Starting your day off right with a half-hour of yoga and a bowl packed full of weed might be just the workout experience you’re looking for. Interestingly, marijuana is a secret ingredient to yoga that could provide a boost for elevated practice. Read on to learn more about “ganja yoga” and which strains are best to pair with it.
History Of Weed In Yoga Practices
Stoned yoga isn’t a new concept: cannabis has been incorporated into numerous rituals for millennia. Ancient yogis in India consumed bhang, beverages made from cannabis leaves, as well as hashish, as part of their daily meditation, and also burn cannabis as an incense (hotbox, anyone?). Doing yoga high was popularized in the 1960s in the United States by free thinkers and writers who were interested in Buddhism, yoga, meditation, and mind-altering substances. It’s made a resurgence this century with the help of Dee Dussault, who started Ganja Yoga in San Francisco in 2009.
Benefits Of Using Cannabis For Yoga
The benefits of cannabis and yoga separately are well-known – so how do they interact together? Both are great for relieving stress and pain, and ganja yoga enthusiasts say that the combination makes for an enhanced, more centered practice.
Feel Your Senses Amplified
Finding clarity of mind and body is one of the most rejuvenating aspects of yoga. Incorporating cannabis into your routine can help you drop right into your practice with an awareness of your body using all of your senses. With your weed-heightened senses, the sound of music, the scent of incense, and the sunshine spilling into the room will all become part of your flow.
Let Mind And Body Become One
It can sometimes be hard to truly “feel” your body, even during yoga, and weed helps bridge that gap between body and mind. The shift in consciousness during high yoga facilitates the connection with the body. Cannabis shifts the focus away from getting the poses exactly right, instead getting you to focus on the spiritual side of yoga by quieting the mind and letting the body move without conscious effort.
Tolerate Pain More Easily With High Yoga
If you suffer from any kind of inflammatory pain, combining weed and yoga can open up new possibilities when practicing. In general, marijuana helps you relax the mind and body so that your physical ailments aren’t as bothersome. Strains rich in CBD are especially effective in reducing pain and inflammation without the psychoactive properties of THC. By reducing discomfort in your yoga experience, you can focus more deeply on the alignment of your body and the tempo of your breath.
Yoga While High: Things To Keep In Mind
We’ve sung the praises of high yoga, now what are the drawbacks? Some believe that pot simply doesn’t have a place in yoga, although we think that ancient yogis would disagree. We do think, though, that if you’re going to jump into doing yoga while high, you should start at home. Unless you know what you’re doing, you probably shouldn’t go to your regular yoga class while stoned. Regular classes aren’t necessarily catered to the cannabis yoga experience. Plus, you may be tempted to try yoga positions that aren’t suitable for high yoga, and you don’t want to accidentally hurt yourself. If you enjoy cannabis and yoga separately, you should definitely give the combination a try. Everyone has a different experience!
Tips For Doing High Yoga Correctly
After all that information, you’re probably itching to get started with ganja yoga. Check these tips out before you dive in, and you’ll be well-prepared for some stoney shavasana.
Start With A Small Dose
Know and respect your tolerance before lighting up for your sun salutation. How do different doses of weed affect you? If you find yourself couch-locked after smoking a whole doobie, cut your consumption so you can still get the most out of your practice. For your first time, try and “microdose” in the range of 2.5-5mg of THC (easy to dose with edibles and tinctures!). Remember, you can always take another puff later if you need it.
Stick With What You Know
When combining cannabis with physical exercise, it’s best to stick with products you’re already familiar with. Instead of busting out a new potent strain for your yoga sesh, go for a strain you already know. If you usually smoke your cannabis, maybe don’t go for edibles right away. You know your body best and which products yield more predictable, desirable effects for you personally. Save the experimentation for when you’re better acquainted with the high yoga experience.
Try Ganja Yoga At Home First
We recommend you start combining weed and yoga at home before you head to a class. At home, you can control your environment and the routine you choose, which is great in case you get a little too high and need a break. However, there are also ganja yoga classes! Since Dee Dussault founded Ganja Yoga in 2009, the practice has taken off. In places where marijuana is legalized, you may be able to find an official ganja yoga class that starts off with a social smoke session before diving into the workout.
Take It Slow
Especially if you’re still unfamiliar with ganja yoga, it’s best to start with tried poses and nothing too extreme. Try some restorative yoga with blankets and blocks, and save the standing asanas for when you know how weed affects your practice. Also, don’t worry about getting all sweaty and worked out when you combine pot with your yoga practice. Instead, give your body a little break and allow the combination to help you tap into the more spiritual, reflective side of yoga.
Best Strains For Ganja Yoga
What are the best cannabis strains for ganja yoga? Depending on the weed you use, your yoga experience can differ greatly. Choose what you’re going to consume based on how you want to influence your practice: strains rich in CBD will relieve muscle tension and pain, while THC-heavy strains will clear the mind and connect you to your body.
Girl Scout Cookies Auto For That Mind-Body-Soul Connection
As to be expected from Girl Scout Cookies Auto, this strain delivers a classic, relaxing Indica sensation. GSC is great for clearing the mind and letting your body take control. You’ll find yourself leaning more deeply into your poses and savoring the stretches. Just make sure to take it easy, and always keep your practice within your limitations when you’re practicing high. Save the handstands and other challenging poses for your cannabis-free workouts.
Reach For The Stars With Northern Lights
Spark up before rolling out your mat, and the aroma of Northern Lights will transport you to a relaxed state. This Indica-dominant strain has a well-rounded terpene profile and THC content of 22% or more to boot. She’s perfect for meditative yoga before bed, and you’ll find yourself reaching more deeply in your poses before you reach for the pillow.
CBD Lemon Potion Auto For A Perfectly Balanced Experience
CBD Lemon Potion Auto is perfect for those who want the best of both worlds when it comes to ganja yoga. The high is relatively mild due to her 15% THC content, but it’s matched with the same in CBD. This combination is perfect for getting your vinyasa flowing and those muscles tingling. The CBD will work to diminish aches and pains while the THC gets you in your yoga groove.
Granddaddy Purple For Diving Deep
The next strain on our list is Granddaddy Purple, an Indica-dominant variety with 20-23% THC. Affectionately known as GDP, we think this strain is amazing for a Saturday afternoon in the garden practicing your favorite asanas. Enjoy her grape aroma and citrusy flavors as you connect with your body. Stick to floor practice while stretching out with this hard-hitting Indica, since GDP will hit you with the perfect balance of head high and body stone. You’ll be able to really feel those hip-openers without worrying about losing your balance in warrior pose.
Try CBD 20:1 To Boost Your Downward Dog
Last but not least, CBD 20:1 is the ideal strain for yogis who use marijuana for its medicinal benefits. This strain has an imperceptible THC content, so it’s perfect for relieving tension, pain and anxiety. A CBD-rich strain like this will help to decrease discomfort in your practice, so you can focus on reaching for your toes and breathing through the poses.
Get Ready To Fall In Love With Ganja Yoga
Now that you’ve got all that in mind, it’s time to get started! Combining weed with yoga is attractive for its benefits: increased self-awareness, relaxation of the body, etc. However, always be aware of your consumption limitations so you don’t overdo it – if you get too stoned, you might just take a nap on your mat. What are your favorite strains to pair with yoga? Let us know in the comments below. Namaste, ganja yogis!
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