Sinus – my ex best friend



I have been having sinus problem for many years. 

I am allergic to change of temperature, dust, air-con, crowd, hair, messy and cluttered place (yes, sensitive to both psychological and physiological triggers). In addition to the usual running nose and sneezing, my sinus glands would swell up so much that I feel a bad ache in my jaw, teeth, forehead and the sides of the nose under my eyes. In serious sinus episodes I am pretty much a dysfunctional human being and the only solution will be to sleep it off after popping multiple clarinese/zrytecs/panadol cold flu/telfast/any other anti-histamine pills. 
One morning when Master Paalu introduced the “Sutra Neti”, I was horrified by the sight of the rubber bands handed to us. Geez, my nose is already so sensitive (I can’t even pinch my own nose) and we gotta stick the rubber tube up into the nostrils and pull it out of our mouths? and this is supposed to be good for people who have sensitive nose?!
I was determined to fix this problem and decided to give this ancient method the benefit of the doubt. 

How to practice of Sutra Neti ?

I followed Master Paulu very closely as he demonstrated the Sutra Neti. FYI I would highly recommend anyone who is trying Sutra Neti for the first time to learn it in a guided practice preferably from a qualified yoga instructor. Take the rubber tube in your hand and very gently insert the tube inside your left nostril. Take care not to rush it; do it very slowly as it can irritate the sensitive membrane inside the nostril. Many people have mild nasal septal deviations, which is more or less harmless. If the deviation is acute then one may feel a block while inserting the rubber tube, try to slowly wiggle it in a different direction and gently insert it in further.
1. Push the tube into your nostril upwards, till it bends and go down the throat. Continue inserting the tube slowly
2. Open your mouth and use your middle and index fingers/index finger or thumb to grab the tube from inside your throat.* This takes a little practice. Once you get the knack of it, you can do it with ease
3. Pull the tube out so that part of it is just outside the mouth. Never leave the other end of the tube, which you are holding with your other hand
4. Now using both hands move the tube in a massaging motion to clean the nostrils and throat. (optional)
5. Clean the tube and repeat the procedure with the right nostril.
6. After the practice is over, remove the tube and clean it. Store the tube in a clean place for another day’s next practice.

*try to pull the tube out as gently as possible and avoid scrapping the throat with your nails as the throat lining is quite fragile  
My experience 

My first experience of Sutra Neti was exciting but less than glamarous. I could smell the rubber but resisted the urge to take it out immediately. I tried to insert the tube very very very slowly and wiggle a little whenever I felt a block in my nostril. It involved a bit of tears, saliva (all due to reflex action), and of course, mucus that I did not knew existed which was sitting at the back of my nose in my nasal passage. When I pull the tube out of my mouth, to my surprise, my hands were covered with mucus (I know…..), and I thought my nose was completely cleared the very morning before trying the Sutra Neti.
For the first time in my life, I felt my nasal passage completely CLEARED. This means generous amount of fresh air flowing in and out of my nose into my lungs with no blockages! I managed to clear up a space in my nasal passage that I would not have ordinarily reached without using the tube.

For those who are interested in trying it out, here are some of the other benefits of Sutra Neti.

Benefits of Sutra Neti

Sutra Neti has benefits similar to that of Jala Neti. The nasal cavities can get clogged with impurities which may cause infections, inflammations and headaches. 
1. It helps to maintain the nasal hygiene by removing the dirt and bacteria trapped along with the mucus in the nostrils.
2. It de-sensitizes the sensitive tissues inside the nose, which can alleviate rhinitis, allergies and some types of asthma.
3. Several health problems like sinusitis, migraine, headaches, can be reduced by doing Neti

My tip to anyone who’s keen to try is that don’t be horrified by the pictures and the process. Put away any subconscious biases and judgments and try with an open mind. You might just discover something that works for you. 
Shi Jye
200hr Hatha/Ashtanga Weekends – July 2015

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