Finding Balance: The Fusion of Cannabis and Yoga
The Harmony of Yoga and Cannabis: A Path to Balance
In recent years, the world of wellness has seen a harmonious blend emerge between two ancient practices—cannabis and yoga. In recent years, there has been an increase of organizations and yoga practitioners offering “ganja yoga” or “stoned yoga” combining consuming cannabis with the practice of yoga.
At Compassionate Clinics of America we believe in exploring innovative ways to enhance overall health and wellness. In this article, we delve into the connection between cannabis and yoga, backed by a few studies, and provide insights into how cannabis and yoga can be combined for an enriched experience as patients find ways to maximize their medical cannabis experience when they get their medical cannabis card.
The Ancient Connection Between Cannabis and Yoga
Cannabis and yoga are both ancient practices deeply rooted in human history, each with a rich lineage that spans centuries to cultivate physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Cannabis has a storied history that dates back to ancient civilizations, where it was used for medicinal, spiritual, and recreational purposes. From its role in religious rituals in ancient cultures to its integration into traditional medicines across various societies, cannabis has held a place of significance throughout the ages.
Similarly, yoga traces its origins to ancient India, with its origins believed to date back over 5,000 years, evolving from spiritual and philosophical teachings.
Yoga offers many benefits that encompass both physical and mental well-being. Through its combination of postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, yoga enhances flexibility, strength, and balance.
Regular practice can improve cardiovascular health, provide pain relief, promote weight management, and boost immune function.
Additionally, yoga’s focus on mindfulness and relaxation techniques can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, leading to improved mental clarity and emotional resilience within daily life.
Ultimately, yoga provides a holistic approach to wellness, fostering harmony between the mind and body, and contributing to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. The same can be said for the medicine of the cannabis plant.
Over the centuries, both yoga and cannabis have undergone cultural transformations, adapting to changing societies and perspectives, while retaining their fundamental roles in promoting well-being and a deeper connection to the self. This connection between cannabis and sacred plants like cannabis is why so many choose to do yoga “high”.
Research Connecting The Plant and The Practice
Recent studies have started to shed light on the potential synergy between marijuana use and yoga, each acting as an enhancement of the other.
Cannabis as a Yoga Practice Enhancement
A 2022 study published in The Journal of Cannabis Research aimed to investigate the usage patterns and motivations behind combining cannabis with physical activity, given the increasing prevalence of such behavior due to cannabis legalization.
Conducted through an online survey, the research engaged a convenience sample of cannabis users to explore their exercise habits while under the influence of cannabis, perceived benefits, unanticipated experiences, and demographics. Out of 131 respondents aged 18 to 55 years, a variety of physical activities were reported, with hiking, yoga (58%), and aerobic machines being the most common choices.
The primary reasons for combining cannabis with exercise, including yoga were to aid focus, enhance the exercise experience, and strengthen the mind-body-spirit connection.
Many people who combine cannabis consumption and yoga specifically say that the mind-body-spirit connection is one of the biggest motivators.
Enhancing the Spiritual Practice
Studies that examine the spiritual use of cannabis are beginning to emerge, with most suggesting that cannabis is used as a method to enhance spirituality and a feeling of connectedness.
A 2020 study aimed to explore the distinctions between spiritual and recreational cannabis use, as well as their comparison with the usage of psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin. Employing mixed methods, the research involved qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey.
Analysis of the interviews and survey indicated that when a person has a spiritual motivation, cannabis can significantly enhance experiences such as insight, connectedness, joy, love, and unity with transcendent forces.
These experiences are often sought after during the practice of yoga, suggesting that using cannabis before or during yoga may enhance the spiritual experience of the practice in various ways.
Can Yoga Make You “High”?
Interestingly, there is a school of thought that has emerged acknowledging the potential connection between the sense of bliss experienced after yoga and the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The Endocannabinoid System, which plays a role in regulating various bodily functions and is the central bodily system involved in cannabis medicine, could be stimulated during yoga, potentially leading to increased production of endocannabinoids, the body’s natural cannabis-like compounds.
This interaction between yoga and the ECS might contribute to the relaxation and feelings of well-being often associated with the practice, offering insight into why yoga can evoke a sense of euphoria and tranquility once the ECS kicks in.
Elevating Your Yoga Practice: Getting the Most from “Stoned Yoga”
Combining yoga and cannabis requires mindfulness and intentionality.
To help our patients get the most of combining yoga and cannabis, Compassionate Clinics of America has created the following guide on how to create an enhanced yoga practice by incorporating cannabis:
Select the Right Teacher
Because bringing the cannabis plant into your yoga experience is intended to be different than just smoking cannabis or doing yoga in isolation, it’s important that you are guided by an experienced guide as you practice yoga elevated.
We suggest that you practice under a certified yoga instructor who has created an enhanced yoga experience with intention within the yoga community. Be sure to abide by the rules of smoking cannabis if you are taking a class at a yoga studio.
Select the Right Strain
As we have demonstrated in past articles, different strains of cannabis offer varying effects. For a yoga session, consider strains that promote relaxation, focus, and heightened awareness without excessive sedation.
Indica-dominant strains with balanced CBD-to-THC ratios are often favored for yoga practices. Looking at the terpene content of different strains will also help aspiring canna-yogis choose their products. For instance, products with linalool or myrcene may help bring about a more sedative effect for a more meditative experience.
Whether through inhalation or ingested orally through edibles or tinctures, start with a low dosage of cannabis that aligns with your experience level.
When combining yoga and medical marijuana, it is essential to maintain a clear mind and avoid any marijuana overconsumption, ensuring that the practice remains centered and safe.
Begin your practice with clear intentions.
Focus on what you aim to achieve during the yoga session, whether it’s relaxation, improved flexibility, or mental clarity.
Embrace Slower Yoga Practices
When combining weed with yoga, slower yoga practices may be more favorable.
When under the influence, for example, it may be more difficult to switch poses quickly, increasing risk of injury. It’s best to start low with dose and keep it slow with practice.
Breath, Movement, and Presence
Cannabis can heighten the awareness of breath and movement for many yoga practitioners. Cannabis also can deepen mindfulness, allowing you to be fully present in each moment of your practice.
Pay close attention to the sensations in your body as you transition through poses, allowing cannabis to amplify your mind-body connection.
Embrace the heightened sensory perception and let it guide your movements and breath.
Cool Down and Integration
As you wind down your yoga practice, embrace the meditative state that cannabis may have induced.
Use this time for meditation or a restorative pose to fully integrate the effects of both cannabis and yoga.
Integrate Medical Cannabis into Your Yoga Routine with Compassionate Clinics of America
At Compassionate Clinics of America, we recognize the potential of holistic wellness strategies that embrace both ancient practices and modern insights. The convergence of cannabis and yoga offers a unique opportunity to tap into enhanced relaxation, focus, and a deeper connection to oneself.
While studies continue to illuminate this relationship, it’s essential to approach the fusion of cannabis and yoga with mindfulness and respect for both practices. As advocates of comprehensive wellness, we encourage individuals to explore this intriguing union as part of their journey toward health and wellness through medical cannabis.
If you or someone you love is considering getting a medical cannabis card, we offer certifications and support to residents of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, & West Virginia,. Reach out to us today to talk about the benefits of medical cannabis, and join us in re-imagining health and wellness with cannabis medicine.