Yoga

Marijuana-Enhanced Yoga Gains Popularity in Toronto

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Alright Canada!! Not going to lie, from my experience, being a “weed smoker” is a pretty common trait among most modern day yogis.

I often have heard “rumors” of people passing the peace pipe among friends before or after an amazing yoga practice. Personally, I enjoy a little greenery sometimes before hitting the mat, mostly because I feel that it really puts me in my body and places my mind in a very explorative and experimental state. I think the union between the sacred herbs and the sacred practice of hatha yoga is pretty amazing –  and apparently I am not alone.

Check out this excerpt below from Canadian publication Globe Life and Mail about Dee Dussault, a Toronto based yoga teacher who runs a monthly session of “cannabis-enhanced yoga” at her home dubbed Follow Your Bliss. Groovy.

They chat away breezily between vaporizer tokes, sometimes veering off into conspiracy theories about the government or discussions of the healthiest way to smoke marijuana. Then the 12 yoga lovers extend their arms and breathe deeply. Yoga mats cover the floor. A guitarist strums chords as incense weaves its tendrils across the room.

As the light haze of pot smoke dissipates in the downtown Toronto living room, the ganja yoga session begins.

“When you’re high, you can focus better on your breath,” says Dee Dussault, who runs a monthly session of “cannabis-enhanced yoga” at her home dubbed Follow Your Bliss.

She says smoking marijuana in small doses before a yoga class also makes students more receptive to the poses and philosophies behind the activities. “For some people, it makes them uninhibited and open to the idea of the heart chakra, for example.”

Heart chakras aside, ganja yoga has the THC whiff of being the latest yoga fad, following on the heels of hot yoga, circus yoga, pre- and postnatal yoga, acro yoga (acrobatics), even hip-hop yoga. While cannabis has been deeply entwined with spiritualism over the centuries, some yoga practitioners say that a pure body is ideal for the exercise and that smoking pot could cause an unwieldy imbalance. As one online-forum commenter opined: “Why should we try to purify our body and soul through yoga if we later intoxicate it again with marijuana or other substances?”

But Dan Skye, senior editor at New York-based High Times magazine, which tracks marijuana trends, disagrees with yoga purists who believe getting high before a class is detrimental. “Pot is changing medicine; it’s changing recreational habits,” he says. The latest research seems to back up his claim: A recent McGill University study found that cannabis helped alleviate chronic neuropathic pain.

Jane Fast and her yoga instructor Dee Duss smoke some marijuana before starting a “ganja yoga” class at her studio on Grange Ave. in Toronto, Ontario on September 1st, 2010.

Hey, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!