Cannabis use may date as far back as 3000 BC, while yoga has been practiced for nearly five-thousand years. Inevitably, the two crossed paths centuries ago, but they’re now starting to cross-pollinate once again.
If you’re a fellow yogi, you know firsthand that there is no other exercise that not only keeps you lithe and fit but can also keep your body in tune with your mind and soul.
But have you ever considered enhancing your yoga practice with cannabis?
In recent years, yoga classes integrating flower use have been sprouting up. It may seem gimmicky to some, but as it turns out, the pain-relieving and all-around-relaxing aspects of cannabis can enhance the therapeutic benefits of yoga.
Those who struggle with stiffness due to pain or reduced mobility might turn to cannabis to help them open up and ease into poses. Likewise, yogis may find that pre-practice consumption can help silence thoughts and bring them into mindfulness.
Sound intriguing? If it does, don’t go reaching for your mat and your vape pen just yet. Responsible yogis should consider a few things before using cannabis to enhance their practice.
Make sure you can handle Vegas
Balance is a key component to a fulfilling practice; not only for stabilization but doing a pose correctly ensures you’re physically getting the most out of your practice.
On that note, while your body should be your primary focus, you also want to be able to follow your instructor’s lead.
Try a few practice sessions in your elevated state at home to see if you can maintain your balance and composure. This is imperative if you go to a studio because you’ll want to make sure you can handle these enhanced sensations in a group setting.
Pair cannabis with low-intensity flows
If you’re considering using cannabis to enhance your practice, avoid high-intensity flows. Physically challenging classes like Vinyasa, power yoga and similar variations are great for getting a good workout but don’t usually focus on the mental or spiritual aspects of yoga.
High-intensity classes in an elevated state may cause more harm to your body than good.
If you’re planning on using cannabis to enhance yoga, try a Hatha or Yin class, or something similar. Low-intensity flows like these usually incorporate restorative poses with long holds, helping you achieve a deep stretch.
When dosed correctly, cannabis can ease your body into opening up and getting the most out of these sessions.
Gentle practices also emphasize the importance of breathing and mindfulness, sometimes incorporating meditation. Cannabis’s uplifting, anxiety-reducing traits help yogis with busy minds zero in on their self-awareness, bringing you closer to the ultimate state of calm within your mind, body, and soul.
Finding perfect balance
Pro-cannabis yogis should also be responsible users, which means knowing what strains and consumption methods are best for a great practice so you don’t overdo it.
If you don’t already have an idea of what strain would work best for you, here’s a few notes to keep in mind. Known for delivering “mind highs,” sativas might cause your thoughts to wander and end up distracting you.
Alternatively, indicas can deliver strong “body highs” that might demotivate you from practice altogether.
To avoid leaning too far into one or the other, you might want to try an indica-dominant hybrid or a CBD-heavy strain to achieve optimal physical relaxation, while still being able to follow my yogi’s lead.
If you’re unsure of which kind of strain is best for you, take the time to learn more about the differences between indicas, hybrids, and sativas.
Also, keep in mind that the method of ingestion counts as well. Smoking a pre-roll may make it harder to take deep breaths during the practice and edibles, if not timed right, may not kick into gear until after the session.