Using a Nasal Rinse Cup

Both Yoga and Ayurveda hold that the quality of your breath is vital to your well-being. Making each breath long and deep can improve your health and increase longevity. Cleansing and protecting the breathing passages, particularly the nostrils, can improve the quality of every breath you take.

Neti, or nasal rinsing, is a process of cleansing and purifying the nasal passages with a nasal rinse cup and saline solution.

A nasal rinse is a simple and effective way to clean out the debris, pollutants, and allergens that assail the respiratory system. For thousands of years, Ayurveda has recommended a nasal rinse as a part of a healthy lifestyle to keep your sinuses and nasal passages clean.


Banyan friend Jennifer using a neti pot (nasal rinse cup)

Nasal Rinse (Neti Pot) Benefits

Your nose filters the 7–8 liters of air that you breathe each minute. That air, while supplying the breath of life, brings with it particles that irritate the nasal passages and sinuses, and often lead to allergies and sinus infections.

Nasal rinsing offers many physical benefits. A daily or weekly nasal rinse supports overall respiratory health because it can:

  • Support a healthy upper respiratory system
  • Provide soothing relief for nasal dryness
  • Gently remove excess mucous
  • Rinse away dust, pollen, and other irritants
  • Maintain a healthy nasal and sinus lining
  • Keep your head clear and refreshed

In addition, deep and unobstructed breathing through clear nasal passages helps balance the prana, our vital life force within the body. Balanced prana brings the mind and body into harmony, allowing them to work together as a whole.

If you suffer from allergies or repeated sinus infections, you should discuss your care with your doctor and ask if a nasal rinse practice can be a helpful part of your therapy.


How to Use a Nasal Rinse Cup 

A nasal rinse requires a neti pot. It only takes a few minutes and can even be done by children.

Prepare the Saline Solution

Mix approximately ¼ teaspoon of fine, non-iodized table salt into about 1 cup (8 oz) of warm water, until it is fully dissolved. 

To prevent contamination, it is recommended that you use sterile water, such as distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled, to make your irrigation solution. 

Once you have the saline solution mixed, pour it into the nasal rinse cup.

The Process of Nasal Cleansing

  • Stand in front of the bathroom sink, or in your shower. Tilt your head to one side so that one ear is facing down into the sink, and you can see the drain out of the corner of your eye. You should find that having your forehead angling slightly downward and sideways will be just about right.
  • Insert spout of nasal rinse cup gently into the raised nostril and create a seal between the pot and your nostril.
  • Raise the nasal rinse cup slowly to develop a steady flow of saline solution through the upper nostril and out the lower nostril.
  • During the process, breathe through your mouth.
  • Upon completion of the process, exhale gently several times to clear the nasal passages.
  • Reverse the tilt of your head and repeat the process on the other side.

Completion of the Process

It is beneficial to do some simple, gentle exhalation blowing through both of your nostrils after completion.

Cleaning Your Nasal Cup

After use, simply wash out the pot with warm water and dish soap.


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