Why Cannabis and Yoga?

This is the fundamental question behind Yogabud.

The simplest way to answer this question is to vape (or smoke) your favorite strain, and then take a yoga class or begin practicing yourself.

If done, the magic of this combination quickly becomes apparent, and the more concrete “why” pales in comparison to the experience of why.

But that’s not a satisfactory answer to those who first want the concrete. Facts are after all very important, and it’s easy to get lost in the world of the esoteric with both Yoga and Cannabis.

Let’s take a look at the foundation of both yoga and inhaled cannabis: the breath.

Cannabis, when inhaled, acts as a bronchodilator. This means that the air pathways in the respiratory system are dilated, and you are able to breathe more deeply.

Any yogi will tell you that there is power in the breath, and most forms of yoga are themselves breath-centered practices. In Vinyasa and most “Flow” styles of yoga, the breath acts as the trigger for movement; “one breath, one movement”. In Ashtanga, the breath acts as a timer; “hold for 5 breaths”. And in just about any yoga class you walk in to, regardless of format, you will hear “inhale, raise the arms above your head” at least once.

Deeper breathing allows for a higher degree of relaxation, and more efficiency in your body bringing in oxygen leads to greater endurance. By taking deeper breaths with less effort due to bronchodilation, the yoga practice is enhanced.

But wait, there’s more!

Cannabis also serves as an effective analgesic (painkiller). Now, we must first understand that pain is important. Pain is a signal to your body that something is wrong, and if possible, something needs to change.

But cannabis is not a painkiller in the sense that it numbs you out. You still feel pain (very important), but your ability to cope with that pain is enhanced.

With that said, you should know that in most yoga classes, you will not feel pain. You will feel pain’s little brother, discomfort. This is where the analgesic effects of yoga come in to play.

Discomfort is your friend. It is the signal that you are challenging your body to stretch, to grow, to become stronger. Cannabis helps you get closer to your edge (your physical limits) without stepping over that edge and injuring yourself.

Once you’ve pushed yourself “with a little help from [your] friends” (does anyone get this Beatles reference?), it is time for Savasana. This is the final resting (and arguably most important) pose in the physical practice of yoga.

I don’t know if this one needs explaining.. if you think that cannabis, which is known the world over as a plant that helps you relax, enhances the experience of your Savasana post-practice, you would be very correct.

Bronchodilation, analgesic effect, and heightened ability to relax. These three benefits of cannabis are what I would consider “concrete”. There is significant scientific evidence to suggest they are real, and the ways they enhance the practice of yoga do not require much of a stretch of the imagination.

In my next post, I will discuss the more anecdotal (though no less powerful) aspects and benefits of the amazing combination that is cannabis and yoga.

2 Comments

  1. Hi James, I’m Heather, I’m new to your Instagram, like today being that new lol. I came across your page simply scanning through some of my favorite yogis. Your poems have touched me very deeply and I applaud your bravery to put yourself out there and really BE YOU. It’s Not only refreshing, it’s also inspiring. I’m a huge fan of poetry, I dabble myself now and than. However your words are simple, from the heart and put together beautifully. I also wanted to comment on this blog because I too am an avid marijuana consumer πŸ˜‰ (Sounds silly saying it like that lol) however, I have suffered with rheumatoid arthritis since being diagnosed at 22yrs old, years before that not knowing why I was always super sore or in apt of pain from sports and being a kid, as well as bad bad tension headaches that are brought on by my being just a sensitive woman. Sensitive as in sensitive to everyone and everything around me and feeling what others feel and much more. I know it sounds crazy but it’s 100% true I assure you and it gets to me being able to feel what others feel emotionally, mentally, etc. Marijuana has helped so much. And The benefits of yoga along with marijuana πŸ™Œ have helped me surpass my expectations in the past 3yrs I’m in absolute shock. My concentration and ability to stretch and breath and be focused on purely my practices and flows without being in excruciating pain (my RA is in my fingers, hands, wrists and elbows) I can even chuttarunga like a mofo πŸ˜‰πŸ™Œ I agree 100%. I’m excited to continue following you to see and read what’s next!

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    1. Heather, first off – THANK YOU for your kind words! Reading this deeply touched me. I am so grateful that you took the time to read / listen to my content – and then write this!
      Second – you being super sensitive doesn’t surprise me! If you have that sort of a gift for empathy, I hope you find way to share it with the world in a positive way.
      And it sounds like you are are dealing with your RA exceptionally well 😊 I am SO GLAD that you found marijuana + cannabis to be as magical a combination I have!
      Much love πŸ’š
      And if there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know 😊

      Like

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