Cannabis and yoga have a long history, and the benefits of adding marijuana to your practice are well known in Hinduism but relatively new to the western world. The combination of relaxation and spirituality from marijuana with the strength and focus of yoga creates a unique practice for everyone.
Yoga and Cannabis have Ancient Roots
The pairing of cannabis and yoga dates thousands of years, and the linking of spirituality with wellness is central to Hindu teachings. The historical roots of cannabis and yoga begin with the story of Lord Shiva, also known as the Lord of Yoga. Lord Shiva gave the world the cannabis plant, and he used to smoke marijuana and consume marijuana-infused drinks regularly, in pursuit of enlightenment and guidance.
The ancient Hindu holy texts, known as the Vedas, also describe the use of cannabis and yoga in unison. Early Indian sacred texts refer to the benefits of cannabis for both recreational and medicinal use. Sadhus, who are Hindi holy men, smoke marijuana in their yoga practice to find inspiration and peace. They still practice this way today.
Scientists began studying the healing properties of cannabis and found the endocannabinoid system in the 1990s. The endocannabinoid system responds to receptors throughout the body in the major organs, such as the brain, muscles, glands, tissues, and cells. Scientists theorize if the system is out of balance, the body is prone to many ailments and diseases. As society normalizes marijuana and more western countries legalize cannabis, there continues to be scientific research and new knowledge about its benefits to the human body.
The west calls marijuana-based yoga many different names, such as Canna Yoga, 420 Yoga, Stoned Yoga, Ganja Yoga, or Ganjasana. In the United States, with more than 29 states legalizing medical marijuana and eight states, with fully legal recreational and medicinal cannabis use, the popularity of cannabis yoga will continue to grow.
Benefits of Mixing Cannabis with Yoga
Marijuana contains properties that allow for deepening meditation and relaxing. It is commonly known that recreational marijuana aids with calming the mind, reducing stress, and allowing you to separate yourself from reality and just be in the moment. The medicinal properties of marijuana include helping with anxiety and depression, easing chronic pain and inflammation, and improving focus who have PTSD or ADHD.
The benefits of yoga are widely known, not only as a form of great exercise that builds flexibility, endurance, and strengthens muscles and joints. Practicing yoga also improves blood circulation, breathing, weight management, and creates healthy eating habits. The spiritual aspects of yoga also help with mindfulness, self-awareness, stress relief, and meditation.
The combination of yoga and cannabis is to capitalize on the properties of reducing stress, centering in the moment, and creating a more spiritually in-tuned practice.
It also heightens the senses allowing you to connect the mind to the body while focusing on your breathing and movements. Cannabis exaggerates yoga’s sensations, making it feel like you have a more controlled flow and can help build confidence in your practice.
Since all states have not legalized marijuana, the best place to start your cannabis-infused yoga is to comfort your own space. It is essential to establish an atmosphere that you are comfortable in. Create ambiance with candles and soothing lighting. Depending on if you are doing restorative or more vinyasa flow, then create a playlist that sets the right tone. If you prefer, practice in silence, and be one with your inner thoughts.
Best Marijuana Strains for Yoga Practice
When adding cannabis to your yoga practice, it is vital to research the best marijuana seeds to use and to consume cannabis in your preferred method, whether it is vaping, using a bong or smoking a joint. The purpose is to create a situation that relaxes you and does not cause discomfort. Also, note your highness level and practice in a state that you feel will be most beneficial to your practice.
The Hindu Kush is one of the most potent Indica strains which relaxes the body and mind. If you suffer from chronic pain or tend to have a wandering mind during yoga, this strain will help you focus and calm you down. Since it is powerful, be careful, and be mindful of how much you consume before you practice.
Lavender has Indica properties and is ideal for calming your mind and finding inner peace. Lavender is more efficient when used during a slower, more restorative practice. It will help you become more comfortable in your body and build confidence in your yoga practice.
ACDC is a strain that is best for a power flow or Vinyasa, for it is high in CBD, the relaxing and healing component of marijuana. Since it is high in CBD, this strain’s medicinal properties include reducing pain and tension and restoring muscle strength and tissues. ACDC is the perfect strain for those who want to build fitness and strength while high in their yoga practice.
Whatever your intentions are in your yoga practice, marijuana can help you achieve those, by stepping out of your mind and becoming more aligned with your body’s spiritual and physical needs. Mixing cannabis and yoga is a controversial topic within the yoga community, for some believe it clouds judgment instead of enlightening your mind. However, everyone’s yoga practice is unique, and the purpose of yoga is to become your best inner and outward self, in your own time, in your way, and on your terms.