Are you looking to enhance your meditation practice? If you want to enjoy more benefits, consider starting your meditation sessions with a ritual like smudging to cleanse and prepare your space. 


Have you never heard of smudging? Are you unsure of what it is or what benefits it has to offer? Read on to learn everything you need to know.


Smudging is an ancient practice that involves burning sage and other herbs. The intention behind burning these herbs is to promote healing and cleanse areas of pent-up, negative spiritual or emotional energy.

Herbs and Condiment
Herb Plants


A lot of people dismiss smudging as a new-age or “woo woo” practice. When they learn about burning sage’s history and how long it has been utilized throughout the world, though, they often change their minds and gain a new respect for it.


For thousands of years, ancient and tribal cultures have used smudging to purify the air, cleanse themselves of negative energy, and protect themselves from harmful spirits.


These people had (and many continue to have) a special connection to the lands where they worked and lived. They learned a long time ago that burning certain herbs and plants helped to improve these feelings of connection and their quality of life.


The practice of smudging has long been used by indigenous groups from all over the world to eliminate negative energy from people, spaces, and environments. Sage, which is seen as a sacred herb, is most frequently used for smudging, particularly among Native Americans.


Other groups of people, from Buddhists to Catholics, throughout history have also burned herbs in an effort to promote healing and positive energy. Europeans in the past also burned herbs and plants for more practical cleansing purposes, such as eliminating parasites and unwanted bugs.


Smudging is often performed before a meditation practice to help the practitioner feel more grounded and at peace.


Burning sage benefits people of all ages and backgrounds. Here are some specific reasons why you might want to start incorporating it into your pre-meditation ritual:

Purify the Air

Smudging with sage has been shown to remove up to 94 percent of airborne bacteria in a home for up to 24 hours. If you struggle with allergy or asthma symptoms, eliminating airborne bacteria can help to reduce them and promote a healthier home.

Release Negative Ions

Smudging is believed to release negative ions into the air. Negative ions help to neutralize positive ions, many of which are common allergens, such as pet dander, mold, dust, and pollution. 


Enhance Intuition

In addition to purifying the air and removing negative ions, smudging with sage may also enhance your intuition. This can help you to feel more in tune with your spirituality and more connected to the universe. 

Release Negative Energy

Many people find that smudging helps them to release negative energy and feel more at peace. The act of moving through a room, reciting a prayer or mantra, and letting the smoke move through the air can be very calming and centering.


Cleanse and Empower Prized Objects

Smudging can be done not only to cleanse rooms in your home (or the entire home) but also to cleanse and imbue power into specific objects. This can include objects that you use in your meditation practice, such as a bell, a singing bowl, or beads.

Improve Mood

Certain types of sage, including white prairie sage, have long been used as traditional remedies for mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. Research backs up the efficacy of these herbs and shows that they can be quite beneficial.

Improve Sleep Quality

Meditation itself can help to improve your sleep quality, but it can be even more beneficial when it’s combined with a practice like smudging. Sage has been shown to contain compounds that can combat insomnia, so smudging a room before your nighttime meditation could set you up for a better night’s rest. 

Enhance Cognition

If you want to feel more focused and clear-headed, smudging your meditation room before you start your session could be the key.


Sage has some cognition-boosting benefits that may promote better brain health. Some early studies suggest it may even help to treat conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. 


A variety of smudging herbs can be included in your pre-meditation rituals. The following are some of the most popular herbs practitioners turn to most often:

  • Sage​

  • Cedar

  • Sweetgrass

  • Frankincense

  • Myrrh

  • Bayberry

  • Rose

  • Uniper

  • Lavender


In addition to herbs, many people also burn incense or wood from the palo santo tree to prepare their space before a meditation session.


If you don’t want to burn anything, you can still smudge your meditation space in other ways. For example, sounds can also be powerful cleansing tools. Ringing a bell or using a singing bowl can help to create a more peaceful, healing atmosphere and get you in the right frame of mind before you begin meditating. 



There is no one right answer to the question of when you should smudge. It can be useful in a variety of situations, including before a meditation session. Some other times when you might want to cleanse your space, though, include:


  • When you move to a new house or apartment

  • When you’ve been through a traumatic event

  • When you’re struggling with sadness or anxiety

  • When you want to feel closer to the Creator, Mother Earth, Spirits, or your Ancestors


In addition to smudging after big events or during difficult periods, some people also like to smudge on a daily basis. According to the article about sage quoted above, its air-purifying effects can last up to 24 hours. Daily smudging with sage can help you to feel more grounded and ensures your home is peaceful and clean. 


Now, let’s get into the specific steps one should take when burning sage to cleanse a house. If you’re ready to cleanse your meditation space and experience all the benefits of smudging, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Gather materials: A sage stick or smudging stick, candles or matches to light the stick, a fireproof dish to catch the ashes, and a small bowl of sand to extinguish the sage stick

  • Set an intention: Think about how you want the room to feel or what kind of energy you want it to have

  • Light the sage stick using a candle or match

  • Move mindfully through the room, walking clockwise around the perimeter and making sure the smoke gets into all areas, including closets and corners

  • Hold the fireproof dish under the sage stick so no ashes land on the floor or on any of your belongings

  • Chant a mantra or prayer while you move through the room if you’d like

  • Finish with a closing mantra or prayer, visualizing the room being filled with bright white light

  • Extinguish the sage stick in the bowl of sand

    Also, if you’re still unsure how to start this practice, try looking at The Healing Power of Smudging or some other material like this that can help get an idea of what you need and what will work best for you.


Praying Together
Praying Hands


Are you ready to purify your meditation space and dive deeper into your meditation practices and spirituality? Follow the steps outlined above so you can feel confident and at peace when smudging your meditation room.