Hemp & Cannabis: Can they enhance your practice? (Yes)

It’s easy to see why yoga helps calm the mind and relax the body. Controlled breath, intentional movements, and not having to think about what to do next – thanks to yoga instructors – helps make yoga ideal for anyone dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress-related maladies.

Yoga alone, however, may not work for everyone. Some people are dealing with chronic injuries, others may have stress disorders that prevent them from fully letting go and diving deep into their yoga practice. Over time, many of these people could likely learn to manage such, but what if there was something that could accelerate that process a little bit? What if there was something that could make yoga a little bit easier for anyone?

Enter hemp and cannabis. Usually chock full, respectively, of CBD and THC, hemp and cannabis can help those beginning yoga practice get into their practice a little quicker and can assist the experienced yoga practitioners dive a little deeper than ever before. Let’s talk about how.

CBD works best for the meditative part of yoga, as it often works to quell anxiety and body pain. Many of us are constantly barraged by “what if” thoughts, often because of an underlying anxiety disorder or reactions to memories being released through our muscles why we practice. While much of the evidence is still anecdotal, we’re seeing good reports that ingested CBD and/or smoked/vaped CBD helps enhance any kind of meditation by soothing our racing minds.

Some people want to stop here, which is great. There are a ton of articles about how meditation, yoga, and hemp/CBD alone can help reduce stress. From nearly everything period related to chronic injuries and even simply winding down after a day of too much stimulation, CBD alone has helped a bunch of people. But what about those wanting to go a little further, or maybe others who need to work up the desire to get active in the first place?

THC can work for the kind of negative thoughts that hold us back, specifically depression-type symptoms that keep us stuck in old patterns and prevent us from even being willing to try new things. Desert Bliss healer Sarina Gomez of Medicated Mavens knows this well, having led cannabis-infused yoga classes for almost two years.

Others say the THC in cannabis combined with yoga energizes them, which fits right in with our idea that THC helps people shake off heavy thoughts holding them down, opening us up for new experiences – or simply allowing us to let go of the past long enough to stay grounded in the present.

While seasoned cannabis users may load up on edibles before and dabs, joints, or vapor bags from a Volcano during or after, cannabis yoga is usually far more yoga than cannabis. The point is to unwind, relax, and center yourself, not spend the hour on your mat in a stupor — though I can’t say that’s not enjoyable, too.

Some Ayurvedic practitioners will tell you that cannabis is a shortcut to inner peace that won’t help long term, but for many of us, that’s the entire point. Using cannabis to give us a boost can be exactly what some need in order to overcome blockages and incorporate regular yoga, if not regular cannabis, into our everyday lives.

So…what’s stopping you from trying this out?

Tyler Hurst

Tyler Hurst is a freelance writer and soon-to-be yoga instructor healing himself from the mental and physical scars of complex PTSD using plant-, movement-, and spiritually-based methods. Follow him at https://www.instagram.com/tdhurst/