Leave it to the Canadians and their legalized marijuana to find yet another excuse to get high: yoga class!
I suppose to some, yoga and pot are synonymous anyhow. But to those of us who practice regularly, the high we get from a practice, any practice, from more mellow Iyengar to balls out Bikram, is just so satisfying and remarkable on its own, it keeps us coming back to the magic of the mat as often as we can.
But, apparently there is another faction of yogis that feel there’s just that much more can be achieved through a practice enhanced by the ganja… the herb… the tea… by the cannabis that they’ve developed a series of classes incorporating the hallucinogen to maximize their yogic experience.
Dee Dussault, founder of Follow Your Bliss center and Ganja Yoga classes, told Relaxnews that she has “been smoking marijuana for four years, practicing yoga for 15 years” and “teaching cannabis-enhanced yoga for about one year.”
Classes range in participation from four to fifteen students, and along with mats, towels and water bottles, it’s a strict policy of BYOP: Bring Your Own Pot. There is no sharing or mooching and there is certainly no buying or selling.
Classes include “a vaporizer café and chat (approximately 30 minutes), followed by a profoundly trippy yoga class, set to mystical music (approximately 75 minutes). Light munchies served afterward” for about $15 CDN.
Most of us don’t live in the Toronto area to take advantage of this unique approach to yoga, but if you’re interesting in experimenting with your own ganja infused practice, Dee Dussault offers a few pointers:
- Focus more on the sensations that one feels in the body than on trying to achieve more intermediate or advanced postures while high.
- Really slow down, focus inwards, let go of your idea of what “yoga” is supposed to look like. Just “be” in different poses. Hang out there, let the ganja take you to new realms of experience. Notice your breath. Notice how the body moves and feels. Do some simple stretches, whatever your body calls for.
- Always listen to your body, and err on the side of doing less than you think you can.
- Stay away from balancing poses unless you are used to them, as marijuana can negatively impact balance for some people. Spend a lot of time in meditative poses.
- If your mind wanders, just come back to your breath. If thoughts interrupt or distract you, see if you can commit to focusing on the breath and the feeling of the body.
- Marijuana is great for making us super-interested in things for the short-term. Be super-interested in things you’ve never noticed about your body before. Continually commit to coming back to the breath, to the body.
- If you feel anxiety or cannabis-induced paranoia, try “Child’s Pose” – kneel on your knees and lower legs, with your hips reaching down towards your heels, and your forehead on the mat. You can have your arms extended over your head, or by your sides. Child’s pose reduces mental tension and anxiety.