The nose knows

I’ve become increasingly aware during my yoga practice that I become much more sensitive to smells and odors. At first, I thought it was because my mat was starting to spoil on me after too much sweat and not enough hygiene. Despite airing the mat after every class and whipping it down with scented towelettes, I could still detect a kind of gym smell during practice (not outside of class, however, which had me bewildered). Last week, I thoroughly washed the mat, and I still noticed body odors, the incense or a whiff of perfume. I guess when my head is hanging in Downward-Facing Dog, my sense of smell becomes more acute.

On the other hand, my eye sight is demoted to a secondary sense, in part because I don’t wear my glasses, but also because I zone out the rest of the room and concentrate on a drishti (a focus point during meditation or yoga practice). I wonder if there is any relationship to this shift in sensitivity.