Updated: May 5
Do you ever feel like your sinuses are clogged or congested? Did you know that ancient practices like Neti and Nasya help support your breathing and help clear your nasal passages? Neti and nasya both promote healthy breathing and encourage nitric oxide production in the nasal passage. We'll also explore why nitric oxide is essential for our respiratory health. So if you're looking for natural ways to support your breathing, keep reading!
The science of breathing
The science of breathing has been studied for centuries. Something as natural and effortless as breathing can be done wrong! Exactly, it can be done wrong! How do we do it correctly? Numerous studies show the positive effects of proper breathing on the body. From ancient yogic practices to modern-day medical research, the science of breathing has provided valuable insight into how our bodies function and what we can do to improve our health.
Breathing is a complex process involving multiple body systems, from the lungs to the brain. The respiratory system works together with the nervous system to control the rate and depth of breathing. The diaphragm plays an important role in allowing us to breathe deeply and evenly.
The act of breathing comprises four distinct phases: inhalation, exhalation, pause, and passive expiration. Inhalation is when we inhale air into our lungs. During exhalation, we expel the air from our lungs. The pause phase is when our breathing stops momentarily before we start to inhale again. Finally, passive expiration occurs when the diaphragm relaxes and the lungs empty out any remaining air.
Obviously, the nasal passage plays a vital role in the process of breathing. It acts as a filter, trapping dust, pollen, and other air particles before reaching the lungs. It also warms the air before it enters the body and produces nitric oxide, which helps improve the efficiency of our breathing, among other things.
Nitric oxide is a gas produced by our cells and serves several important functions. It helps regulate blood flow throughout our body, as well as reduces inflammation, and can even help improve cognitive functioning.
Neti and nasya are two forms of nasal irrigation that have been used for centuries to cleanse and clear the nasal passage and promote optimal health. Combined with mindful breathing practices, these techniques can help us become aware of our breath and make a positive impact on our overall health.
What is neti?
Neti is an ancient practice from Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of natural medicine. It is a cleansing technique used to clear out mucus and other blockages from the nasal passages. It involves using a special pot or a neti pot filled with a saline solution to gently rinse the nasal passages. This is done by slowly pouring the saline solution into one nostril, allowing it to flow through the nasal passage and out the other nostril. Neti helps to remove allergens, irritants, and other toxins from the nasal passages. It can also help improve breathing and reduce congestion. The practice of neti is an integral part of many yoga practices, as it can help prepare the body for better breath control and relaxation.
Steps for Neti:
1. Start by boiling or sterilizing your neti pot with water and then adding a pinch of sea salt.
2. Lean over a sink with your head tilted slightly downwards.
3. Place the spout of the neti pot at the upper nostril and gently pour the warm saline solution into one nostril.
4. The saline solution will then flow out of the lower nostril.
5. After clearing both nostrils, blow your nose to remove any remaining liquid.
6. Clean your neti pot and keep it stored in a safe, clean place.
Doing Neti daily, either in the morning or evening, is recommended depending on your preference.
What is nasya?
Nasya is a traditional ayurvedic practice involving oil, herbs, and other natural ingredients to lubricate the nasal passages. This is believed to help reduce stress, improve breathing, and even help combat allergy symptoms. Nasya is performed by gently inserting an appropriate substance into the nose and allowing it to sit there for several minutes. It is typically done using an oil such as sesame, coconut, or ghee. Other natural ingredients such as Brahmi powder, licorice root, sandalwood paste, and honey can also be used.
Nasya helps to lubricate the nasal passages and increase the flow of mucus. This can reduce sinus inflammation, clear mucus, and improve breathing. It is also believed to help balance the three doshas (body energies) in ayurvedic medicine.
In addition to its potential physical benefits, nasya can also provide mental benefits. It is said to help clear toxins from the mind, improve concentration, and relieve stress. It can also be used as a form of pranayama (yogic breathing) to help balance the breath and relax the mind.
Steps for Nasya:
1. Begin by lying down comfortably on your back, with your head slightly leaning back.
2. Place a few drops of warm sesame or coconut oil into the palm of your hand.
3. Using your pinkie finger, a piece of cotton, or small dropper, draw the oil from your palm and insert it into one nostril.
4. Repeat this same process for the other nostril.
5. Remain in this position for at least 10 minutes, allowing the oil to work its magic on your nasal passage.
6. After 10 minutes, you can blow your nose gently to remove any remaining oil from your nasal cavity.
7. Rinse your nose with a saline solution and blow your nose again if necessary.
8.. Enjoy the benefits of nasal cleansing!
The benefits of neti and nasya
To sum it up, both neti and nasya have the following benefits:
They help to clear out any blockages in the nasal passages, making it easier to breathe freely.
Neti and Nasya can also help improve overall respiratory health and reduce sinusitis and allergy symptoms.
Neti is a form of nasal irrigation, pouring a saltwater solution through one nostril and out the other. This helps to flush out excess mucus and dirt, while also providing a moisturizing effect that can help to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages.
Neti is known to provide relief from congestion.
Nasya helps to lubricate and protect the nasal passages while also providing relief from inflammation.
Nasya can also help reduce swelling.
Not only do they provide relief from congestion and sinusitis, but they can also help to improve overall respiratory health.
Additionally, these practices help improve the clarity of thought, enhance mental focus, and even balance hormones.
A healthy nasal passage combined with proper breathing makes plenty of healthy nitric oxide!
Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule that plays an essential role in many bodily functions, including regulating blood pressure and relaxing smooth muscle tissue. It is produced naturally in the body but can also be synthesized and taken in supplement form…but breathing is the most efficient and inexpensive manner to get your nitric oxide!
Healthy nasal passages are lined with mucous membranes that produce nitric oxide when exposed to air. The nitric oxide created then passes into the bloodstream, where it helps to relax and widen the blood vessels, acting as a potent vasodilator, allowing for improved blood flow and circulation. It can also help to reduce inflammation in the body, which may be beneficial for conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and allergies.
In addition to providing direct health benefits, nitric oxide produced by the nasal passage is also thought to help with other aspects of physical well-being. For example, researchers believe that it may help to improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and even enhance athletic performance.
The production of nitric oxide in the nasal passage is an important part of overall health and well-being. Practices like neti and nasya can help to stimulate the mucous membranes in the nasal passage, thus increasing the amount of nitric oxide produced and aiding in the relief of certain symptoms. Ultimately, this process can contribute to improved physical health and mental well-being.
Neti and nasya are both ancient Ayurvedic practices that can provide health benefits. They help to cleanse the nasal passages, clear blockages and promote healthier breathing. Additionally, they can help to reduce inflammation and improve overall respiratory health. Through the passage of air through the nasal cavity, these practices stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a molecule with various health benefits. It is responsible for many of the processes that keep us healthy and helps regulate our breathing. With regular practice, neti and nasya can help to support your body’s natural processes and promote a healthier lifestyle.