We Tried it High: Yoga

Namaste, stoners!

I’m someone that’s always down to try the latest workout on the block, and I find that switching up my routine helps combat boredom and keeps me motivated. So when I heard that my local yoga studio was offering HigherVeda Yoga, a class that integrated weed into the practice, I signed up on the spot.

Before class, I was curious – Would weed and working out go hand in hand? I did a quick search online, and found that not much is known about the effects of marijuana on athletes. There’s very little actual research about exercise and pot, but from what is known about cannabis, we are able to make some speculations.

On the positive side, marijuana’s chemical compounds (called cannabinoids) link up with the receptors that regulate pain, mood, appetite, and memory. For endurance sports, this could help with the stress that comes with pushing your body to its limits, as well as boredom for activities like long runs or bike rides. Marijuana can also mimic your body’s endorphins, and act as an anti-inflammatory.

On the negative side, being high can impair performance for things like reaction time and hand-eye coordination. And, since different strains of marijuana affect each person differently, scientists and healthcare professionals are hesitant to make any general recommendations about cannabis before your gym sesh.

I was excited to see for myself, so when the day finally came, I headed to yoga class with my mat, extra water, weed pen, and an open mind.

After a busy workweek we’re mellowing out with a few minutes of meditation.

A post shared by Yoga & Weed (@yogaandweed) on Apr 7, 2017 at 10:19am PDT

Check out this awesome insta account, @yogaandweed

The class started with our instructor Harleigh telling us a bit about the history of yoga and how marijuana was a part of some of the most ancient practices. One of the most interesting stories he told was about his visit to India for teacher training, where he met a group of monks smoking hashish (cannabis resin) by a beautiful river, connecting with nature and doing a more fun, free form practice. Harleigh said it was a unique departure from the more rigid training and it inspired him on a new level.

As a quick ice breaker, he had us introduce ourselves to the people on the mats to our left and right, and each person said the name of their first dealer. It was a funny prompt and got the class chatting and feeling like a community.

Then, we were invited to sample some CBD products like gummy edibles, hard candies, and vapor. CBD is a compound that’s extracted from cannabis and has many great medical benefits, but doesn’t make you feel “stoned.” It’s actually classified as a superfood, and is legal in all 50 states. Anyone that brought their own vaporizer (like my weed pen) could smoke in the studio, or if other attendees had flower to smoke, they went outside before the yoga began.

The CBD had a really mellow, calming effect on my body, and my weed pen had an indica / sativa blend which was just energizing enough to keep me moving through the various vinyasa flows. I found that the combination was the perfect compliment to the yoga practice.

Overall, I felt that being high helped me sink deeper into my poses, while still having a good awareness of my body and how I was feeling so that I didn’t overdo it or push myself too hard. Normally I get frustrated at myself if I can’t get fully into a certain pose or posture, but I found that being high helped me be more kind to my body and accept it’s limitations.

I also found that I was able to quiet my mind more easily and focus on my breathing, which is a super important part of any yoga practice. This was always a challenge for me since my mind tends to be pretty wild and wander all over the place, so being high helped me come fully into my body and be in the present.

I left class feeling enlightened and elevated and definitely plan to use cannabis in my yoga practice again.

Have you tried it high, too? Let us know below in the comments!

xo, BJ

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