Cannabis and yoga have a lot in common: both have roots in ancient human history, both can be a valuable part of a person’s health and wellness routine, and both can have a grounding, balancing effect on your mind. Combining the two has a long and vast history as well.
As legal cannabis products become available in an increasing number of states, there are more and more ways to incorporate cannabis into your yoga practice. The most important element of this pairing is the pursuit of mindfulness: the intent is to go deeper into your body and your practice by enhancing your mind-body connection.
Listen to your body, choose the right method and product for you, and as always, start low and go slow. Talk to your Union Chill Cannabis associate to find the right product for you.
Here are three ways that you can supplement your yoga training with cannabis:
1. Choose the right cannabis for your yoga goals
When choosing which cannabis product to consume before or during your practice, consider your past experience. Some people find sativas (generally an uplifting, cerebral high) too buzzy for yoga practice, or indicas (generally a calming, whole-body high) too heavy for any type of exercise. Balanced hybrids can offer middle ground.
An invigorating yoga practice or morning flow might pair best with a sativa strain like Sour Diesel, touted for its energizing effects.
Pair a series of grounding poses with a hybrid strain – giving you the best of both sativa and indica worlds – like popular cannabis strain Blue Dream, known for providing balanced relaxation.
A relaxing routine before bed would go well with a heavier indica. The Kush family of indicas, including OG Kush and Bubba Kush, is renowned for its relaxing properties without creating couchlock.
2. Get social while doing yoga
Depending on where you live, you might have the option to attend an in-person yoga class that incorporates cannabis consumption. Because of regulations, these courses often take place at a private residence rather than a studio or gym. You will likely need to bring your own products, so plan ahead – and designate a driver or plan to take a ride share if you will be consuming.
If in-person cannabis yoga is not available in your area, invite some friends over for a yoga party. Many different classes can be streamed online and some are even cannabis-specific. If you are not yet ready to share products like flower or joints, consider eating fast-acting edibles together, or pass around a pack of dog walkers – small joints well suited for one person.
3. Try sustainable hemp gear
Another way to incorporate cannabis into your yoga routine is through hemp-based mats and clothing. Many commercially available yoga mats are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), rubber or other plastic-based foam. Hemp-based yoga mats are frequently more expensive but use fewer caustic and toxic materials in their production.
Hemp-based clothing is typically more expensive than other fabrics as well, but hemp grown for fiber requires far fewer resources than similar products. Hemp requires only a fraction of the water used by cotton, can be grown with fewer pesticides and herbicides, and has an overall smaller environmental footprint. Hemp is also known to have regenerative properties, meaning the plant adds nitrogen and carbon to the soil it is growing in rather than depleting the soil of these nutrients as other plants do.
4. Infuse CBD into Your Post-Yoga Recovery
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound derived from cannabis that doesn’t contain the psychoactive component THC. This means it won’t give you the ‘high’ associated with cannabis, but it can still provide potential health benefits such as pain relief and inflammation reduction. After an intense yoga session, try using a CBD-infused cream or oil on sore muscles to help with recovery. Alternatively, consume CBD edibles or tinctures to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, helping your body to recover faster.
5. Practice Mindfulness with Cannabis Tea
Another way to incorporate cannabis into your yoga routine is by drinking cannabis tea during your practice. This method combines the calming effects of tea with the benefits of cannabis. Drinking a cup of cannabis tea before your practice can create a serene and relaxed state of mind, enhancing your mindfulness and focus during yoga. Just remember to choose a tea that aligns with your yoga goals, similarly to selecting the right cannabis strain.
6. Use Cannabis to Deepen Meditation
Yoga often involves a meditative component, where the goal is to clear the mind and focus on breathing. The use of cannabis can potentially deepen this experience by making it easier to achieve a calm and focused state. This could be particularly beneficial for people who struggle with meditation, as cannabis can potentially assist with quieting the mind. It’s important, however, to choose a strain or product that promotes relaxation without causing excessive psychoactive effects that could distract from the meditative experience. Consult with a knowledgeable professional or trusted source to find the best options for this purpose.