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Sutra neti

Sutra Neti - Nasal Cleansing Using a Cord

Rubber/Sutra Neti

This is a very effective method of keeping the nasal passages open to their fullest capacity. Sutra Neti is performed by passing a cord made of cotton threads or a rubber catheter into the nose through one nostril and then out via the mouth. The cord is gently pulled to and fro for some time, removed and then threaded through the other nostril and out the mouth again. With practise, the cord can be passed in one nostril and out the other nostril. Sutra Neti can be of great benefit, and is highly recommended, for those who may have been trying Jala Neti for a while and who find that most times the same one nostril is more blocked than the other. They may have some kind of fleshy obstruction such as cartilage obstructing the nasal passages. Short of a medical operation, Sutra Neti is a viable alternative for removing such blockages. Firstly one should try to succeed with the 3 forms of Jala Neti using water, and if this fails to clear blockages, a proper medical examination should be made of the nose, and the cause of structural blockage ascertained. Sutra Neti should then be learned under the guidance of an experienced teacher.
Before and after usage it is advisable to rinse the string in warm water (or in specialized cases medicated oils). Then place straight to dry. In case of deviated septum. polyps, or other diseases of the nose consult your physician or yoga therapist.

The string is slowly, gently, and with conscious feeling (non-mechanically) inserted along the nasal cavity floor without any pain. The nasal cavity is like a long cave which narrows at the roof and is widest at the floor, thus keep the string pointed toward the back of the throat, slightly downward, and slightly medial (inward) so that it will smoothly slide thru the widest passageway toward the inside back opening of the nose. The goal being that it pass through the valve (swollen lip) at the root of the nose into the upper back of the throat where it can be grabbed by the index and middle fingers of the opposite hand (forming a tong-like appendage) and then pulled through after a gentle massage by pulling back and forth on the string a few times (as long as it is comfortable and invigorating).

Under no circumstances should pain be experienced during the insertion. If pain occurs, it is a sign of going too fast, the string has become pointed in the wrong direction, and/or is caught up against the nasal wall, or some other obstruction exists. In this case back off the pressure immediately and twist the string in one direction or the other until a clear unobstructed passage through the cave is found. Soon the misty and mysterious dark cave will become a bright and clear one.

It is helpful to smoothe and straighten the tip of the string while maintaining a slightly downward orientation of the tip throughout the insertion, so that when the tip goes under the medial bottom lip of the nasal-pharyngeal valve at the entrance to the throat, it points downward toward the mouth. It is not necessary to grab the string with the fingers and pull it back and forth through the nose. 99% of the benefit is obtained by simply passing the string up to and through this nasal-throat valve while gently massaging the nasal membranes which reflex back to the powerful group of nerves which serve in common the entire cranium. Inserting the fingers to grab the end of the string or even the end of the string itself touching the back of the throat can trigger a gag reflex with some. Going slowly and breathing consciously and fully helps. The entire procedure can take less than ten seconds after a little practice.

Some people can perform this cleansing activity (kriya) completely on the very first try, while others may take up to a month or longer. At first allow 5 minutes or more with a good supply of tissues handy, if a copious mucous flow is activated. Take your time, very slowly and gently easing the string forward, enjoying its' cleansing effects, and always breathing deeply. It is normal to feel tickled and to sneeze much at first and to eliminate copious mucous from the sinus so have handkerchiefs or tissues handy. As the mucous membranes, nerves, glands, organs, and tissues of the nose, throat, ears, eyes, sinuses, and cranium become tonified, stimulated, invigorated, and purified the body's reaction becomes less dramatic.

Sutra Neti is one of the most powerful and beneficial, yet one of the most simple, of the Hatha Yoga shat karmas. It is best performed soon after rising in conjunction with the rest of the morning cleansing activities. 


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