face down. Breathe through your mouth, insert the spout into the upper nostril, and raise the handle of the neti pot allowing water to flow though your nose and out the other nostril. Repeat on the other side and then exhale forcefully into the sink 5 to 10 times to clear the leftovers