A common question that is heard among Yoga teachers is how Yoga can cure common cold. A practice of Yoga Kriya (kriya means action) is ‘Jala Neti’. This is the process of cleaning the nasal passage with salt water. Jala Neti – pronounced ‘ja-la nay-thi’ – is one of the ‘Shatkarmas’; the six methods of cleansing the body. You need a Neti Pot this is a small pot with a snout, the tip of which is meant to fit in a nostril. You prepare warm water and add a teaspoon of common salt for every 30 oz of water. This is best practiced near a sink. Tilt the head to a side so that one nostril is pretty much horizontal. Insert the snout of the pot into the nostril and let the water flow out of the other nostril. You will have to keep the mouth open to permit breathing. Initially you will find some discomfort. The addition of salt reduces the discomfort of water getting in touch with the nostril lining. Practice Jala Neti using the other nostril also. Daily practice will help clean the nostril passage of resident dirt, bacteria and hard-lined mucus and stimulates the nerve endings in the nasal passage. You can find detailed instructions and more information here.
[From a March 2006 email sent to students]