Himalayan Yoga Academy

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Sutra Neti (Nasal cleansing with Thread)

24 Jun 2021 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

Sutra Neti (Nasal cleansing with Thread)

Sutra Neti(Nasal cleansing with thread)

Breathing: Breathing is performed through the mouth .

Duration: The practice takes about 10 minutes.

Once every few day or once a week is sufficient.

Awareness: Physical –on relaxing the body and moving the catheter or thread smoothly and slowly.

Sequence: Sutra Neti should be performed before jala neti as the latter will flush out all the impurities and particles in the nose which have been dislodged by sutra neti.

Sutra Neti is a Hatha yoga technique to clean your nasal cavity. Sutra Neti is one of the six methods of purification or Shatkarma as given in the yogic text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika. There are various types of Neti practiced by Yogis including Jala Neti (with water), Dughda Neti (with Milk), Sutra Neti (with cotton string), etc. In Sutra Neti, a waxed cotton string is traditionally used to clean the nasal cavity.

Preparation of Sutra Neti (Nasal cleansing with Thread ) :

This practice involves passing a length of cotton thread through the nose .Traditionally , a specific preapared cotton thread , sutra, was used . Several strands were tightly wrapped together and dipped in melted beeswax.The width was about 4mm and the length 36 to 45 cm.

Nowadays , however , the practice is more conveniently performed by using a thin , rubber catheter lubricated with melted ghee ,butter,edible oil,or own`s saliva , so that it slides easily through the nasal passage .The size of the catheter depends on the individual nasal passage . Beginners may prefer size 4, but progress to size 6.

Steps :

Basic practice

  1. Take any comfortable standing , sitting ,or squatting position .
  2. Relax the whole body.
  3. Tilt the head slightly back .Gently and slowly insert the narrow end of the catheter or waxed end of the thread into whichever nostril is flowing  more freely.
  4. As the thread is inserted , twist it so that it enters the nostril easily . Always keep the tip pointing downward towards the base of the nose. Never push the catheter straight up because the nasal cavity is behind the  nose , not at the top of the nose .
  5. When the thread  reaches the back of the throat , insert the index finger and thumb ,or the middle and index fingers, into the mouth .
  6. Pull the catheter or thread gently and slowly out through the mouth , leaving  a few inches of thread hanging out of the nostril.
  7. This action may cause retching at first , but it will become easier with practice.
  8. Hold each end of the sutra or catheter with the fingers . Very slowly and gently pull it backward and forward , no more than 15 times on the attempt .
  9. Remove it slowly through the nose and repeat the process with the opposite nostril.
  10. Techhnique II: Advanced practice
  11. After completing technique I , leave the thread with the one end passing through the mouth and the other through the nostril.

Advanced Practice

  1. Gently insert the waxed end entering from one nostril into the other nostril and pull the end through the mouth.
  2. In the final position , both waxed ends together so that they merge with one another , and twist the thread so that the two ends become cut away  so that the join may pass easily through the nostrils .
  3. The thread is now circular .
  4. Slowly draw the join the mouth , progressively sliding the thread through the nostrils .
  5. Eventually the join should  be located between the entrance to the two nostrils.
  6. Disconnect the join.
  7. The thread now enters one nostrils and emerges from the other ;it no longer passes through the mouth .
  8. Gently pull the sutra to and fro,a few times only to begin with . it there is the slightest discomfort , stop the practice immediately .
  9. Pull one end of the thread and slowly withdraw it from the nose  .


Do  not use force under any circumstances .The interior of the nose is very delicate . After persistent attempts , if the thread or catheter will not pass through the nose , consult a competent teacher .Make sure that the sutra is perfectly clean before insesrting it into the nostril. It is best not to try sutra neti until jal neti has been perfected.

Contra – indications :

Those people who suffer from chronic bleeding in the nose should not do sutra neti .Anyone nasal septum turbinates should first seek the advice of a yogic or ayurvedic doctor.


The benefits are the same as for jala neti.

  1. sutra neti can rectify the problem of deviated nasal septum.
  2. If one or both nostrils are not flowing freely due either to deformed bone or fleshy outgrowths, the regular friction of sutra neti causes these obstructions to disappear within a few months.
  3. It helps to prevent respiratory system related illness.
  4. It calms and influences on the brain.
  5. It activates depression, anxiety, anger and removes drowsiness.
  6. It balances the prana flow throughout the both nostrils and corresponds the left and right hemispheres of brain.
  7. It makes the head feel free, light and fresh.
  8. It increases the concentration and makes better memory.

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