A Historic Connection
Cannabis has been sacred within Buddhist cultures in India for thousands of years where it has been used as a spiritual and meditative aid. Yoga originated in India, during approximately the same time frame when cannabis appeared. Both yoga and cannabis have been closely tied to meditative processes in India for thousands of years and rose to popularity simultaneously in the United States in the 60s and the 70s.
The original connection between cannabis and yoga is not exactly known, but different historians have tied the two together in different events, ceremonies, and religious significances. It is believed that the Lord Shiva, the destroyer and creator god in Hinduism, who also happens to be the god of yoga, was rejuvenated from injury after consuming cannabis. Some people believe that this religious connection is what incorporated cannabis into yoga practice in the first place.
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Cannabis was also present when many of the modern yoga positions were created. Many of the yoga positions we know of today were created in the 7th century by tantric cultures, who practiced a combination of Shaviaite Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. Many of these religious cultures used cannabis regularly as part of their practice while they developed many of the aspects of modern Hatha Yoga.
The Yoga Sutras, which were compiled in 400 CE, outline the 196 main principles of yoga. The Sutras mention the use of “herbs” to help with subtler attainments. It has been argued by some people that herbs means cannabis, while others refute that fact. Many Sadhu’s today, however, use cannabis for spiritual purposes. These Sadhu’s, or Hindu holy men, believe that cannabis allows them to liberate themselves from perceived existential limits. They use cannabis in all aspects of their prayer, including during yoga.
Cannabis can help you relax and go deeper into your yoga practice.
Modern Day Cannabis Use
The idea of cannabis infused yoga was first brought to the United States in 2012. [Dee Dussault], a yoga teacher in San Francisco, opened the Ganga Yoga Practice in San Fransisco to provide her clients with a safe space to combine cannabis and their yoga practice. Though cannabis is optional in the classes, it is highly recommended, and the classes are currently only open to patients who have a registered California Medical Marijuana card.
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Cannabis can be used to deepen your yoga practice, whether it is in a cannabis-friendly studio or in the comfort of your own home. Cannabis can help increase your focus and mindfulness during yoga. Sometimes people find it hard to rid themselves of their daily stresses while settling into their yoga practice, but cannabis can help focus the mind and free it from frivolous thoughts. Yoga is all about finding your center within yourself and cannabis can help you achieve that goal. Cannabis helps you to de-stress and prepare yourself to enter a more mediative state.
Finding the Right Cannabis Product
As with all physical activity, it is important to dose cannabis in a way that allows you to still very aware of your body and physical space. First, choose a method of administration that you enjoy and one that helps to relax you. If you prefer to smoke or vaporize, consume a small amount of cannabis. Non-psychoactive high CBD strains such as ACDC or Electra Tsu are a great choice because they can provide you with a high that allows you to stay relaxed, but alert.
Small, low dose edibles are also a great choice for your yoga practice. Edibles, when taken in small doses, can provide a good, full body high. Edibles, however, it can be difficult to dose properly since many are packaged in large containers. It is always recommended to go low and slow until you understand your own tolerance level.
Satori is a HelloMD favorite for cannabis micro dosing.
Satori bite-sized edibles are a great choice for a pre-yoga treat that can bring you into a relaxed, but aware state for your yoga practice. Satori’s bite-sized edible products, which have been referred to as the “sativa of edibles” by our staff, come in 1mg, 3mg, and 10mg doses of THC in delicious chocolate covered treats.
Our HelloMD recommendation for your yoga practice is Satori’s Wild Strawberry bites in Organic Milk chocolate. Each bite has 3mg of THC and is full of simple, wholesome ingredients. Cofounder of HelloMD Pamela Hadfield, regularly micro doses low dose edibles before her yoga practice and says, “It makes me more aware of my breath, my internal rhythm and allows me to go deeper into the poses.” Whatever cannabis product you select the goal is to help you bring your yoga practice beyond where it has ever been before.
If you are new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s 100% online, private and efficient.