Neti pots are known have long been known as a treatment for the ill effects of pollution, allergies, and other airborne maladies. You can make a homemade Neti pot solution, or buy it online. I prefer the former for ease, cost, and reduction in unnecessary packaging and shipment.
Neti Prior to Yoga and Sleep
I use my Neti pot on a nightly basis prior to evening yoga and subsequent bedtime. Breathing is significantly improved, yoga is more enjoyable, and I get better rest. This better rest is actually what prompted my regular use of the Neti pot in the first place. The ability to breathe freely through my nose means I can sleep with my mouth closed, which doesn’t dry out my mouth and reduces the odds of snoring.
The Neti pot and yoga connection is not new, of course. It goes back many years. The yogic practice of cleaning your sinuses this way is called Jala Neti. Neti is one of six cleansing methods (Shat Kriyas) within Hatha Yoga for purification, the others being:
- Kapalabhati (skull shining breath)
- Trataka (eye exercises)
- Nauli (toning of abdomen and digestive system)
- Dhouti (vomiting)
- Vasti (‘yogic enema’)
Breathing, eye, and abdominal exercises are all good by me. Vomiting and enemas, however. I’m not there. Neti, however, daily.
What is the Recommended Solution?
Following WebMD instructions, I use a mixture of:
- 3 parts kosher salt
- 1 part baking soda.
General mixture-to-water ratios are 3 teaspoons of salt to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 8 ounces of boiled, distilled, or purified (0.2 micron or less) water.
This solution is not set in stone, however. For example, Healthline suggests:
- 2 parts salt
- 1 part baking soda.
Their mixture-to-water ratio is significantly lower at 1 teaspoon of salt to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to 16 ounces of water.
My Homemade Neti Pot Solution
Different people have different tolerances and preferences for their solution. You will know what works for you through a bit of trial and error. I have found the 3 parts salt to 1 part baking soda preferable, but I use less than 1 teaspoon per 8 ounces of water. I don’t measure the water at all, in fact. I am able to eyeball the measurement using a half teaspoon of the mixture to my desired amount of water in the pot.
On the subject of water, make sure the water you are using is safe. Tap water is not recommended. You can buy distilled water, but again, I prefer to save the trip to the store, the cost, and the packaging. I bring water to a rolling boil for one minute. This will kill off any bacteria that might otherwise harm you.
Once the water has cooled, store it in an airtight container and use within 24 hours. This might seem like a pain, to boil water each time and then wait for it to cool, but I have incorporated it into a daily ritual in the morning. I heat water for coffee and what is left over I continue to heat until it has boiled for a full minute.
If you use a Neti pot daily, you will save minor expenses of buying a solution at the store or online. Mixing it in advance with the ratios that you prefer will mean you only have to make a new batch every week or so, maybe longer. It is hard to get more simple ingredients than Kosher salt and baking soda, so it’s a simple recipe whose main ingredient is water.
Done correctly, making a homemade Neti pot solution will become part of your daily practice the same as the Neti itself. Done mindfully and with deliberate action, you can use the time to simultaneously calm and ease your body.