Take a moment and imagine... you are walking into your yoga studio and you are greeted by such a sweet smell that immediately you relax and feel at ease. All the worries from your day have begun to slip away even before you've laid down your yoga mat.
This is the power of scent.
Incense has long been burned for various reasons across the centuries throughout various cultures. You can find them burning in temples from Thailand to India. Different types of woods are burned in South America as well for their cleansing properties and ritual uses.
Have you ever given what you smell a second thought? Chances are, you have an immediate response. You smell something being cooked- it makes you feel hungry.
The same goes for incense.
This is why the power of smell is such a useful tool- on and off the yoga mat! Using incense during your yoga classes as a teacher or practitioner will have a profound impact on you or your students. Check out our collection of incense here.
The act of lighting incense is also like a ritual. Often performed before a class or practice session, it sets the tone and signifies the beginning of something. The smoke itself can also represent an energetic cleansing of the space, clearing away the old to make way for the new.
Additionally, certain scents have different properties. Jasmine, lavender, or ylang-ylang are calming and soothing scents, while eucalyptus or citrus can be energizing. What is the mood you wish to create or cultivate? You can do this through the simple act of smell! If you're unsure, perhaps take a look at what time of day it is or what type of practice it will be (ask yourself if it's a vigorous flow or a restorative session).
The smoke of incense holds the power to transform. In a very simple sense, it will transform the space you practice yoga in. And let's face it- sometimes, we need to cover up unpleasant smells.
Bring yourself back to the beginning: imagine if you walked into any old yoga studio with white walls. The incense burning may make all the difference in how you feel from the very start. Chances are, without incense, you may feel less calm and less excited about the class. It is, after all, just a room with white walls.
But, with incense, all of that changes. It is now infused with meaning and purpose- your dedication to the spirit of yoga!
Try this exercise at home:
Every night for one week write down something you are grateful for. Then, light your favorite incense and meditate on what you wrote while the incense burns. Let the scent surround you, filling you with the essence of your gratitude.
Don't forget to share with your friends this holiday season! Check out our selection of incense and beautiful incense holders here to fill your home and yoga studio with more of the spirit of yoga and that which you are dedicated to in this world.