Some have the impression that incense is a ‘drowsy state’ and gives spiritual enlightenment. But that is not the purpose of incense at all. It effectively contributes to your yoga class and daily life. How to use incense effectively? In this blog all the ins and outs.
What is incense?
The original meaning of the word incense is “incendere” which means “to burn” in Latin.
Where does incense come from?
Incense is made in India, Nepal, China, Japan and Tibet in particular and was originally an incense sacrifice intended to favor gods. It has been used since 1700 BC. In addition to an incense offering, it also had a very practical purpose in earlier times; the expulsion of rotting air. The animals that were sacrificed spread an odor that got masked with incense.
From 1960, incense came to Europe. In that period the interest in Eastern cultures and religion grew. Countries like China, India, Japan and Tibet use a lot of incense. In these countries incense is as common as flowers or the use of soap or perfume in the Western world. With the interest in these cultures also the import and use of oriental incense grew in the Western world.
What’s in incense?
Incense is one of the few substances that has all five elements in it.
- Earth (the ingredients used);
- Air (diffusion of the smell);
- Fire (is needed to burn incense);
- Water (one of the ingredients to make it) and;
- Ether (it has an ethereal action).
What is the effect of incense?
The smell of incense is perceived through your nose and stimulates your nerves. The nerves send a signal to the brain and decide whether a smell is pleasant or not. Smelling ensures that you pay attention. It improves concentration and relaxation. That is why incense is used during a yoga class. For example with the yoga posture Savasana. The use of incense can help doing this pose with more ease. The most used scents for incense are cedar, musk, white lotus and the scent of autumn leaves.