What’s On Your Mind? Part 7:
Smell, The Breath & The Mind
On the Scent – Smell
Why do smells connect us to memory? What does it mean to be on a scent? How can our awareness of our sense of smell support our ability to stay in balance and healing? Ever watch a dog on a walk follow their nose, and then eliminate while smelling? It is one of the most direct illustrations of this sensory motor loop I have witnessed outside of myself.
Sense Organs & Organs of Action aka Sensory-Motor Loop
As you open up inquiry with this sensory motor loop of the Nose and the Elimination Organs, try sensing and feeling the connection to your sense of smell and ability to let go and release within your body and in your life. What information do we process and receive through our nose and our eliminatory organs?
Sense of Smell:
- Input sense organ – nose (smell)
- Output organ of action in the world – organs of elimination (remove toxins from the body, which keeps the mind clear, by eliminating the toxins through breath, sweat, urine, feces).
What we smell/breathe/how we breathe, all affects how we move energy throughout our body, and eliminate toxins or waste that can build up. If not released it affects our body’s ability to stay clear and free of dis-ease, which affects the mind. What we release affects how we breathe/smell, etc. and how well we process our toxins out of our system daily, which also affects the mind.
Daily routines also known as Dinacharya in Ayurveda, can keep the senses clear, and the mind and breath be well supported. Choose one you wish to try that you feel will give you the support you need for clarity of smell, and ability to let go and eliminate toxins well.
Daily Routine Invitations:
Simple Daily Routines (Dinacharya) to support the sensory organ of the Nose/ Smell (sense organs are the way our mind receives information from the world).
Nose (smelling) –
- Smell flowers and herbs while on a walk or in your backyard.
- Neti Wash/Naysa (nose) Oil
- Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breath), a cleansing breath practice where you inhale left, exhale right; inhale right, exhale left which makes one round.
- Stimulate the sense of smell by cooking and smelling all six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent.
Simple Daily Routines to nourish our motor organ of Excretory Organs/Elimination (motor organs are the way we act/impress upon the world).
Excretory Organs (elimination) –
- Keep your bathroom clean and a pleasant place to eliminate in.
- Create a regular time in the morning to eliminate without being rushed, in order to train your body to process food and eliminate waste.
- Notice how what you eat affects your digestion and ability to eliminate with regularity. Eating foods that support your constitution and elimination with regularity.
Invitations for Self Study:
Simple Daily Practices to Nourish the Sensory Motor Loop with the Breath & Mind –
Notice your Breath and Mind –
- What happens to your body, mind and emotions when you primarily breathe through your nose instead of the mouth.
- Pay attention to the inhalation of the cool air at the upper lip/nostril floor. Observe the warm air leaving the nostril floor and upper lip on the exhale.
- Zoom in with your observation and pay attention to which nostril is active, the right or the left? Pay attention to how the right nostril is activating, the left nostril is calming.
For your Mind –
- Notice what happens with the mind and your senses when you are breathing through each nostril. Notice what happens when you are breathing through both nostrils to your system. Our breath moves through these channels in a natural cycle.
- Notice what smells clarify the mind, and what causes the mind to be adverse, distracted, stupefied.
- What happens to your pattern of elimination if you are perpetually congested in the sinuses? What happens when your breath is flowing and easy when you eliminate with regularity? How does this affect your state of mind?
Get a feel for how the element of earth supports your ability to smell and create earth through your elimination organs allowing your system to stay in better balance and harmony internally and externally.
Journal your observations and findings as you open this magnificent sensory motor loop of the Nose and the Elimination Organs — that inspire smell and the release of toxins.
Elizabeth Sullivan is an expert instructor, certified yoga therapist, and practitioner in Yoga, Energy Work and Ayurveda. She supports the body to optimally function using neuromuscular reeducation and working with energy patterns. By integrating and aligning body, mind and spirit energy, she creates relaxation, increased energy flow, optimized sleep and a clear mind for her clients. Her work helps people hold higher consciousness to live their optimal lives. Elizabeth offers private lessons, group classes and workshops, and online programs for health practitioners, and also writes for health publications. She holds advanced degrees in Dev. Psychology, Education and Writing, along with certifications in each instructional area. To learn more, visit elizabetheilerssullivan.com.
Elizabeth Sullivan, MFA, MA, BA, Certified Yoga Therapy, Energy Medicine
Founding member, Community for Higher Consciousness
See Elizabeth’s bio and class schedule.
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