As cannabis becomes more normalized and science-based information about the plant more mainstream, subcultures in our society are beginning to integrate consumption into activities, hobbies, groups and more. Yogis are no exception.
The Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India is considered the beginning of Yoga some 5,000 years ago, ironically, about the same time as earliest evidence shows humans interacted with the cannabis plant. Used not just for raw materials, but for use as a medicine or recreational ingestion and even burial shrouds. This indicates the cannabis plant was used in most, if not all, aspects of life for various cultures over thousands of years.
It would seem logical that activities like yoga would synergize well with the plant, many natural principles apply.
Patañjali, compiler of the Yoga sūtras, established the ten basic principles to Yoga:
- AHIMSA – Non-violence: No killing. Be peaceful.
- SATYA – Truthfulness: Be honest. Live a trustworthy and integral life.
- ASTEYA – Righteousness: Be fair. Don’t cheat. Don’t Steal.
- BRAHMACHARYA – Wisdom: Focus on inner happiness and peace.
- APARIGRAHA – Simplicity: Be moderate with enjoyment and consumption.
- ISHVARA-PRANIDHANA – Worship of the spiritual goal: Mediate and pray often.
- SHAUCHA – Sacrifice the ego: Let go of your ego and be your true self.
- TAPAS – Self-discipline: Lead a Disciplined Life.
- SVADHYAYA – Reading: Practice Mantras with Meditation.
- SANTOSHA – Contentment: Wholly Satisfied with One’s Life.
As more states and countries decriminalize and legalize cannabis, Yoga and other activities will evolve to include cannabis. Some consider cannabis integration into fitness as a potential gamechanger, a recent article in VOGUE magazine highlights cannabis-fitness infusion as more than just a fleeting trend.
Currently, pot-friendly Yogi’s and Yogini’s integrate cannabis into their Yoga in different ways. As an aspect of their meditation practice, consuming before their Yoga routine… or after. Some prefer to smoke while others love edibles or a nice cannabis tea. However you choose to make your yoga experience a Canna Yama experience, make sure to check out several Kula, community, options.
Twisted Sister Yoga, the creative vision of Shelly Jenkins Griffin, offers traditional yoga classes as well as “ganja yoga” and cannabis friendly yoga retreats.
The “Elevate and Align Ganja Yoga Retreat” is presented by Dank and has an upcoming retreat at Aspen Canyon Ranch June 25th – 28th. The retreat includes daily Yoga and Meditation classes; multiple activities, a Dank Dispensary Tour, Mindful Coloring and Chakra Alignment Workshop. The retreat includes 2 nights lodging, custom vegetarian cuisine and specialty swag bags for attendees. All attendees must be 21+ with a valid ID. Tickets are still available here with limited space remaining.
Rachael Carlevale is the founder of Ganjasana, whose mission is to “Deepen connection with cannabis plant spirit medicine”. Offering classes, retreats, Goddess Gatherings, and even online classes, Ganjasana is deeply committed to the most holistic and authentically natural experience with the cannabis master plant, “Our ceremonies are designed to model nature, to align with her natural rhythms, to connect with cannabis plant spirit medicine,” said Carlevale.
Upcoming events for Ganjasana include a sold-out Goddess Gathering in New York; the Back 2 Balance Breathwork Retreat on June 23rd – 25th in Lyons, Colorado; and a Women’s Cannabis Yoga Camping Retreat in Pagosa Springs, Colorado on August 24-27, 2017.
Another option for the cannabis yoga community are the Bend & Blaze Yoga classes at Cultivated Synergy in the RiNo district of Denver. The evening consumption friendly yoga experience is meant to “Deepen your yoga practice by having the option of incorporating one of nature’s most amazing plants,” said Cultivated Synergy Co-Founder & CEO, Ryan Tatum.
The classes are taught by Amanda Hitz, a local, certified Yoga Instructor and cannabis lover. Bend & Blaze is a donation based, all Levels Hatha flow class for adults 21+ and older. It pairs a detoxifying workout and centering restoration with the cannabis plant for an enlightening experience. Bend & Blaze classes are on varying dates, so check out the Cultivated Synergy calendar for the next B&B.
Whether it’s at a class or studio or at home, the cannabis yoga community is growing and more Yogi’s are including cannabis into their Yama and meditation for a truly elevated experience. Namaste!