Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Prana: Pra – first unit na = energy
Breath is the first gift of life. It is an external manifestation of prana. Breathing well leads to reduced stress, better circulation, and overall wellbeing. When breath is constricted dis-ease can take hold. Just like brushing your teeth everyday, proper washing and care of your nasal passages is a good way to begin to enhance your experience of the breath. If your nose is stuffy or dry, breath doesn’t flow as well. When your nose is open and properly lubricated, breath and prana flow with ease.
As spring allergy season approaches, try this handy practice to help you stay healthy and filled with good breath!
The practice of washing out the nasal passages with salt water to remove caking, clear debris and return the system to an optimal flow.
How Your Nose Works
Mucus flows continually over cilia (little hairlike structures)
Bacteria, microbes and debris trapped in mucus
Mucus swallowed and invaders destroyed through digestion
Healthy mucosal flow and healthy gut = better breathing, increased immunity and wellness
Too much mucus gets thick and can’t flow
When it can’t flow it gets dry, microbes get stuck and inflamed
Too little mucus also equals dryness
A good diet and regular practice of Neti is a key to good health!
Benefits of Neti
Clears nasal passages
Removes bacteria & viruses
Opens pranic channels
Can be done everyday or as often as needed
Especially good at the first sign of a cold
Increase frequency during allergy season
If severely or chronically congested notice if neti makes it worse if so stop. Try steam with peppermint to break things up.
Use a neti pot, rhino horn, or “squirt bottle”
Finish with oil for better breathing
How to Neti
Fill your clean, disinfected neti pot with distilled or boiled water – cooled to room temperature.
Dissolve 1/2 tsp of sea salt
Bend over sink and turn your head to one side.
Keeping pot level, place spout into your top nostril.
Breathe through your mouth and tip head downwards allowing water to travel up one nostril and out the other
Adjust angle of head accordingly
Use half the water on one side, repeat on the other
Gently blow nose to remove excess water and mucus
If you have a tendency to dryness, it’s helpful to finish by putting a dab of oil (olive, coconut, sesame or ghee) on your finger and rubbing into nostrils and ears.