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Home : Neti Pot : Jala Neti Articles: Neti for balanced breathing through nostrils
Neti for balanced breathing through nostrils


We all know the importance of two eyes and two ears. While two eyes provide the three dimensional aspect to viewing, the two ears provide position and balance besides better location of sound source.

Have you ever wondered why we have two nostrils? It never seems to have been considered serious enough to warrant further investigation. More so, when we consider that the two nostrils exist separately for just 4-5 cms of the nose length and then the air gets mixed anyway.

However, various studies are beginning to question the seeming 'irrelevance' of individual nostrils. In this connection, the work of Dr. I.N. Riga, an ear, nose and throat specialist in Bucharest, Romania deserves special mention.

Based on his experimental findings he found that patients, whose breath flowed predominantly from the left nostril, suffered a higher incidence of respiratory disorders than the average. This included chronic muco-purulent sinusitis, ear infections, recurrent laryngitis and tonsillitis, chronic bronchitis and related disorders. He also found that these people were more likely to suffer from various assorted disorders such as headaches, amnesia, hyperthyroidism, chronic gastritis, diminishing libido and much more.

On the other hand, those whose breathing was predominantly from the right nostril were found to be inclined towards arterial hypertension and its numerous consequences.

While this study is more suggestive than conclusive, yoga theory believes that balanced breathing is responsible for the balance of the autonomous nervous system. It is necessary for balancing the excitatory sympathetic nervous system and the relaxatory parasympathetic nervous system.

This is necessary for the maintenance of optimum physical and mental health.

It is believed that inhalation through each nostril stimulates specific nerve centers lying within the mucus membranes. These specific stimuli influence the autonomic processes of respiration, circulation, digestion and so on.

The Neti kriyas are extremely useful in restoring this balanced flow of air through nostrils. While Sutra (Thread) Neti is very useful in removing obstruction such as nasal polyps, Jala Neti is the more common and should be done as a routine practice. A simple neti pot is used for the process.

All regular neti doers invariably experience an amazing lightness in the head and a better feel by doing neti regularly. Some even report an improvement in seemingly unrelated symptoms such as constipation, which bears out the above theory of balanced breathing.

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