Yoga requires total focus on one’s mind and body. Cannabis is a plant that, when used in certain ways, can allow users to more fully access their mind and body. So it should come as little surprise that there are a growing number of yoga practitioners and students who incorporate cannabis into their yoga sessions to facilitate greater relaxation and mindfulness. In fact, in states where recreational cannabis is legalized, it’s not uncommon to find cannabis-infused yoga classes led by professional yogis.
If you’re curious about how to best incorporate cannabis into your own yoga sessions, here are some tips from Melanie B, a 200 HR Certified Yoga Instructor (RYS) at Maryland Medicinal Yoga.
Pay attention to flow
When it comes to pairing cannabis with yoga, don’t try to incorporate cannabis into a yoga routine that’s particularly challenging. Instead, save the cannabis for a slower, more spiritual yoga session. Restorative and yin classes, where postures are held for longer periods of time than in other yoga styles, are a great pair with cannabis. Alternatively, Vinyasa or power yoga, which are more energetic in nature and incorporate many different poses, might not be the best fit. Of course, once you become more comfortable with cannabis and yoga, you can start incorporating it into some of your more challenging routines. The key is to start slow and work your way up.
“Yoga is very much about flow and cannabis increases our ability to find our natural rhythm,” said Melanie. “If you're smoking or vaping, try doing so while in movement and notice how much more effortlessly you go deeper into poses.”
Stick with indica or hybrid strains
Since indica and hybrid strains tend to induce a relaxed and open body high, they’re best used in conjunction with yoga. Sativa strains are known for making the mind feel busier, which is counterintuitive to the art of yoga and meditation. If you’re curious about using cannabis during yoga but aren’t sure about the mind-altering factor, opt for a strain that’s high in CBD and low in THC. Plus, CBD can provide pain relief, which hinders those with chronic pain sufferers from practicing yoga at all.
According to Melanie, “Infusing cannabis into your yoga routine starts with your experience in both. If you're new to either I recommend starting slow with a mild indica and a relaxing restorative sequence.”
For more information on the key differences between indica and hybrid strains, check out this blog post. CULTA offers plenty of premium craft cannabis strains that are indica dominant, and you can find our specific recommendations for yoga later in this blog post.
Make sure to time it right
Depending on your preferred intake method, you should take time to plan out your consumption in advance. Since edibles take much longer to work their way through the digestive system than other delivery methods, you should consume the edible anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours before your session. Flower tends to have the most immediate effect, but of course, this varies from person to person. Again, your budtender should be able to provide some information on how long you can expect a certain strain or intake method to affect you.
Start slow and build up gradually
In general, starting with 5-10 milligrams of THC is a good dosage for practicing yoga. Depending on your tolerance, you may wish to increase (or decrease) the milligrams from there. Many yoga teachers who incorporate cannabis into their routines recommend achieving the perfect high beforehand but experiment with what’s right for you. You might find that you prefer to smoke throughout your yoga session or closer towards the end as you cool down. And don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy your state of enhanced awareness. Breathe, relax, and don’t rush your way through your routine.
“Determine which method is best for you, smoking, vaping, or edibles and decide if you're going to consume prior or throughout your practice,” says Melanie. “I like to start sessions practicing breathwork techniques that work to strengthen the lungs and quiet the mind. Adding cannabis to this practice either before or during aids students in silencing the everyday noise in their brains and focusing only on the air going in and out of their lungs.”
Non-psychoactive CBD products may be the perfect way to incorporate the healing elements of cannabis into yoga, particularly for those who wish to avoid the high associated with THC. Here are a few of the advantages of combining CBD and yoga, according to 10buds:
- Pain relief, without the psychoactive elements of cannabis.
- Relaxation of muscles, allowing for deeper movements and stretches.
- Reduced levels of cortisol, aka the “stress hormone.”
- A clearer mind and increased focus.
- Faster muscle recovery and relief from soreness.
CBD has become increasingly popular over the years and is available in many different forms, including vapes, edibles, tinctures, and topical creams. Speak to your budtender about which intake method they recommend for your individual needs, or check out our blog post.
Our strain & accessory recommendations
As mentioned, indica and hybrid strains are the favorites for yoga. Here are a few specific strains recommended by Melanie:
- Dosidos #22
- Poochie Love
- Willie’s Reserve Cookies & Cream
- Lost Cause
- Rose Gold
And don’t forget your gear! Here are our recommendations for must-have yoga gear:
- Athleisure clothing
- Water bottle
- Yoga mat (more on that below)
- An open mind
- And, if you’re reading this blog, cannabis!
Our 72" x 24" yoga mat is biodegradable and is made from recycled natural tree rubber and water-based inks. It’s free from toxic ingredients, including latex, silicone, and phthalates, and has zero-odor! The absorbent top layer gives you the sweaty grip of a towel and the cushion of a yoga mat, with a responsive grip that’ll help reduce injuries. It’s reversible, grips better with sweat, and is good for both regular and hot yoga. Buy yours at our Baltimore dispensary today.