We often see how western medicine accepts and embraces the practices of eastern tradition. One of the best examples of this is Jal Neti, the use of a lota to cleanse the sinuses with a saline solution. In the past decade, this ancient nasal irrigation technique has been tested in clinical trials and has since been accepted and endorsed by western medicine. So what is a lota, and why should you make it part of your daily routine?
A lota is a small, teapot-shaped container, used to cleanse the sinuses. The pot is used to pour saline solution (made with distilled water and salt) into the nose to flow into one nostril and out of the other. The process clears mucus and debris from nasal passages and offers a variety of holistic benefits.
While you may initially be turned off by the idea of pouring lukewarm water into your nostrils, once you try the process, you will see it’s really quite effortless, painless and easy. You simply pour the solution into one nostril while leaning your head forward and to the side, allowing the liquid to flow out of the opposite nostril into your sink. Have a tissue ready. After using all of the solution in the pot, blow your nose and repeat with the opposite nostril flowing the water in the opposite direction. Keeping the chin tilted down while pouring is important to avoid that feeling of accidentally inhaling water up your nose. Once you use a lota for the first time, you will have no comfort issues with using the pot daily.
Jal Neti offers many benefits to both the physical and energetic bodies. While there are many, we’ll mention just a few main benefits.
If you are prone to seasonal allergies, the lota is very effective at removing allergens from the nasal passages. It also can be used daily to help prevent sinus infections and promote recovering from sinus related illness. You will also find that your olfactory senses improve, your senses of taste and smell.
By cleaning the nasal passages through which the oxygen that nourishes the blood, you improve the quality and quantity of energy of the body. Clearing the mind makes you more focused.
Using a lota will improve your pranayama (breathwork) during yoga practice, enhancing the benefits of this powerful fourth limb of yoga. Using a lota daily will open your pranic channels (nadis) to allow life-force energy to flow more freely through the body and reduce energy blockages.
Consider adding a lota to your morning or evening hygiene routine, using it once a day. Note, like a toothbrush, each person in your household should have their own lota. Lota, like toothbrushes, shouldn’t be shared between family members.
At Toque Holistico, we carry Neti Pots from The Himalayan Institute, the first organization to introduce Jal Neti to the west. If you wish to purchase a lota from us, we’ll happily demonstrate how to use it for the first time and answer any questions you may have.