The history of yoga is intertwined with cannabis making this a natural pairing in a multitude of ways. Yoga originated in India where the term ganja was used for cannabis. Cannabis is referred to in the Vedas as one of the five sacred plants and in Hindu rituals and celebrations, a cannabis milk blend called bhang is made from the leaves of the cannabis plant. While it is illegal to use or sell cannabis flowers or resin in India, the use of seeds, stems, and leaves is permitted through the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act.
People turn to yoga for many different reasons, enhanced concentration, relaxation, heightened senses, mindfulness, pain relief, strength, and overall wellness, these also happen to be some of the same reasons people decide to incorporate cannabis in their routines. Just like there are many different ways to consume cannabis, and many different strains there are many different styles of yoga rendering yoga and cannabis a perfect pair.
The question than isn’t, Is it good to do yoga while high? but rather, how to pair cannabis with yoga appropriately.
Hatha yoga is a style that incorporates breath, body, and mind, using slow movements with a deep focus on controlled breathing and posture to enhance relaxation and improve flexibility. I would suggest trying a 1:1 THC: CBD fast-acting edible before this style of yoga. The balanced ratio of THC to CBD may assist the body and mind in reaching relaxation without impairing motor skills. A fast-acting edible will also ensure the effects set in during the class allowing for a deeper sense of presence throughout the practice.
What to expect: hold each pose for between 5-10 breaths, suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners.
Good for: improving sleep, reducing stress, and enhancing mindfulness.
Minerva Suggestions: Wana Quick Acting 1:1 Strawberry Lime Soft Chews
Vinyasa is centered around the flow of poses with three to five breaths in each pose. This style is slightly more active and is great for those who find movement supportive in achieving mindfulness. A balanced ratio of THC and CBD would also work well as an addition to this style of practice. As Vinyasa is slightly more active than Hatha, a 2:1 ratio might feel a little more supportive. Taking an edible or oil before this class could provide an enhanced feeling of flowing through the movements.
What to expect: hold each pose for 3-5 breaths, fluid movements between poses, suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners.
Good for: overall toning and strengthening, stamina and endurance, and improving general mental well-being.
The slow pace of Yin yoga is perfect for someone looking for a more meditative experience that may help calm the nervous system. Yin postures and stretches focus on muscles and fascia and each pose is held for a longer amount of time allowing practitioners to release tension and sink more deeply into the stretches. A 1:1 THC: CBD oil or edible taken an hour or two before class followed up with a topical to add a sense of ease and deepen the benefits achieved might be perfect for this style of yoga.
What to expect: hold each pose for 2-10 minutes each, focus on the breath and allow the body to melt into each pose.
Good for: increased mobility, flexibility, and strengthens your relaxation response.
A therapeutic style of yoga, Restorative helps shift and relax the nervous system using props to enhance stretches. This style is deeply meditative, slow-paced and practitioners often find it can aid in the processing of emotions. A combination of yoga and cannabis using edibles or oil with a CBN content would be a perfect pairing for this style of yoga.
CBN is another cannabinoid, like THC or CBD, and has been shown to assist in achieving restfulness. In standard format, the effects would kick in after your class deepening the benefits.
What to expect: focus on relaxing into each pose, quieting the mind, and feeling into the body.
Good for: stress relief, fatigue, emotional strain, and overall nervous system support.
Incorporating Vinyasa, Power yoga is designed to make you sweat, get your heart rate up, and build strength. This style of yoga requires more attention making a high CBD oil a great pairing as CBD is non-intoxicating. I would suggest taking the oil an hour or two before class. An edible with a higher CBD content would also be a great enhancement and provide a sense of ease to those hard-worked muscles.
What to expect: arm balances and inversions, activated muscles through holding poses, suitable for slightly more experienced practitioners.
Good for: full-body strength and endurance, moving energy through the body.
Heat is used to loosen muscle tension allowing the body to move through poses and sequences with a greater sense of ease. Any style of yoga can be practiced in a hotter environment however, most Hot yoga classes are a combination of Power and Vinyasa. Sweat is guaranteed, so be sure to hydrate! An edible with a CBG content might enhance any feelings of bliss achieved in this class leaving you feeling gooey and extending the endorphin rush from the class.
A high CBD beverage low in sugar might also be a good follow-up to this class.
What to expect: powerful poses held for 3-5 breaths, focus on flowing between poses and multiple sequences.
Good for: restoring balance and flexibility, increasing mental endurance, and blood circulation, boosting the immune system, and may release endorphins.
When pairing cannabis and yoga always start low and go slow. If you are new to edibles and tinctures, starting with something dominant in CBD might feel more supportive however, don’t discount the benefits from other cannabinoids. Don’t be afraid of incorporating THC into your practice, as many benefits can be achieved through combining different cannabinoids.