Herbs are the perfect companion to your yoga and meditation practice. Each herb has its own energetic properties and can be used in different ways to aid your meditation. I’ve selected 5 herbs that have a strong connection to the divine and that can help you access deeper layers of being.
Roses have a rich history and are associated with the divine feminine. I often use rose tea to connect with the divine feminine through my yoga and meditation practice. Rose is a great choice if you are dealing with grief and loss in your life. Roses are naturally uplifting and just being around roses can help elevate and lift your mood.
Rose Tea Ritual
You can buy dried rose buds or rose petals to make into your own herbal tea. I add a few dried rose buds to a mug and pour boiling water on top. I then inhale the feminine scent of rose and sip my tea mindfully before I sit for my meditation practice.
Plant A Rose Bush
Another wonderful way to get in touch with the energy of the rose is to plant your own rosebush in your garden. You can sit outside for your meditation near the rosebush and truly bathe in rose energy. Ask the rose for guidance in your life, she’s a very generous flower and one I often call on when I feel ungrounded or unsettled.
Mugwort is known to help access the dream state so is the herbal choice if you’re in a creative rut and wish to ignite your imagination. You can use mugwort tea to help access a meditative state, and cleanse your meditation space with a mugwort smudge stick. Mugwort is used to help with energetic blockages and is a wonderful herb for clearing obstacles in your life. Mugwort is not a good choice if you need to feel grounded.
Smudge Your Meditation Space With Mugwort
Smudging is used to clear away negative energy and clear your own energy field. This enables you to develop visions about your life and call in what you wish to manifest.
Light your mugwort smudge stick with the intention toward meditation. Cleanse your meditation space by wafting the smoke around the room. Mugwort is a potent herb, so after a couple of minutes put the smudge stick out and sit for your meditation practice.
Lucid Meditation With Mugwort
If you haven’t worked with mugwort before, start with a small teaspoon of dried mugwort and brew it in a mug for 10 minutes. Strain the mugwort out and sip your tea before you enter meditation or yoga nidra.
Mugwort enhances the dream state so be careful how much you use! Mugwort is not suitable for use while pregnant.
White sage is traditionally used as a smudging herb in North America, and it’s important to be aware of the cultural context of burning sage. White sage has grown in popularity, and is now being over-harvested. If you choose to smudge your space with white sage, then find a sustainable supplier. White sage is thought to ward off negativity and toxicity in your life. If you are feeling overwhelmed or in a negative space, then white sage is a good plant ally for you.
As with any plant, use sage mindfully. White sage has a specific energetic use that may or may not be what you need. You can use rosemary as a substitute for sage to cleanse your space. However, if you are feeling called to work with sage, then do so with awareness and gratitude to the culture from which it comes.
White Sage Smudging
Before you light your smudge stick, think of a positive mantra you would like to repeat whilst you smudge your space. While the sage is burning you can repeat this mantra to yourself. You may want to smudge yourself and all the rooms in your house. After doing so you can extinguish the sage into a ceramic bowl. Now sit quietly in meditation whilst the scent of sage surrounds you.
Sacred cacao is a heart-opening elixir and is perfect for when you feel run down and stressed. Cacao is the ideal partner to yoga nidra and deep relaxation. Cacao beans are sourced from South America and come with a long history of ceremonial use. Always make sure you buy fairtrade and ethically sourced cacao beans.
Deep Relaxation With Cacao
If you have been through a lot of stress recently, make yourself a creamy cacao drink. Then set up a yoga nidra or relaxation space in your home, making yourself warm and comfortable. Sip your soothing cacao slowly and once you have finished your drink, lie down and practice yoga nidra or a deep relaxation meditation. Bring your focus to your heart center during this time and drop into your heart space. Once you return to the world you will feel nourished and ready to tackle the rest of your day.
Holy basil is a sacred herb in Hinduism and has a long history of aiding spiritual practice. Holy basil is grown outside many homes in India and is thought to aid with meditation as well as purify and protect your home and body. If you feel really drawn to working with holy basil, one of the best things to do is to plant your own holy basil plant. Especially if you practice yoga and meditation, this is a wonderful way to elevate your practice. You can then use the leaves of your own holy basil plant to make a tea.
Holy Basil Tea Meditation
Take a handful of holy basil leaves and brew them with boiling water in a teapot for ten minutes. Find a quiet space in your home to sit for meditation. Pour your tea and slowly smell the tea with your eyes closed. Take your time and see what you observe as you take in the beautiful scent. Once you have done this for a minute or so, it’s time to taste your tea mindfully. Take slow sips of your tea and really feel where the holy basil is moving through the body. How does sipping this tea make you feel?
Once you have finished your tea, sit quietly in meditation for as long as you like.
Also by Rebecca: 20-Minute Spring Yoga Flow for March
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