Burning of incense dates back to ancient times in human history. Resources that extend up to the Incas indicate that incense was used in many ceremonies and healing rituals of that period.
People had a strong awareness of how to benefit from nature during the times when their connection with the earth was much stronger. Therefore, the use of incense has also found its place in various cultures, religions and ancient teachings. Unraveling the history of spiritual and healing traditions of this sacred practice reveals the importance of incense to promote mindfulness, peace, inner-awareness and a profound connection with the universe.
Unraveling the history of spiritual and healing traditions of this sacred practice reveals the importance of incense to promote mindfulness, peace, inner-awareness and a profound connection with the universe.
The incense used by ancient civilizations in many sessions and ceremonies has a very powerful and rapid purification feature on our bodies and living spaces. With their unique scents, they create an atmosphere that evokes nature and gives peace of mind.
Here are 10 ways to incorporate this fragrant serenity into your life!
1. Deepen concentration while meditating
As much as our physical body, we need to remember that our mind and energy needs to rest and purify. That’s why daily routines that we can implement in our lives are crucial. In this sense, we should invite meditation, breathing exercises, yoga at some point in our lives.
In all these moments, incense purifies the energy of our practice area and creates a perfect atmosphere for us.
You can choose fragrances that help improve concentration and focus, like mint, citrus, and olive.
Carefully burn dried olive branches in a terracotta incense pot. Before your studies, it will be a great experience to circulate the smoke both around your body and in your work area and keep it involved during our practice.
Your purified energy and high vibration aura will help you focus deeper, stronger your connection with your heart and your nervous system more ready during the day.
2. 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. In Cypriot culture, burning a dry olive branch is a ritual of purification, clearing negative energy.
3. To connect to your memories
Our sense of smell is the most direct of the five senses. The senses send information to the brain with a very complex nervous system process. While sight, hearing and touch must first come to the cerebral cortex of the brain and be processed there, unlike other senses, the smell comes directly on the limbic system in the brain where the emotions are processed and evaluated. Our memory and sense of smell are intertwined with each other.
Therefore, volatile compounds taken by smell have many effects on our nervous system. Some fragrances take us to different places in our memories, while others can change our mood by creating serious changes in our body; It can relax, bring peace, or motivate.
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 great things for connecting to love.
5. To help you relax and unwind
Studies have shown that certain scents, particularly scents like Iavender, bergamot, clary sage, and sandalwood, can have a calming effect on our nervous systems. Use lavender or sandalwood to evoke a state of meditation and peace.
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 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.
8. To set a timer
Stick incense typically takes 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 than a clock or phone.
9. To practice mindfulness
Stimulating the senses is a great way to engage in the present moment.
It promotes a strong sense of mindfulness that allows us to be more aware of ourselves and appreciative of everything around us.
Simply find a scent you enjoy and tune into the smell fully.
10. To get grounded
Although we are physically away from nature in a fast life network between city life and office – home, our inner world is actually one with nature. And these busy days increase the urge to return to the self, to run to mother earth even more.
To feel the lush green grass under your feet, to breathe the wind that touches your hair through the leaves, to watch the sunset in the tiny waves that hug your ankles.
We usually wait for the weekend to be one with nature, return to our essence and refresh our energy. But for those who spend most of the day at a desk, grounding the body is very important.
The 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.
Things to remember while using incense
Of course, anytime you’re using incense, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are some small reminders;
- Open a window during or after burning.
- Burn one stick at a time. Too much smoke can be detrimental to your lungs, especially if you have asthma or any other lung condition.
- Don’t use incense with synthetic or artificial properties
- Go for all-natural incense that were sustainably cultivated.