Saturday, 19 July 2008

Wait a minute--you want me to pour what up my what!

Okay, another weird and wonderful day in the life of a budding yogini.

I have been reading about neti pots for years now, but finally decided to buy one after seeing Dr. Oz demonstrate one on a rerun of the Oprah show. Yes, I am American enough to still believe that if Oprah endorses it, then it's legitimate. Seeing it on Oprah helped me to stop wondering and go for it! So what did I do but go straight online afterwards and order one--the cheapest one I could find, and they do range wildly in price. The one I got is a little purple plastic one that cost £3.00, ordered from the Yoga Mad website.

Well now, what is a neti pot, and what is it supposed to do for you?

The Yoga holistic approach to health recommends daily cleansing of the nasal passages using a neti pot, which can help prevent harmful bacteria, dust and chemicals from entering the body and causing infections and irritation.

A neti pot is basically a specially shaped pot for holding water which has a spout on the end designed to fit snuggly into the nostrils. It is used to flush the nasal passages and sinuses. In India neti pots have been used for centuries and even today they are as common as tooth brushes, so they say. (There's a lady from Calcutta who works with me. I need to ask her what she thinks of neti pots!)

What you do is fill this pot with a warm saline solution and then you stick the spout in one nostril, hold your head over the sink and tilt to one side and let the water flow out of the other nostril.

You think I'm kidding you, don't you. Just have a look at these links:

This video is squeaky clean, and for some reason includes some yoga bends after the snorting! Official Neti Pot Demo

But the videos below are by real people, and couple of them include actual snottage.
Fat Guy Radio demo

Demo with porno style music and a wink

This chick's so hardcore she can talk while using--and her neti pot's called a 'horn'

So the neti pot arrived today, and all excited I filled it up and made my first attempts. I tried it over the sink, over the bathtub and even considered getting into the shower with the thing, but all I accomplished for the first couple of pots of water was to choke myself. The water would stay in the ingoing nostril until I could feel a burning in that side's eye and I would pull the pot away and splutter and spit. Same other side. On one attempt, I managed to pour the stuff in my nostril and right down my throat. Choking and coughing. I became convinced I was the only person in the world whose nostrils aren't connected!

After about a half hour of failed attempts and repeated searching on the internet for people who CAN'T use the thing (there aren't many!), I watched these videos again and went for another go.

This time I was careful to line up the spout with my nasal passage. I didn't cram the spout in as hard. I noticed that people on the videos were sort of looking in the mirror, so I kept my face up more. Then the real secret for me was realising that I need to really hold the elbow up high to tilt the pot properly to let the water flow out. And the biggest challenge of all is you have to relax, open your mouth, and breath through the mouth. Do not hold your breath. Then turn that outflow nostril down toward the sink and twist the inflow nostril up while raising the elbow to keep the water flowing. Viola! Water just poured right out of my other nostril!

It had to be one of weirdest sensations of my life.

I blew my nose and did the other side. Weird again.

It's been about a half hour since I did it, and I feel like you do after you've used some of that nasal spray that unblocks a stopped up nose. Like lots of cool air is going straight up into your head when you inhale and right out the top! It's bizarre.

Anyway, my big adventure for today was taming the neti pot. I am going to use it again tomorrow. I hope this will help me cut down on my daily doses of Sudafed for those god awful sinus headaches I get nearly every day.

May all beings be at ease--and if you pour anything up your nose, do tell!

Edited to add: I completed today's push ups. 12, 12, 10, 10, 10--all done on toes! So far so good!


Cathy said...

You will love your neti pot! I started using mine when I was pregnant because I couldn't take my allergy medicine anymore. Five years later, and I'm in love with my neti pot. It is a strange sensation at first. Those videos are fantastic!

Carla said...

Cathy, do you do Stage 2 neti? Apparently, that involves sniffing some of the water back and spitting it out. The articles I've read say that is good for chronic sinusitis, etc.

I think I need to get to grips with just pouring it straight through first!

Cathy said...

Stage 2?? I have not tried that one! I just do the basic in one nostril out the other. There is a video out there, I believe it's jala neti, where you "floss" your nasal cavities. Again, I have not tried it!

My yoga teacher suggested blowing gently 5 times between nostril switching. So, holding one nostril closed, and blowing gently out the other. I never asked her why, but I have been doing it ever since. I am guessing there must be a purpose.

Cathy said...

Here is the site:

It talks about that stage 2 you mentioned too. I must have been drawn to the string "flossing" and ignored everything else!

Morandia said...

you are much braver than I am.... it's the drowning feeling that is an issue with me. I've heard about neti pots for ages but it just scares me. having almost drown in the past, I don't know if I can do it.....

and to you people talking about the flossing... I'm sorry, but you are crazy *GRIN* I've heard about it but EEK!!!!!!