The best incense sticks for meditation and yoga

When life gives you incense, you burn it…

Incense Sticks

by Piper Huxley |

Incense sticks are a great way to add a soothing touch to your home. Just like candles, incense sticks can be used to freshen up the aroma of indoor areas – and sometimes for spiritual purposes, too. It’s no secret that fragrances are powerful, evoking many emotions, thoughts and feelings. So magical, some aromas can transport us somewhere far away. At Spirit & Destiny, we’ve rounded up the best incense sticks for you to burn in your home.

How do I light incense sticks?

Incense sticks should always be burned in a heat-resistant fireproof holder or dish. You should never leave a burning incense stick unattended or in sight or around children due to fire risk. The angle at which you burn your incense will determine the burn time.

To light incense safely, you must:

1. Light the end (of the thicker part) of the incense stick.

2. Allow the flame to burn for a few seconds - until glowing embers form.

3. Then, extinguish the flame by gently blowing.

4. Your incense stick should be burning now. So, place it in an incense holder.

The best incense sticks for your home – UK 2022

First on the list are these 12-stick packs from One Aromatics. They're traditional, Indian fragrance sticks, which are handmade and free from any synthetics or animal substances. Plus, the scents originate from blends of natural and essential oils from flowers, plants or natural wood resins. Each stick will burn for around 45 minutes.

Pack Size: 12

Fragrances: Ambrosia, cedarwood, frankincense, jasmine, lavender, lemongrass, lotus, musk, opium, orange, patchouli, rose, sandalwood, spring blossom

Pros: Vegan, good range

Cons: No blends

Tried & Tested by Spirit & Destiny writer, Piper Huxley: "I've tried quite a few incense sticks in my time - and these, by far, are my favourite. Not only are they cruelty-free and have such lovely, colourful packaging, but these incense sticks are immensely fragrant and don't smell like something is burning - not as much as others I've tried, anyway. With a wide range of flavours, you can't go wrong, either. I recommend Lavender, Rose, Vanilla and Opium."

Satya is hand-rolled in India - each pack contains 15g of Incense sticks, which is approximately ten incense sticks. There is a huge range of scents - from calming meditation aids to spicy warm or fresh cleansing aromas. We're impressed by this large range.

Pack Size: 15g - estimated around ten sticks

Fragrances: More than 50, ranging from lavender to romance to meditation.

Pros: Good range, blends

Cons: Small pack size

Review: "The incense stayed for hours, the smell was strong, and the service of delivery was amazing! I will definitely be buying more in the future."

Coming in packs of 20, these six blends are primed for ultimate relaxation. Why not incorporate one of these incense sticks into your spiritual practice? The burning time for these sticks ranges from 20 to 30 minutes. Whether you are entertaining, relaxing or just wanting to add a bit of style to your home, these Stamford Incense Sticks are sure to do the job. Plus, they're a fantastic price.

Pack Size: 20 sticks per pack

Fragrances: Six blends, which are Meditation, Sensuality, Energising, Stress Relief, Refreshing and Relaxing.

Pros: Perfect for aromatherapy

Cons: Not for everyone

Review: "Stamford is our preferred brand. Arrived today and you could smell the combined scents through the packaging. What you might at first perceive to be overbearing, once lit, the heat combines the scent oil in such a way that it 'calms' the scent and gives a better nose-feel. These sticks burn for a good time, time which will vary depending on angle and draughts, so should vary per person. Overall, for the price, very good value for money and we're very happy."

This mixed variety box will do great for a friend intrigued by the world of Wicca. Including Fairy's Mist - White Rose, Witches' Curse - Aloe Vera, Demon's Lust - Green Oriental, Angel's Touch - Sweet Floral, Dragon's Fire - Red Rose and Vampire's Kiss - Musk. Fill the air with these scents and let them bring you back to serenity.

Pack size: 15 sticks per pack

Fragrances: Six blends, which are Witches' Curse, Vampire's Blood, Angel's Touch, Demon's Lust, Fairy's Mist, Dragon's Fire

Pros: Witchy vibes, great reviews

Cons: Not Ideal if you're not into the occult

Review: "I'm very much into my darker side in my taste and like quirky and edgy, so that's what first very much appealed to me. So then, reading their product description and reviews, I decided to take the plunge and purchase them. I'm so glad I did! These arrived well-presented in their boxes. But most importantly, these actually smell soooooo nice!!👌 They give off a strong fragrance (not as in 'really strong' or overpoweringly so) which makes the whole room smell lovely! & their burnt remains, DONT, at all, give off any smell of ash👌 - so no more of having that horrid ashtray smell in my room!! I would highly recommend these, & i will most DEFFO be purchasing these again in the future!! These are of VERY good quality, & at a GREAT, very affordable price too‼️"

As a symbol of France and perfumers’ golden ingredient, the Iris flower once perfumed the household linens of the Parisian high society, with its delicate powdery floral notes. Esteban’s incense sticks are made by craftsmen using natural components: a natural vegetable binder, bamboo sticks, wood powder and sun-treated sticks.

Pack size: Not specified

Fragrances: Iris Cashmere, Esteban has a wide range of luxury incense

Pros: Great reviews, unusual blends

Cons: Pricey

Review: "This is a beautiful smelling incense. Smell lingers for hours and is not too smoky."

