Canna Yama Kula, the Cannabis Yoga Community

Canna Yama Kula, the Cannabis Yoga Community

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.

“Canna” = Cannabis
Yama” = Yoga
Kula” = Community

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.

canna-yama-kula

(Amy Dawn Bourlon-Hilterbran photo)

Patañjali, compiler of the Yoga sūtras, established the ten basic principles to Yoga:

  1. AHIMSA – Non-violence: No killing. Be peaceful.
  2. SATYA – Truthfulness: Be honest. Live a trustworthy and integral life.
  3. ASTEYA – Righteousness: Be fair. Don’t cheat. Don’t Steal.
  4. BRAHMACHARYA – Wisdom: Focus on inner happiness and peace.
  5. APARIGRAHA – Simplicity: Be moderate with enjoyment and consumption.
  6. ISHVARA-PRANIDHANA – Worship of the spiritual goal: Mediate and pray often.
  7. SHAUCHA – Sacrifice the ego: Let go of your ego and be your true self.
  8. TAPAS – Self-discipline: Lead a Disciplined Life.
  9. SVADHYAYA – Reading: Practice Mantras with Meditation.
  10. SANTOSHA – Contentment: Wholly Satisfied with One’s Life.
canna-yama-kula

(Amy Dawn Bourlon-Hilterbran photo)

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.

canna-yama-kula

(Photo courtesy of Shelly Jenkins)

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.

canna-yama-kula

(Photo courtesy of Rachael Carlevale)

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.

canna-yama-kula

(Photo courtesy of Cultivated Synergy)

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!

canna-yama-kula

(Amy Dawn Bourlon-Hilterbran photo)

Yoga and Hemp: The perfect pairing

Yoga and Hemp: The perfect pairing

Jennifer Jennette has the perfect career. As a yoga practitioner and instructor for over 13 years, Jennette decided to start a line of designer clothes that complimented yoga and natural living. The daughter of a scientist, master gardener and artist, Jennette knows better than anyone how important the earth is to maintaining health and happiness. After considerable research, she found the perfect mate for her yoga practice – natural, breathable clothes made out of nature’s finest fabric, hemp. Her company is called Surya Leela Designs.

Below you will find Jennette’s answers to several questions:

Why did you decide on using hemp-based material in your designs?

Jennifer Jennette: I was looking for eco-friendly knit fabrics to pair as leggings and tank tops with a woven flax linen skirt I was making. I found several sources that offered hemp/organic cotton blends as well as soy, bamboo and recycled polyesters. After researching the sustainability of all of those fibers, I found that hemp, like flax, was the most environmentally friendly, requiring the least amount of water and chemical processing.

yoga-and-hemp

Is there a significant difference in the texture and durability of hemp as opposed to more conventional, widely available fabrics?

JJ: There’s definitely a difference in texture and durability of hemp fabric. Hemp has a wonderful nubby texture when blended with organic cotton in knit fabrics and lends great durability, especially in a woven textile. Hemp is an extremely versatile fiber and can be used to make many different types of fabrics as well as many other products like twine, paper, and edibles like hemp seed and hemp oil which are high in omega fatty acids, very beneficial to the human body. Other plant-based fabrics, like rayon and viscose, take quite a bit of chemical processing, unlike hemp. So, when using those fabrics you have to be very careful to find out how the mill processes the waste from making the fabric and what kind of chemicals are used in breaking down the bast fiber itself.

Do you believe that hemp would make a contribution if grown in the United States for replacing or complementing existing fabrics?

JJ: Yes, definitely. In fact, right now in North Carolina, they have passed a law enabling farmers to grow hemp. There are some trial studies being done and I have a friend who is working with the NC Regulatory Committee to promote hemp growth and manufacturing in our state.

yoga-and-hemp

Do you find any other benefits of hemp as related to yoga?

JJ: Hemp is a sturdier plant that needs far less water and pesticide than a crop like cotton, for instance.
All matter has a particular ionic charge. In terms of energy or Chi, hemp has positive ionic charge, and plant fibers are infused with life force, unlike synthetics. That’s kind of esoteric, but you can actually test it with people and see that it is strengthening rather than negating, like synthetic products.

As more and more people begin to understand the importance of how nature can benefit our lives, people like Jennifer Jennette are providing examples of how contributors, like hemp, are essential in daily living.

Jennifer also shared knowledge of a new site, currently under development, called Hemptsy.com, that will promote hemp products. Watch for this one in the coming future.

Originally published: The Marijuana Times

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