cannabis yoga
Cannabis yoga classes are similar to normal yoga classes, but rather than focusing solely on exercising, participants use marijuana to fixate on mindfulness (Image via Matthew Many, Middlesex County College)
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cannabis yoga

It’s always 4/20 in this yoga class.

Cannabis yoga: A yoga class whose participants also happen to be under the influence of marijuana, or is it the other way around? Is a cannabis yoga class actually just a stoner’s smoke session in disguise that includes a few downward dogs?

I recently participated in one of these cannabis-infused classes in Venice Beach, California — I know, fitting right? And I can say that it is not just a smoke session but so much more. As a matter of fact, there was way more yoga than cannabis.

Although these weed-friendly yoga classes are stepping into the mainstream spotlight in states such as California and Colorado, where the use of recreational marijuana is legal, the fusion of cannabis and yoga is an ancient concept.

According to the 5,000-year-old Indian medical science, Ayurveda, cannabis is a medicine. Ayurveda practices healing of the body, mind and the relationship between the two. So, if they believe in weed, it must be beneficial, right? Before you spark your joint and unroll your dusty yoga mat, there are a few precautions to be aware of.

If you’ve never done yoga before, don’t go strolling into a cannabis yoga class as if it’s a good place to start. For the most part, students in this type of class are seasoned yogis who are looking to deepen their practice. Not to say that you’re not allowed in or won’t enjoy it, but it’s kind of like skipping kindergarten and going straight to first grade, if you know what I mean.

Maybe you’ve gone to a few yoga classes before, but it was just like any other workout to you. If that’s the case, cannabis yoga is probably not the right fit.

According to traditional yoga philosophy, the physical aspect of yoga, known as asana, is just one of the eight characteristics. Can you believe it? The other seven attributes that make yoga profound have nothing to do with the physical body. So, if you’re not ready to immerse yourself in meditation, don’t sign up for class.

On the other hand, if you’ve never smoked a puff of weed in your life, this class should not be the place you lose your weed virginity. For the weed virgin, the thought of being high is just an idea but has never been a reality; therefore, you don’t know how you’ll react or feel. On top of that, being in a yoga studio with a bunch of strangers may make you feel even more uncomfortable as a newbie to getting high.

Cannabis yoga works best for seasoned weed smokers and yogis, so people who’ve never gotten high before should consider taking a normal yoga class first (Image via THC Insider)

With that being said, if you are familiar with both yoga and getting high, why not combine the two?

Many college students and people in general desire relaxation, but sometimes relaxing can be hard to do when people’s minds won’t stop running. Very rarely are people in a constant state of indulging in the present moment. That’s what meditation is all about, but what do you do when you have a hard time getting into a meditative headspace? You pack a bowl and smoke it.

All jokes aside, smoking marijuana can actually assist with quieting the busy mind, which allows for deeper introspection. There’s a stigma that getting high may result in feeling paranoid. However, when smoking the right strain, the herb has the ability to tame anxiety.

The mind tends to cloud thoughts with negative reflections, even though doubt is detrimental to the human well-being. In a yoga class especially, it’s easy to look at the person next to you and immediately wonder why your downward dog doesn’t look as great or how you’re not as flexible. The use of marijuana can reel in your consciousness so that you’re able to look within more vividly than you normally would in a regular setting.

If you’re imagining a bunch of dread-headed hippies sitting in a circle giggling at what seems to be nothing and wondering how cannabis yoga is meant for a state of consciousness, let me explain.

Even though it’s a cannabis yoga class, there really isn’t that much smoking — a few bowls at most. In addition, whatever weed is provided is shared among all the students, and no one is ever forced or encouraged to smoke more. To put the experience into perspective, when you’re smoking with the homies, you probably have a few joints in rotation and may be egged on to keep smoking. Cannabis yoga is definitely not like that because each student can move at their own pace, and they don’t even have to smoke at all.

Because of the medicinal properties of cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, there’s a place for those who don’t desire the head high of traditional weed. Cannabis yoga classes are fit for those who suffer from chronic aches, pains or injuries because of the use of CBD oils and lotions. CBD products interact with the body’s naturally occurring systems to promote homeostasis and alleviate pain or soreness.

Overall, cannabis yoga definitely has the potential to heal the body and mind if you use it correctly and with respect. Cannabis yoga is about properly making use of the plant to reach mental and physical well-being rather than getting stoned out of your mind.

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