15 Real People Explain What It's Like To Combine Cannabis & Yoga by Shannon Ullman

15 Real People Explain What It's Like To Combine Cannabis & Yoga by Shannon Ullman

Does cannabis really help elevate the yoga experience?
You may or may not have noticed that ganja yoga practices and retreats are popping up around the U.S, particularly in legal states like California and Oregon. It’s not surprising to find photos of yogis smoking joints in your Instagram feed, or artwork depicting a yoga mat next to a well-packed bong. If you’ve never tried cannabis and yoga, you may be wondering if it really makes a difference. And if it does, is that difference beneficial to the practice?
We love to gather as many opinions as possible when trying to answer questions like these because honestly, everyone is different. While some yogis may thrive in an elevated state, others may find it detrimental to their practice. That’s why we took to Reddit to see what people are really saying about cannabis and yoga. Here’s what we found:
It can be interesting if done in small doses
“I’ll say in my experience it can be an interesting supplement to a yoga practice if done intentionally and not habitually. I’ve gone through periods where I’ve done it, but smoking before doing yoga everyday though, does no good in my experience. Distracts from the practice and tricks you into false notions of spiritual growth.”
 
Intense Savasanas
 
“When this became habitual, it did not extend my practice very far, but with intention I was able to use my practice along with journaling and other forms of reflection in order to grow spiritually and deepen my practice and the understanding with myself. I actually found that it would often disrupt my asanas more and intensify my shavasanas.”
 
Life changer
 
“Yoga and weed changed my life. I was diagnosed with ADHD, Insomnia, and Anxiety from a very young age and by the time I started smoking in my mid 20's I tossed all meds and started consuming cannabis (smoking, eating, ointments, etc). I am 31 now and I feel healthier than ever. I do yoga once or twice a day and smoke only in the evenings for my after work practice. I got my boyfriend into doing yoga stretches and smoking at night for sleeping. He says he's never felt more energized in his life. However, I believe weed is not for everyone just like caffeine and chocolate aren't for some, even though they are universally loved. Read your body and learn what works best for you. We're all different.”
 
Stops the noise in their head
 
“I have anxiety, ADHD and a couple other DX. I prefer an early morning practice and I find that smoking before I go quiets my mind enough to let me actually focus on the yoga. I'm not talking about fall off your mat high, but a nice mellow stoned. But I get to class early, get my spot sorted, then spend 15 mins stretching and breathing with my eyes closed. It helps with the anxiety over people not lining up properly (to keep the rows even / make as much room as we need for students), the anxiety about being one of the heaviest people in the room, all the noise in my head. By the time we get through warm ups I'm usually at the relaxed but not fucked up stage.”
 
Easier to get into the zone
 
“Almost every time, not necessarily because I want to, but I enjoy it. I feel it’s a bit easier to sink into the zone. Other then the bit of anxiety before class starts its become my preferred way to do it.”
 
Allows a deeper connection
 
“The most incredible yoga experiences I've had have been after smoking (or eating...). It allows me to go deeper into my body and really connect the subtle energy bodies (as long as I can stay present and focused). Even just standing in mountain pose/tadasana was extremely intense.”
Helps with going inward
 
“I have been smoking cannabis for years, and generally find it does help my yoga practice. It helps me go more inward, though I do agree you have to be more mindful of overstretching and not being competitive.”
 
Heightened awareness and sensations 
 
“I love to have a little puff at home and do some weird whatever I'm feeling flows. I live in Toronto, so we have actual ganja yoga classes here. You don't feel paranoid in a ganja class because everyone is baked, even the teacher. Sometimes I feel lazy, especially closer to the end, but other times it's great. My awareness and sensations are heightened, it's really pretty sweet. Ganja yoga is a good time. “
 
Deeper expressions of poses and better awareness
 
“The absolute best practices for me are at home practices, using a David Attenborough special (especially bird ones) as meditation “music” about an hour after an edible. My brain mutes completely and I’m able to get much deeper expressions of poses and better awareness of breath because my brain isn’t putting up roadblock after roadblock or trying to force my body to get the expression “perfect”. Downside - I deffo fall asleep during savasana every time.”
 
Not able to focus on class
“Worst for me was going into a studio class after smoking. I couldn’t focus on the class or the movement or breath because my mind kept wandering. I became increasingly aware of my heartbeat and every worse case heart related scenario possible popped up in my thoughts over and over.”
 
 
Close to a spiritual experience
 
“It helps me stay within myself - it's kind of hard to explain. I am not a spiritual person, but using cannabis in conjunction with yoga gets me close to a spiritual experience. I find I am better able to "listen" to my body and what it tells me during yoga. Downside is sometimes I enjoy it too much and hold poses for too long and have to "catch up" with the flow.”
 
Holding on for dear life
 
“Took a mystery dose edible. Went to yoga with my coworker 30 minutes later. She didn't know I had taken an edible. About 15 minutes in I was holding on for life. It was fun to say the least. I felt like a very noodley balloon.”
 
Helps tap into physical sensations
“I do it in my home practice sometimes. It helps me tap into physical sensations I don't normally notice. It also makes me a little less rigid about the asanas, which can help me get a little more creative with sequencing (I'm a teacher). I try to only smoke before practice occasionally and intentionally. I want to avoid getting attached to the feeling of practicing while high.”
 
Helps to push the body harder
 
“I’ve been practicing yoga for a decade and smoking on and off during that time as well. This year I introduced a combo of cannabis and caffeine to my daily yoga (and meditation) practice and I will never go back! It’s my new favourite thing! Weed has allowed me to go way deeper into my practice than ever before, focusing more deeply and pushing my body harder. I’m in the best shape of my life and that’s all I’ve changed. I also usually listen to music and practice outside when I can. Pure magic.”
 
It doesn’t help or hurt
 
“I really like smoking pot and going to yoga class. I don't think it necessarily helps me or hurts me during my practice. But not too high, because it makes it hard to look in the mirror (not because I don't love myself, just because it trips me out). But I think people who really use pot as medicine would find a good synergy between pot use and staying present in your yoga practice.”
 
If you’ve never tried cannabis and yoga, it may just be worth a shot. While it’s not for everyone, you could discover that it adds a little something extra to your practice.
 
Shannon Ullman is the creator of MissMarijuana.org. She focuses on cannabis, CBD, and health and wellness. Follow her on Instagram for cannabis artwork and lifestyle articles. 

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