Sutra Neti Kriya - advanced yogic nasal cleansing
This short video demonstration shows you how to perform both Jala Neti and Sutra Neti Kriyas. Otherwise follow the instructions below.
How to perform Sutra Neti
Before use, make sure to clean your sutra well with warm soapy water and dry it thoroughly.
Sutra neti is generally done in conjunction with Jala Neti (flushing the nasal passages with warm salty water using a neti pot.) While you are doing Jala Neti you can moisten your sutra by leaving it in your neti pot. It is better to practice Jala Neti frequently before moving on to Sutra neti. If you are a beginner to both, then start with Jala Neti to cleanse the nose.
Have some tissues or absorbent paper kitchen towels ready as Sutra Neti strongly stimulates the mucous glands and also activates the tear ducts, which in turn naturally cleanse the eyes.
Sutra neti is better practiced on an empty stomach. If you have just eaten, then putting the fingers down the throat may induce vomiting.
Finger nails should not be overly long so as not to scratch or damage the back of the throat.
Begin with a calm clear mind. Never be in a hurry to perform Sutra Neti.
- Carefully insert the sutra into one of the nostrils and gently push it through the nasal passage until it reaches the back of the throat.
- Reach far back into the throat with the first two fingers, using the fingers as a pincers to take hold of the sutra.
- The sutra is grasped between the first two fingers and drawn out of the mouth, but still leaving some of the sutra outside the nose.
- Hold each end of the sutra and then gently floss back and forth a few times.
- The ends of the sutra can be attached together and the circle thus formed is drawn through the nostrils several times.
- Separate the attached ends of the sutra and remove it completely.
- Rinse off the sutra and perform the same on the opposite nostril.
When you have finished sutra neti in both nostrils then do Jala Neti (using warm salty water) once again to help clear out any excess mucous or encrusted particles that may have been dislodged from the upper nasal passages.
Clean the sutra thoroughly after use. You can keep it rolled up in your neti pot. Over time the sutra will retain its curved shape, which will make the practice that bit easier.
Don’t feel frustrated if you can’t do sutra neti fully in the beginning - in fact very few people ever manage to catch the sutra in the throat on the first try. While learning, it can be useful to practice in front of a mirror so that you can see the sutra in the throat. It also takes most people a bit of practice to control the gag reflex. Like any yogic practice Sutra neti takes time and patience to learn and master.
Sometimes sneezing occurs. Sutra neti can help to desensitize the nostrils and help with problems like hay fever or dust pollen allergies.
The activation of the gag reflex and the stimulation of the tear ducts can sometimes be a trigger to release strong emotions. It is not uncommon for people to start crying when they perform Sutra Neti, particularly in the beginning when there may be an added element of fear or apprehension.
Neti is commonly prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine) as a cure for lethargy, sinus trouble, nasal congestion or excessive production of mucous.
On a more esoteric level the practice of sutra neti is said to stimulate the awakening of the Ajna Chakra or third eye.
Swatramana described the practice of sutra neti in the second chapter of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as follows:
“A cord made of threads and about six inches long, should be passed through the passage of the nose and the end taken out in the mouth. This is called by adepts the Neti Karma. The Neti is the cleaner of the brain and giver of divine sight. It soon destroys all the diseases of the cervical and scapular regions.”
Unlike Jala Neti, which can be practiced as frequently as you wish, the practice of sutra neti is generally better to be done only once or twice a week. If you are following an intensive sadhana (spiritual practice) and respecting a pure healthy vegetarian lifestyle then sutra neti may be performed more frequently.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information on the practice of Sutra Neti or any other yoga related topics.