HOW TO COMBINE YOGA AND CANNABIS
What is Cannabis Yoga?
Cannabis yoga is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: doing yoga while, or shortly after, consuming cannabis. The interesting practice offers a mix of mindfulness and marijuana that encourages the use of the plant for a higher purpose. Cannabis yoga is becoming increasingly popular in the spiritual community; approached every day with intentions of reaching a meditative state that will help achieve a sense of inner peace. Yoga and meditation support the philosophy of, “living in the now,” or in the present moment. Balancing a healthy flow of cannabis use with the practice of yoga and meditation allows participants to easily clear their minds and really journey to a higher place within themselves.
Cannabis yoga is much more than “another stoner excuse to get high,” and the culture that surrounds it is actually quite intentional in eliminating stigma by following the ancient belief that cannabis is a medicine. The history of cannabis yoga dates as far back as 2000-1400 BCE, when it was mentioned in early spiritual guidance texts. It is an ancient myth that Lord Shiva, also known as the Lord of Ganja gave the cannabis plant to humans to use for enlightenment.
With cannabis yoga, there is an emphasis put on healing the body, mind, and body-mind relationship as a whole. Present day marijuana legalization is expanding internationally, attributing to the rise of cannabis-inclusive yoga retreats, studios classes, and open-area sessions that are designed to help people experience relief from a variety of ailments.
Those who suffer from symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD have found both yoga and medical cannabis to be effective toward relief and holistic treatment of their conditions. Cannabis-infused yoga also aids with pain management through more efficient patterns of breathing and by balancing the energy centers (also known as chakras). These benefits are possible to achieve because the practice of yoga brings about peace and spiritual awareness within, while cannabis helps the body respond to these virtues and be in harmony with the mind.
So how do you go about approaching the practice of cannabis yoga? There are different ways to participate, based off of consumption methods such as smoking, vaping, or eating edibles. While there are no official requirements for dosages, you’re advised to only take as much as you feel comfortable with consuming. With this type of exercise, remaining calm and relaxed is the most important piece. You don’t want to be so high that you can’t function or move your body into yoga poses, yet you want to be blissful enough to be able to meditate and be present during the process.
The quality of your breathing is also an important factor when approaching cannabis yoga. After all, smooth and even breaths are an essential part of practicing proper yoga techniques. If you are concerned that inhaling cannabis through smoking may interfere with your breathing patterns, consider consuming it beforehand or try an entirely different consumption method.
Another consumption-related aspect to keep in mind is the specific strain of marijuana you choose. It helps to know whether your strain is an indica, sativa, or hybrid and it is advised by instructors to pursue strains with higher CBD levels. Finding a strain that will enhance your calmness is the best direction to go in when approaching cannabis yoga.
If you’re totally sold on the cannabis yoga experience and looking to try it for yourself, there are a few great options in Canada for you to explore.
The House of Yoga Studio, Toronto
The House of Yoga is a weed-friendly studio inside the Conscious Consumption headshop in Bloor St. West of Toronto. This studio describes itself as an “amiable environment created to cause a healthy lifestyle with the balance of exercise and relaxation.” With their ganja classes, vaporizers are utilized before the beginning of each session aimed to bring about self-observation, reflection, and freedom. Learn more here: https://www.ganjayogatoronto.com/the-studio
Green Sprouts Cafe & Vapor Lounge, Barre
At Green Sprouts Cafe & Vapor Lounge, two sessions of Lifted Yoga classes take place every Sunday. They say, “Using cannabis during yoga might boost the ability of our mind to make meaning out of the vacation that is yoga.” These cannabis classes are BYO, meaning you have to bring your own cannabis and yoga mat. These classes cost just $15 to participate. Learn more about the venue and cannabis yoga experience here: https://green-sprouts.ca/lifted-yoga.
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