Incense, those aroma giving sticks and cones that we light during our yoga or meditation practice actually have health benefits beyond just the pleasant smell.
Scents, aromas, fragrances can be used to trigger specific responses. For instance; to encourage relaxation, aid sleep, promote concentration, stimulate creativity, increase motivation and heighten sexual desire.
There are a number of benefits that come with burning incense sticks:
Boost focus and concentration.
Stimulate creativity: Incense boosts creativity and its botanical aroma calms the mind & invites peace so the imagination can run wild and free without any anxieties stressing out your brain.
Purifying the environment: Modern science reveals that the smoke of incense is filled with potent fungicidal, insecticidal and antibacterial powers, which keeps your environment free of pollutants.
Helps with depression and anxiety: Some research suggests that burning incense, particularly frankincense, which is obtained from the Boswellia plant, stimulates the less understood ionic pathways within the brain, which aid in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Eliminate stress: The aroma of incense smoke is capable of reducing heart rates, and soothing the nerve pathways within the brain to make you feel completely relaxed and at peace.
Assisting with sleep: Incense is incredibly beneficial for inducing drowsiness, and it is widely considered an ancient treatment for dealing with insomnia and sleep disorders. Be careful when lighting intense - don’t leave it unattended!
So there you have it - that beautiful aroma that wafts around you when you are in downward dog is also benefiting you in numerous ways beyond just the spiritual.