Incense are plant materials that are burned to release their fragrant aromas. Incense has been around for centuries, and it still has a place in many spiritual and religious rituals in cultures around the world.
Burning incense has a symbolic meaning that helps you focus your attention on the purpose of a ritual or magical working.
Incense can prove incredibly beneficial to one’s yoga or meditation practice, as well as a soothing ritual to feel at home and comforted on any day.
12 reasons to use incense:
1. To clear negative energy.
Anytime you're going to start a project, perform a ritual, or even do some yoga, burning incense beforehand can set the tone. "Burning sage or copal can be a ritual of purification, clearing out negative energy,"
2. To deepen concentration while meditating.
There are a number of scents believed to help improve concentration and focus, like peppermint and lemon. Frankincense is great for meditation.
3. To connect to your memories.
Have a smell that makes you feel particularly sentimental or thoughtful? Burn that incense for a trip back in time. Of all our senses, our sense of smell is the only one to go directly to the brain.
4. To open your heart center.
If you feel like your heart chakra is a little closed off, certain smells can do the trick to help you open up. Jasmine and rose are two that are great for connecting to love.
5. To help you relax and unwind.
6. To incorporate the fire element into your rituals.
In many traditions like ayurveda (India's ancient system of medicine) and traditional Chinese medicine, the natural elements need to be balanced before true healing can begin. Using incense as a source of fire alongside the other elements (water, earth, air, and space) during things like meditation can deepen and balance your practice.
7. To connect to your sense of spirituality or religion.
It's become pretty standard to see incense in religious and spiritual settings all over the world, from Catholic churches to Native American ceremonies. Many indigenous cultures believe that burning incense sends our prayers directly up to Spirit.
8. To start a new routine.
If you're the kind of person who thrives on a sense of routine, lighting incense as you wind down for bed in the evening or as you get ready in the morning can help start or end your day on the right note.
9. To set a timer.
Stick incense typically take about 30 minutes to an hour to burn down completely. Light them as you start working, meditating, or journaling and continue until they burn out. Fragrance is a much more gentle timekeeper that a clock or phone.
10. To practice mindfulness.
Stimulating the senses is a great way to engage in the present moment. Simply find a scent you enjoy and tune into the smell fully.
11. To boost your sex drive.
Yep, certain scents, like rose or jasmine, have a reputation for being natural aphrodisiacs. Try those out in your incense burner the next time you want to get in the mood.
12. To get grounded.
And lastly, cedar and vetiver are excellent scents for grounding. Feeling overwhelmed or anxious? Light either of those scents and take some deep breaths for a greater sense of calm in the moment.