Yoga, Cannabis, and You: 6 Best Practices for Pairing Yoga With MarijuanaNaomi FowlerNovember 3, 2015
As a yogi and someone who enjoys cannabis, I am interested in the benefits of using it as a way to enhance my yoga practice. It is exciting and exhilarating to develop and explore yoga as a practice, and I’ve been happily surprised to discover that cannabis can enhance this exploration. My hope in sharing my thoughts about combining cannabis and yoga is not to encourage you to go off the deep end, but rather to help you refine both your practice and your cannabis use.
Combining cannabis with yoga is a fairly controversial subject within the wildly diverse community of yogis. While there is basic agreement that yogis seek to find freedom from suffering, still the mind, and find enlightenment by unifying the body, mind, and spirit, the means by which one may strive to achieve one or more of these will vary from practice to practice. There are those who may argue that developing your focus and physical purity could be hindered by consuming cannabis. Others may find that its use enables them to explore their practice more deeply and with fewer mental and physical barriers.
Should you decide to try pairing cannabis with yoga, you should know both your yoga practice and your body when it’s under the influence of cannabis very well before you decide to forge ahead. If you’re confident that you can be safe using cannabis to relax, calm your thinking, and maybe ease some aches and pains before you practice, that’s between you and your mat. With that, here are six considerations to keep in mind before you pair cannabis with your next yoga session.
If your yoga class is crowded, you want to be sure you can be comfortable and in control while high in that environment. Experiment at home first to be sure that your balance remains solid and you remain calm and relaxed – smoking a joint or hitting your vape seconds before running into class could result in you falling out of crow and into a fellow yogi if you’re unaccustomed to the pairing.
Your breathing may be impacted by inhaling cannabis through methods such as smoking or, to a lesser extent, vaping, which could be counterproductive to yoga’s proper breathing. If you find that inhalation delivery methods make you short of breath, you may want to give yourself more of a ramp up time before practice starts or changing your delivery method altogether. Be sure to also drink lots of water, which can help keep your mouth and throat from getting too dry.
You want to be clear enough to focus on the class and keep up with the instructor, so getting too high may cause your mind to wander. If your goal is to clear the way for better focus during yoga, start with small doses and note how it affects your ability to pay attention. Should you find your mind wandering at bit, re-connect with your breath, listen closely to the cues, and go with the flow.
Oh, edibles. The never ending conundrum of timing and getting the dose right is definitely an art and something to study with care. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to time it perfectly to hit during your practice and to know how it will affect you in advance.
Indulging in an edible well before a yoga class can be a dreamy, inspiring, and physically rewarding experience that will keep you going back for more. Keep in mind that yoga may enhance the effects of the edible, so be sure to “under”do it the first time.
Although smoking or vaping may not always be your best choice, a strain-specific high may be the best way to fine-tune your experience. Many believe that no other form of cannabis allows you to experience a strain’s flavors and effects with as much unique expression as cannabis flower. Yes, consuming flower generally involves smoking or vaping, so keep your breathing techniques in mind before you opt for trying cannabis flower before your yoga class.
If you’re indeed going the flower route, indicas are known for delivering more of a body high and reducing anxiety, so that could be a good place to start. No matter what type of strain you choose, however, you may want to look for one with a higher CBD content such as Harlequin or AC/DC. Find one that is mellow and calming since anything that gets your mind racing may be counteractive to your reasons for doing yoga in the first place. Use our strain finder to research commonly reported effects to find a strain that would be desirable for your purpose.
Now, if you get suuuuuper high and go to yoga, will you achieve samadhi and skyrocket off to nirvana in the middle of your crow-to-handstand transition towards the end of your yoga session? Well, that’s probably not how it works, but let us all know what strain you used in the comments below if you do happen to experience enlightenment. Namaste!