Stick incense can be a wonderful addition to your spiritual practice or daily life. It’s also a natural deodorizer, which is a great alternative to plug-in air fresheners and can help keep your yoga studio or home smelling fresh.
Typically, stick incense is made from fragrant gums and resins, wood powders, herbs and spices. They are dipped in scented oils to produce the scent.
1. Light the Stick
Burning incense can be a relaxing and meditative ritual. It is important to keep in mind that burning incense emits smoke (fumes) containing particulate matter, gas products and volatile organic compounds. This is why it is important to open a few windows when burning incense and always burn them in a well ventilated room.
Most stick incense sticks are made by applying a scented mixture to the tip of a bamboo stick. To light the incense, use a lighter or match to heat up the tip until it glows a soft orange. Then blow or waft the tip to release a tendril of fragrant smoke.
Incense cones and molds are similar but they must be placed in a heat resistant incense holder that will catch the falling ash. You can use a ceramic cup or bowl, metal bowl filled with sand or rice or a shaped censer (e.g., elephants, flowers, or leaves). You can also make your own shaped censer out of clay or stone and shape it into the desired shape.
2. Place the Stick in the Censer
Incense sticks can be used to relax, meditate or simply smell nice. They are also often used for religious and spiritual purposes. They are also great for parties or special occasions to create an elegant and fragrant atmosphere.
Coil incense is usually formed into a spiral and needs to be placed in a special burner that has a flat bowl that is bigger than the coil itself so there is room for oxygen. You will need to light the outside end with a lighter or match and then gently blow out the flame leaving the smoldering ember.
The best option for burning all types of incense is a censer. These are decorative bowls that you can fill with ash or some other non-flammable material to hold the incense stick while it burns. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit your decor. They are perfect for preventing accidents by keeping the incense away from any flammable materials and making it easier to blow out the flame without touching the incense.
3. Let the Stick Burn
The aroma from an incense stick can elevate your mood, reduce stress levels, and create a calming atmosphere. It is used in many cultures to promote relaxation, spiritual cleansing and serenity.
You can purchase a special incense holder, or make one yourself. You just need a safe, fire-proof container that can hold your incense stick or cone. A censer works well, or you could use a small bowl filled with sand, salt, rice, or other non-flammable material.
After lighting the end of your incense stick, wait for a few seconds until the tip glows red and a tendril of smoke appears. Gently blow or fan out the flame to extinguish the stick, and then place it in a designated incense holder. You can also use an incense boat, or a small piece of wood that holds the sticks upright and catch any falling ash.
4. Extinguish the Stick
Inhaling smoke from burning incense can cause respiratory problems. It is also a fire hazard to leave burning incense unattended. If a stick tips over while you are asleep, it could start a house fire. It is best to use incense for relaxation or meditation in a well-ventilated area.
If you want to meditate or relax with incense, choose a scent that resonates with you. For example, lavender and sage are often used for their calming qualities. Other popular choices include frankincense and cedar. Both of these scents are known to relieve anxiety and help you focus.
Remember to extinguish the stick when you are done. This will prevent the ash from falling on your floor or near any flammable items. For a quick and easy way to extinguish an incense stick, cone or mold, try placing it inside a glass or ceramic bowl. You can also make a clay censer and shape it into a holder for the incense.