Utilizing Nasya – by Chahna Gupta
Nasya is an Ayurvedic therapy that involves the administration of medicated oils, herbal powders, or other herbal preparations into the nostrils. Our centuries old practice has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including sinusitis, allergies, and headaches.
When we talk about Ayurveda, we talk about the doshas. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha energies are always present. The dosha that is quick to get out of balance as well as push the others out of balance is Vata. When Vata is out of balance, dryness, variability, and irregularity is present. When we feel off, we need Pitta and Kapha qualities to balance our Vata. Oil, when warmed, balances to coldness of Vata. Oil itself being lubricating, counteracts the dryness. Oil is grounding. Vata can also bring mental instability such as inability to focus and moments of anxiety. Nasya helps to improve mental clarity and concentration. The medicated oils used in nasya have a calming effect on the mind, reducing stress and anxiety. It also helps to improve memory and concentration.
Nasya is also an excellent therapy for individuals suffering from migraines or headaches. The medicated oils and herbal powders used in nasya help to reduce inflammation and pain in the head and neck, reducing the frequency and severity of headaches.
If you ever wake up in the morning and feel stuffy and blocked up, nasya could help to clear and lubricate your nasal passages. You can apply unrefined sesame oil using a dropper by lying on your back and tipping your head back. This position can help the oil freely enter the nostrils and truly moisturize the entire cavity. Nasya can help make it easier to breathe and clear out your congestion.
Although sesame oil is a great basic oil to use, if you are interested in incorporating nasya into your daily routine, it is recommended that you consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner (like me!) to determine the best type of oil or herbal preparation for your specific needs. With regular practice, nasya can be an effective way to promote overall health and well-being!
About the Author
Chahna Tailor Gupta, an Ayurvedic Practitioner and certified yoga teacher, has a background in occupational therapy and health science with a focus in public health. Chahna was yoga trained in Rishikesh, India and had ayurvedic clinicals in Kannur, Kerala. Chahna provides yoga, pranayama, meditation, 200-hr yoga teacher training, and ayurvedic health counseling services through her company Namaskar To You. Chahna is a volunteer for Ekal Vidyalaya, American Association of Ayurvedic Professionals (AAAP), and Ayurveda Association of Florida (AAF). She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Ayurvedic Medicine while continuing her self-studies in yoga.