Neti Pot: I never thought 6:30 a.m. could be so much fun.

A few months ago I pried my hands off of $22 and bought a Neti Pot from The Chopra Center's website. (Apparently in addition to be concerned with my syncrodestiny and my ability to grow younger and live longer, Deepak Chopra is also concerned with my nasal cavities.) I had been "Neti Potting" for months with just a juice glass. Now I see that an actual Neti Pot is essential to obtain the full benefits of the practice and saves an inordinate amount of time and dish washing. According to wikipedia, Neti Potting, as I call it, is officially known in western cultures as Nasal Irrigation and is "an ancient Ayurvedic technique known as Jala neti, which literally means nasal cleansing in Sanskrit, where the practitioner uses a neti pot to perform the irrigation. "

This morning I woke up barely able to breathe. I have been stuffier than usual lately, as I have been dedicating my personal time in the morning to more creative endeavors than neti potting. Like so many things that bring me true pleasure in life, Neti Potting is more fruitful as a daily practice. So this morning diverted from my routine by impassable sinuses, I went straight to the mini-day spa otherwise known as my bathroom, poured 1/8th of a teaspoon of sea salt into the Neti Pot and summoned the hottest water my faucet produces. I mixed it up, stuck the spout of my beautiful hand-fired Neti Pot up each nostril and watched the water, snot and mucus pour out of the opposite nostril and voila. With in minutes I could breathe through both nostrils.

The first breathes after Jala Neti are unlike any other breathing I do throughout the day. They are yoga breathes, deep, cleansing, cathartic inhalings of spirit. Inspiration literally translates as the breathing in of spirit. With out full, deep breathes, exactly how creative or productive can I be in the morning?
The first time I did a neti pot I remember thinking, "Oh, now I know the exact location of my sinuses.” As the Neti Pot's elixer fills them I picture my face turning into an anatomy chart with my nasal cavities highlighted by the hot salty solution. The next few minutes are spent in homage to Cameron Diaz's elevator scene in My Best Friend's Wedding where she impersonates the symphonic range of her fiancĂ©’s snoring capabilities with various gargling, snotting, and snorting. In other words, Neti Potting is best done in private. So that the snot, saliva, and salt water that are thrust about in the name of clear nasal passages don’t frighten any small children or potential life long mates. In other words it is a discombobulated unattractive process but it lets me breathe easier than I ever have before.

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