Yogis could easily argue on the compatibility of the practice of yoga with smoking pot. How could one of the most conscious practices be aligned with a substance that alters your level of awareness?
Ganja yoga classes have been booming in countries where cannabis has been legalized. In fact, the same way Cannabis tends to enhance a sunset or a concert, it seems to be also enhancing yoga practice.
Hearing Dee Dussault, certified yoga teacher, is currently offering Ganja Yoga classes to her students in California. “The two things individually are great, but combined they’re alchemic” she says. Some researches have shown that ganja yoga has been practiced in ancient India, most specifically by the cults ritualistically consumed cannabis in worship ceremonies.
Dee wrote a book called Ganja Yoga in which she writes that both yoga and weed, “bring a shift in consciousness that allows one to become more open to psychological, emotional, and energy states that aren’t usually operational in the grind of daily life.”
Ganja Yoga seems to offer a wide variety of benefits:
Yoga and cannabis both activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is the part of the brain that regulates the body’s ‘rest & digest’ mode as opposed to the ‘fight or flight’ mode associated with stress and worry. Yoga and cannabis can therefore deepen your relaxation.
Both cannabis and yoga are known to reduce stress, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain and inflammation, and aiding sleep. This combo could easily become a new therapeutic tool of modern medicine.
There are tons of types of yoga, from fast-paced one like Vinyasa or Ashtanga to slow-paced ones like Yin Yoga. Practicing yoga while using cannabis invites you to slow your pace. In fact, the practice becomes more intuitive and creative. Dussault’s students generally use an uplifting sativa-based marijuana for the asana part of the class. The brain demands for the postures to be held longer.
Both yoga and cannabis enhance your senses. Everything feels exaggerated, from the music to the silence, to the sensation of your hands and feet on the mat, to the muscles stretches, the light in the room… Yogis tend to feel more connected with their body and with their environment while practicing Ganja Yoga.
Dussault’s students use an indica-dominant strain to enter into a more mellow and meditate state. The meditation is usually practiced in savasana. Students seem to be more relaxed, more connected, and somehow healed. The sensation of savasana is almost ecstatic.
Should you practice Ganja Yoga? Well, as anything in life, it’s up to you. The practice seems to be interesting to try out. Generally, the benefits of Ganja Yoga seem to be enhanced when students practice occasionally, alone or in small groups.