Shat Kriya – Practicing the Use of Jal Neti


In Sanskrit, “Shat’ means 6, and ‘Kriya’ means internal action. These are the main cleansing techniques used in yoga practice. (Sometimes, it is called “shat karmas”, which means the “6 actions” of cleansing).

The word “toxins” does not directly translate into Sanskrit. But in Yoga and Ayurveda, we use the word “ama”, which does not mean toxic, but rather something that is stuck in the body and prevents it from optimal functioning.

The six cleansing processes are:

  1. Kapalabhati – an active breathing technique
  2. Need – cleaning the nasal cavities, which is done with a Neti pot and salt water. Some advanced Yogis use thread, but we would not suggest you try this at home.
  3. Nauli – massaging the internal organs by creating a vacuum.
  4. Trataka – single-pointed focus, usually by staring at the tip of a candle
  5. Dhauti – washing out the eliminatory canal.
  6. Basti – a Yogic enema

These ancient yoga cleansing techniques (shat kriya) often seem somewhat intimidating. But, the techniques are simple methods of cleaning areas that may get blocked up and are excellent tools to work on your body, mind, and Soul, helping bring mental and physical clarity and health.

Practising the use of Jal Neti, or using a Neti Pot, is one of the 6 Shatkarmas. Neti is a small pot used for cleansing the nasal passages and sinuses. This is done by pouring a warm salt solution through the nasal passages.

On a physical level, it removes ama and unblocks the nasal passage. It helps prevent colds and flu as the rhinovirus in the nostrils is flushed out. Practising after a flight where we have to breathe the recycled air is excellent. On an energetic level, it clears the frontal lobes making you feel refreshed and energized.

We need regular reminders for our clarity and union with the universe as it unfolds around us. We can see this in the beauty of nature, the smile of a loved one, and in our yoga practice. 

Neti, for many of us, is a daily reminder of purity “saucha”. Purity in actions and purity in thoughts.  

The physical activity of pouring the warm saline solution through our nostrils first thing in the morning clears the way for a fresh new day. After neti, we often feel calm and of clear mind. It feels like diving into an ocean wave and taking that first breath as you surface. 

What is a Neti Pot?

A neti pot is a small ceramic jug specially designed to pour the saline solution through your nasal passages. Are you wondering why you should be using a saline solution instead of just water to flush out your congested nasal passages? Saltwater helps open the nasal passages by washing out thick or dried mucus. This helps prevent infection from spreading to the other sinuses and reduces post-nasal drips. If you’re not sure how often to do a ‘nasal flush”, you can start with once per day while you have a cold or flu symptoms. If you feel better, you can do it weekly or as part of your daily routine.

Benefits Of Using a Neti Pot:

There is nothing worse than feeling that itch in the back of your throat and realizing that it might be more sinister than just an itch…a nasty cold is on the way! Sometimes all we can do is let it run its course. Neti is an easy and natural way to manage cold and flu symptoms so you can get ahead of it! Take note…

  • Thoroughly rinses the nasal passage.
  • Removes backed-up mucus.
  • Limits congestion and improves breathing.
  • Relieves sinus pressure.
  • Improves conditions without the side effects of over-the-counter medication, like drowsiness or stimulation.
  • Prevents snoring
  • Sense of smell improves
  • Allergies decrease
  • Eases headaches

Instructions To Use A Neti Pot

The neti pot pushes a flow of saline solution through your nasal passages. Resulting in the clearing of built-up toxins, mucus and allergens that are trapped inside your nasal passages. Saline helps to prevent irritating the nasal passage.

  1. Combine a cup of warm water with 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt and mix well.
  2. Hold your head over a sink. You will pour water through your nose, so you want the minimum amount of clean-up.
  3. Place the tip of the spout lightly inside one nostril to create a seal.
  4. Tilt your head slightly forward, looking down at the basin. Lift the neti pot at an angle, and pour the saline solution into your nose.
  5. Gravity will carry the solution through your nasal cavity and pour out of your other nostril.
  6. Allow the water and any excess mucus to drip out from your nostril. Finish by blowing your nose to clear the nasal passage.
  7. Repeat with your other nostril.

Tips For Using Your Neti Pot

While there are enormous benefits to using a neti pot, there are essential tips to keep in mind to get the best possible results and avoid creating unnecessary issues from regular use. Don’t use tap water. Use distilled, filtered, bottled or boiled water warm, not hot water. Always use saline solution.

Clean Your Neti Pot Thoroughly After Use

It is vitally important to disinfect and clean your neti pot thoroughly to avoid further infections. Rinse the device after each use with pure water and leave it open to air dry altogether. Remember to replace your neti pot periodically as well.

The list of neti pot benefits is endless, so be sure to share your “Magical Genie Neti Pot” relief with your Love Ones.

Lifestyle Shop Online imports traditional Ceramic Neti Pots, and you are welcome to click here to purchase online – We will courier your neti pot to you wherever you are based.

We wholesale Neti Pots to Yoga Studios, Health Shops etc. Please email Trish at for wholesale prices.

Trish Taylor is an ISHTA Yoga Teacher, Registered Herbalist and Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coach. Please email us or call 087 135 5542 to set up an appointment.


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