It you have been following the previous lessons then this practice will require little introduction – it has been a constant theme. All the four stages are directly concerned with balancing ida and pingala. It is the most direct approach, for the flow in the nostrils is controlled by physical manipulation of the nostrils. W e don’t intend to explain the practice here, as this has already been done extensively. However, you may have forgotten much about the practice, therefore, the following is a brief reference guide to refresh your memory:
Stage l and Stage 2: These first two stages should be practised by beginners. They are excellent methods of bringing about balance in ida and pingala.
Stage 3 and Stage 4: The third and fourth stages are for more advanced practitioners and should not be done without first of all perfecting the first two stages.
Throughout this course we have emphasized that nadi shodhana pranayama is the ideal technique to practise before meditative practice. The reason is simple: it directly brings ida and pingala into balance.
Technique 3: Neti
The practices of jala neti and sutra neti are both very useful for balancing the breath flows in the two nostrils. If you find that your nose is very blocked, then the best way to remove and to bring a degree of balance into the breath flows is to do either jala neti or sutra neti, or preferably both, one after the other. Jala neti will remove most of the gross mucus, while sutra neti will stimulate nerves within the nostrils to induce ida-pingala balance.
We suggest you try these two practices before you start your daily practice program, preferably before commencing pranayama practice, and note any improvement.