The History of Incense and Yoga
Yoga is a spiritual practice with its roots in Indian religion and spirituality. In Hinduism, incense was originally created as an offering to the divine and to create the space and mood conducive to spiritual practice. Burning incense while doing Yoga helps quiet the mind and focus awareness into the body.
Using incense for yoga can help you find that state of flow and focus. Different scents can help for different styles of yoga. For example calming scents like Nag Champa and Sandalwood are ideal for restorative yoga that focuses on relaxation and slow movement. Scents like Cinnamon and jasmine may be more suited to the energetic yogic styles such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga.
How to Burn Incense for Yoga
You should never burn incense while actually doing yoga! Incense in most forms of yoga is used to provide a subtle scent in the air to aid the practice. You do not want excess smoke in your yoga studio or room as the deep breathing in yoga will mean you inhale too much smoke. It’s recommended to burn your incense at least 10 minutes before starting your practice as this allows the sent to linger without the risk of inhaling smoke during the yoga session. It is also recommended to burn incense in a well-ventilated or large room to prevent too much smoke building up.
Incense and Ritual
The ritual of lighting and burning incense can get the mind ready for meditation and yoga. Sometimes if you jump straight into your yoga practice, it can take a while to get into the ideal mindset. However, creating a ritual of scenting the room beforehand and then starting the practice helps ease the mind into the right state for yoga. In addition, whichever incense fragrance you’ve chosen, over time will become associated with deep yoga practice and enhance it even further.