More people today are doing yoga than ever. And with marijuana legalization sweeping the nation, they’re also smoking more weed. Combining cannabis and yoga has become somewhat of a trend, especially in states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington who have legalized weed for recreational use. People in California have been using cannabis with yoga for years.
Can Cannabis and Yoga Blend for Better Balance?
Mixing cannabis and yoga is in. And contrary to what many believe, it’s not just a new fad. Take what Kriya Yoga Master Swami Satyananda Saraswati had to say in 1984 in his book Kundalini Tantra:
“You know what happens if you take a dose of ganja? Take a few puffs and see what happens to your mind. It slows down and the brain waves change from theta to beta, from alpha to delta. Suddenly you feel calm and quiet. What happened to your mind? You didn’t fight with it. I’m not advocating the use of ganja, I’m just giving you a very gross example of how Kriya Yoga works on your mind. By infusing ganja or some hallucinogenic drug, the chemical properties of the gross body change. The heart slows down, the breathing rate changes, the brain waves alter, and the mind becomes calm and still. Is it not possible to arrive at the same point through Kriya Yoga? Yes, this is exactly what is accomplished through Kriya Yoga.”
Modern day yogis often find that blending cannabis with yoga offers a distinct balance within the ancient practice. In the book Ganga Yoga: A Practical Guide to Conscious Relaxation, Soothing Pain Relief, and Enlightened Self-Discovery, author Dee Dussalt expresses her opinion. She writes that cannabis and yoga both “bring a shift in consciousness that allows one to become more open to psychological, emotional, and energy states that aren’t usually operational in the grind of daily life.”
Those in favor of using cannabis and doing yoga say it offers a new perspective on their practice. That it makes them feel more connected to their body and mind. And that cannabis can open them to a new rhythm in their movement they haven’t experienced before.
Not All Practicing Yogis Believe in Smoking Pot
While some find a blended balance when incorporating cannabis into their practice, not all yogis agree. The use of cannabis with yoga has become somewhat of a controversy with some people in the yoga community. Those against it say cannabis detaches a person from the real world. That it decreases focus and concentration.
Some practicing yogis are strict about their practice. They use yoga for precise mastery over body and mind. And they believe that the use of cannabis with yoga deters from this mastery of mind.
Take William Sands for instance. Sands is the dean of the College of Maharishi Vedic Science at Maharishi University. He believes that cannabis “inhibits the ability to experience yoga, the inner self.” Like others, Sands believes that cannabis can affect the flow of energy through the body and cloud the perception of one’s true inner self in illusion.
For those who love yoga…and weed, combining the two has some serious benefits. Whether taking a 420-yoga class and listening to Tupac, or smoking some sensei in solitude and practicing at home, combining cannabis and yoga can be an enlightening experience.