Juicy Jay's Thai Incense Sticks come in a variety of different scents. These Thai incense sticks have a rejuvenating and relaxing aroma that can help you build the perfect ambience at home. They come in boxes of 20 and make the perfect gift for friends who practice yoga, and meditation - or those who just take time to sit back and be mindful. We love the fruity and fun-sounding scents which will help you detox after a stressful day.

Pack size: 20 Sticks

Fragrances: Black N Blueberry, Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Frankincense, Grape, Patchouli, Raspberry, Strawberry, Apple Brown Betty, Black Magic, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Lychee, Mango Papaya, Midnight, Pear, Tropical Passion, Orange Overload

Pros: Fun, fruity scents

Cons: No reviews

Wild Berry has been hand-making incense since 1971, only using the finest ingredients. These are their 10cm long incense sticks with many scents to choose from. So, they're perfect for a small meditation or if you're heading off to slumber. With blends like Fairy's Dust, Dragon's Blood, you can't go wrong…

Pack size: 20 Sticks

Fragrances: Lots of frangrances, including: Awapuhi, Cherry, Coconut, Fairy Dust, Fresh Rain, Herbal Mist, Honeysuckle, India Moon, Isis, Lilac, Opium, Peace of Mind, Peach, Strawberry, Voodoo, Wizard

Pros: Great for smaller burn time, four for three offer

Cons: None

Tried & Tested by Commercial Content Writer, Piper Huxley: "I really loved this incense. If you're looking for something shorter for a quicker burn time, these Wild Berry sticks are perfect. They come in full-length sizes, too. But, I tried the Fairy Dust and it smelt gorgeous."

Want some Japanese incense? Nippon Kodo makes their Morning Star sticks ethically and with high-quality ingredients and fragrances. These Incense Sticks are clean burning with no bamboo core and are easy to use. With scents like Green Tea and Sage, why not cleanse your home and have some time to yourself whilst burning one of these?

Pack Size: 50

Fragrances: Amber, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Gardenia, Green Tea, Jasmine, Lavender, Lotus, Musk, Myrrh, Patchouli, Pine, Rose, Sage, Sandalwood, Vanilla

Pros: Larger pack, great value

Cons: None

Review: "I much prefer Morning Star incense to any other brand as the scent is delicate and doesn't cause headaches. These Frankincense sticks are fab and provide a Christmas perfume together with the Myrrh sticks. Quick delivery. Would use this supplier again."

If you're looking for a job lot of incense, look no further. HEM has a set of 24 different scents - which is of great value. The sticks made of natural materials such as wood flour, resin and herbs are immersed in pure essential oil to ensure that the fragrance intensity of each incense stick is as strong as possible. Ethically sourced and made in India, these are the real deal.

Pack size: 20 sticks per pack, set of 24

Fragrances: Pack of 24 includes Rose, Cedar, Coconut, Rainforest, Blueberry

Pros: Great value

Cons: Some are Smokey

Review: "Perfect for dispelling cooking odours or to replace air fresheners. The variety of scents is excellent and I was pleasantly surprised with the burn time. I like to move the burner between rooms and the 25-30 minute burn time allows for that. this purchase will last for ages but would definitely buy again."

FAQs

What are the benefits of burning incense?

Relaxation

Need to chill out a little? The answer may be in lighting some incense. Pair this perfectly with a cuppa, a good book, and some lo-fi tunes. Take some time, leave everything else behind and focus on yourself. Try cedarwood, frankincense and sandalwood.

Reduce stress and anxiety

OK, so relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety are cut from the same cloth. But, taking active steps to calm yourself and leave your worries away may be helped by lighting some incense. Here, you’ll be able to distance yourself from the insanity of modern life and reflect on the day. We recommend sandalwood, lavender and rosemary. Peace, at last. On the other hand, rose and aloeswood are said to help out mood and even raise serotonin levels.

Spirituality

Are you tapping into your spirituality? Burning incense has been utilised for a long time in religion and spiritual practice, including Hinduism and Buddhism. So, incense will very likely aid, enhance and enrich your practice, whether it’s meditation, rituals or yoga. It’s your doorway to your spiritual journey. Step right through with frankincense, sandalwood or myrrh.

Meditation

As said previously, incense has been common practice for thousands of years. As for meditation, incense intends to deepen and uplift your practice by heightening your senses. Why not spend your precious meditation time with a fragrance filling your senses? Sandalwoods and lotus are common for meditation, but choose what suits you best.

Yoga

With yoga, your mind needs to be focused and harmonious with your psyche. Without creating the right atmosphere, your session can fall flat. When you’re down on your yoga mat, you’re going to want something influential – but not too distracting. Aloeswood can enhance focus. On the other hand, paolo santo can be burned during yoga practice to dispel any negative energy.

Sleep

As you may know, sleep is essential - not getting enough rest can throw us off balance, affecting our wellbeing, mood and motivation. So, if you’ve tried a few remedies with little success, you could give some sleepy-oriented incense a go. Lavender is a renowned sleep aid; a chamomile stick may also help. Plus, having an Incense stick burning when falling asleep is far safer than using a candle with its naked flame

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