Definition - What does Smudging mean?
Smudging is the ceremonial act of burning sage. For the last millennia, smudging has traditionally been practiced by shamans, and some Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Smudging was often done as a form of spiritual cleansing, as a blessing, or to invoke ancestral spirits.
In modern times, the practice of smudging has been adopted by some yogis and new age practitioners. They use the practice to cleanse and build greater spiritual awareness, as sage is thought to bring greater wisdom to those who work with it.
Yogapedia explains Smudging
The exact herb and method of burning varies between different cultures, but most commonly smudging is performed using dried white sage. This is regarded by many as a sacred and healing herb, and its smoke is thought to clear the energy of a space or a person. By invoking the power of the ancestral world, it is said that smudging with sage can absorb any negative emotions or malevolent spirits.
Smudging is said by some to be beneficial for individuals who are experiencing depression, negativity or illness as it is believed to clear the energy field around that person. It may also be helpful to prepare a place for a ceremony or a new purpose, removing stale and stagnant energy and welcoming positive new intentions into the space.