A Beginner’s Guide to Herbs & Smudging.

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

"Smudging generally refers to the practice of burning herbal material. It can be done for practical reasons or for spiritual or ceremonial purposes. "

It is an ancient ritual originating from Native American cultures, involving the practice of burning bundles of different herbs, mainly sage, during sacred religious and spiritual ceremonies. Indigenous peoples believe the smoke from specific herbs restores the energetic and spiritual balance. They use it for praying and healing ceremonies as well as to purify spaces, bodies, and objects, restore mental clarity, and bring vision.

In non-indigenous societies smudging is not rooted in religious ceremony but has become an extension of the wellness movement; a way of people reconnecting with themselves by taking a pause from the stresses of modern life.

According to yoga philosophy, our whole world is made of vibrations. You and me, the air, the sky, our minds, and everything visible and invisible continuously vibrate. Ancient yogis believed that out-of-rhythm vibrations in the body are the main culprits for diseases. They clog your energy centers chakras and prevent the vital energy prana from flowing smoothly and your mind and body from functioning in harmony.

Smoke bathing and yoga is a perfect marriage. The lingering fragrance from burning herbs amplifies the intention set for yoga practice and aids with the mood. It also helps clear space from stagnant energy so that you could fill it with a good one by practicing yoga.

When burning herbs can help with the Prana?

  • Moving into a new house

  • After you or someone in your house has been sick

  • After a traumatizing event

  • After having visitors (especially if that wasn't a pleasant encounter)

  • Before a yoga practice, meditation, journaling session

  • When feeling ill at ease at your own home.

Or anytime you feel like.

How to Choose Your Smudge?

Different plants carry various properties and benefits. So if you hold a specific intention for your smudging ritual, you should select an herb that resonates with said intention. If you are drawn to a specific smudge, trust that intuitive calling. There is an underlying reason and purpose. Here are come common options.

  • Sage is used in many different ways, it helps the people prepare for ceremonies and teachings. Because it is more medicinal and stronger than Sweet grass, it tends to be used more often in ceremonies, it also has physical healing properties, you can boil sage and drink it as a tea. White Sage is used for releasing what is troubling the mind and for removing negative energy. It is also used for cleansing homes and sacred items. A close relative of white sage, Blue Sage is also good for healing and cleansing rituals. Its soothing, relaxing smell can be used to aid meditation, or burned simply for enjoyment. It’s not as pungent as White Sage, and is more agreeable to some folks who find the strong, bracing scent of White Sage overpowering.

  • Sweetgrass purifies your space and energy, this very special herb's sweet vanilla-like scent is the breath of the Earth mother, bringing the blessing of Mother Earth's love. Sweetgrass is burned to invoke the Divine Feminine. The sacredness of the sweetgrass herb then sustains the smudging process. Use a smudging feather if you need to douse the flame or promote more smoke.

  • Cedar is often used to cleanse a home or apartment when first moving in, inviting unwanted spirits to leave and protec