Yoga and cannabis are intertwined in antiquity. In India, the birthplace of yoga, the sacred status of the cannabis plant, or ganja/hashish was revered and celebrated as an integral part of culture for millennia.
Although ganja yoga has been revived in popularity out West, we are putting our focus on the benefits of micro-dosing only non-psychoactive CBD before yoga practice, and the use of potent topical balms for relief of muscular strains afterwards.
When combined, CBD and yoga are harmonious, amplifying each other's restorative gifts. CBD's calming effects on the mind make us more aware of our bodies, deepening our connection to our yoga practice.
Here at The Alchemist's Kitchen we've been meeting with a lot of yoga instructors who are interested in CBD as a mindful tool to drop into our practice quickly. Instructors are starting to use CBD as both a pre-practice and post-practice physical aid.
CBD & Yoga for Stress Relief
Yoga guides us towards our center through breath work, postures, and meditation. Our minds and bodies, so often fragmented by every day life, come into union through the alignment of breath and movement. This promotes mindfulness and relaxation. Studies show that yoga significantly lowers levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.
CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, is a wonderful complement to this practice because of its soothing effects on our nervous system. Both CBD and yoga ease our systems from a “flight or fight” stress response to a more relaxed “rest or digest” state. CBD may not make you high like THC, but like yoga, it’s super effective at helping you chill out. CBD is often used to treat mild cases of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Both CBD and yoga are also effective in treating physical ailments such as inflammation, and joint and muscle issues. CBD can help mollify aches and pains you may experience while moving from pose to pose.
Getting in Touch with Your Body
CBD heightens physical sensations in the body, which enhances the mind-body connection that yoga already develops. This awareness of the body combined with CBD's calming effects helps promote deeper, slower, and more intentional breaths, which in turn can help you reap deeper benefits from your practice.
It can also aid in some of the more challenging points of yoga.
"Consuming CBD with yoga opens up a dialogue with my body that is both playful and instructive," says resident Alchemist's Kitchen herbalist Zach Clancy. "CBD helps me stay better connected to my breath and how my body is responding to the pose, so that I don’t give up or opt out early.”
How Co I Combine CBD and Yoga?
Zach suggests ingesting CBD about 30 minutes to an hour prior to your yoga practice. “If a teacher is hosting an event,” he says, “they can start by having participants ingest, followed by a guided meditation.”
CBD can also be applied topically as a cream. No need to wait either - just rub it on your body right before you do yoga.