Thanks to my mother's interest in yoga, from a very young age I have been familiar with the practice of Neti and its advantages.
What is Neti? I hear you ask. Well, it is an ancient Indian cleansing practice beloved of yogis in which warm, salty water is poured down one nostril and expelled from the other. Why would someone want to torture themselves in such a way? Well, it is said that Neti prevents hayfever and other respiratory problems, and is good for headache (from which I suffer). Neti is said to clear the passages so that the breath can flow freely and evenly, thereby guaranteeing the body is performing optimally. It's also a great party trick.
There are some rather more severe forms of Neti, using rubber hose or a long piece of cotton gauze, but I don't think my gag reflex could handle that level of cleansing!
Related to Neti are some other, more harrowing yogic cleansing practices of which I am fond - primarily kunjal and laghu. These involve swallowing quantities of salt water and then vomiting them up. An excellent way to spend one's weekend.


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