Why Yogis Snort Oil (Nasya)
I was 26 years old… raised on the S.A.D. diet. I was a first year student on the way to becoming an Ayurvedic Practitioner. I had horrible seasonal allergies and recurrent migraines.
I elected to do Pancha Karma training as part of my Ayurvedic training. Pancha Karma is the Vedic system of detox and disease extraction. In the PK training, I ended up on a massage table snorting multiple doses of herbal oil up my nostrils. I blew thick weird snot for a solid 3 weeks. It was different than allergies – it was a huge release. Where was all of this snot coming from? Moments occur in a yogi’s life when the power of the practice is confounding. Such was the case with me and nasya, or oil snorting.
Find out about why yogis snort oil.. and what is hidden in your sinus cavities in this jam-packed free one hour interview with the designer of designer nasya oils, Dr Mary Jo Cravatta. Learn how to open your sinuses passages to unlock stuck patterns in your mental and emotional body.
She began her study of Ayurveda in 1979 … when I was 6. Mary Jo is a Chiropractor and a renowned master of Pulse Diagnosis, or Nadi Vigyan – knowledge of the subtle energies. Having taken over 40,000 pulse readings, she is highly skilled in this delicate art. At Shaktiveda she develops nasya oils for yogis trying to wake up and regular people trying to have a health breakthrough.
Nasya- Why do Yogis Snort Oil?
Snorting oil, or nasya therapy arose out of intimate relationships with plants. Specific plants open channels, heat channels, cool channels, lubricate channels or dry channels out. Channels in Ayurveda are srotas. In Yoga channels are nadis. When your channels are clogged or blocked, all of your experience moves through that filter of being clogged or blocked. You get the picture.
The daily practice of lubricating your nostrils and feeding your brain specific plant essences is a typical regimen for yogis, who rely on their pranic passages more than the typical person.
Nasya can also work for commoners who want to:
- Improve how your brain functions
- Avoid or cure allergies
- Prevent Sinus problems
- Drop stuck emotional patterns
- Balance your hormones
What is Stuck in Your Head
When deep mucus is stuck in your sinuses you won’t even feel congested. When you do nasya, this isolated stored ama gets loosened up. When it gets loosened up it can go on the move. When it moves out the biochemistry of your head changes.
In Ayurveda the release of this impacted ama creates a shift in Tarpaka Kapha -which is the kapha in your head. Tarpaka kapha is in charge of your beliefs and memories. When you release the gunk in your head – your thinking changes. Your perspective changes. You get opened up to a bigger picture for the context of yourself.
How to do a Nasya at Home
First off – get some nasya oil.
- Do a steam inhalation with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Cover your eyes.
- Drink ginger tea to increase circulation.
- Use Mary Jo’s Breathe Clear Nasya Oil
An even simpler version that I do twice a day is this: put your nasya oil next to your bed. Before sleep and upon arising, drop a few drops of nasya oil into your nostrils. Most people need to guide the end of the eyedropper into their nostril. If you touch your nostril your nostril at all… you need to wipe it off your eye dropper with a tissue so that you don’t want to introduce skin cells into the oil which will make it go rancid.
Once the oil is in…. sniff it in deeper! You can pull your air cavities apart and get more oil with these two techniques:
- Place your thumb under your nose. Push upward moderately. Inhale. I call this the Miss Piggy technique.
- Place your index fingers above your nose, under your eyes. Apply moderate pressure and pull outward. Inhale.
If you’re new to doing nasya, and you notice you start to expel thick mucus or little chunks of mucus, this is totally normal. You’re on the right track to a clear mind and open pranic channels. Welcome home.
Nasya and Unsticking Emotions
According to Dr. Cravatta, unprocessed emotions are behind most hormonal issues. Unprocessed emotions are behind stress and become an obstacle that requires a plan on the path to better health.
In Ayurveda, unprocessed emotions occur when we can’t process an emotion at the time they arise. Patterns get generated and stored in the layer of the etheric body. When we’re young we can’t process entirely because we don’t have the intellectual capacity to think these through. These patterns can get stored in the 3rd and 4th layers of our energy bodies (manomayakosha and vijnanamayakosha). From there.. they influence our mind and thinking, our body and imbalances, and our perspective or how we see the world. This is huge.
Negative or unaware patterns cloud everything that happens inside of the person. Dr. Mary Jo says, ”Our energetic balance or imbalance underlies everything in our life. It’s the basis of everything that goes on inside of us, physical, mental, emotional.” The wide-eyed purity we see in babies and young children gets cloaked and covered by patterning. The process of loosening these patterns is the process of yoga and Ayurveda. Getting right into the stored memories through nasya is a powerful gateway. Dr. Mary Jo has a specific nasya for loosening the patterns: Neuro Pattern Release Nasya. I use it nightly before sleep.
My Favorite Nasya Oils
When you infuse the oil with the herbs- the oil takes on the qualities of those herbs. Herbs are like people- they are all different. Mary Jo starts her formulas with Vacha (Calamus Root) – which opens the channels for the other herbs to enter. She uses Tulsi to release the cellular memory of tarpaka kapha and reveal aspects of ourself that otherwise remain hidden or stuck.
Dr. Mary Jo uses nasya oil every morning – before doing practices – so that you can breathe more clearly – very gentle – not overheating. It’s a balance of the herbs inside the oil – not over powering at all! Dr. Mary Jo uses Depth of Being nasya before meditation and pranayama. Here are some of my favorites:
Neuro Pattern Release – works on pre-thinking level to clear old patterns – so that we are living a life full of joy and happiness, works on a subtle level and brings concrete results. Use it everyday! Twice a day… as weeks go by – they recognize they are thinking and differently, and very gentle. Use it before bed! As we sleep we result a lot of unprocessed sleep in our dreams.
Shanti Luna: Balances hormones of menstruating women with issues with PMS, irregular cycles, bloating, cramping etc. You can use this in your nose or transdermally – place a 1/2 of a dropper onto inner wrists, breasts, abdomen, or inner thighs to bring balance to your cycle. Post-menstruating women should try Luna Rejuv instead.
Depth of Being Nasya:Applying several drops in each nostril in the morning or afternoon will increase focus, clarity, energy level, and improve expansion of awareness. It is great applied before meditation or yoga. It may also be used as a marma oil on Talahridaya (Palm) and Ajna Chakra (Forehead).
Nasya-Why Yogis Snort Oil
The Rishis originally cognized how to take ourselves into this journey of an awake, optimized life inside a healthy open body. The path of Yoga and Ayurveda have always been to grow in enlightenment and interconnectivity, although perspectives on that have changed with human development. The rishis were arguably fixated on how can we increase the flow of consciousness so that the person can grow and evolve.
Snorting oil is a gateway into your brain. The herbs can open the channels. The oil creates lubrication for gunk and goo to flow out… and consciousness to flow in. The lubrication also moisturizers which optimizes the flow of prana. Of all the practices I do – this is by far the easiest and least time consuming for the end result. Hallelujah.