Yoga encourages a total focus on your physical and psychological self, while cannabis may allow greater access to your mind. No wonder people combine weed and spirituality to elevate their experience.
When consumed, plants like Purple Gelato awaken the senses while relaxing the body. The effect is very similar to deep meditation. Can you deepen your yoga practice by pairing these two elements? What is their historical and modern connection?
Read on to learn about using marijuana for a practice of self-discovery and contact with the higher spirit.
Cannabis and Mindfulness
Mindfulness is at the core of yoga practice. It lets you observe your thoughts and emotions as they come, without judgment or attachment. The best way to engage in it is through breath and meditation.
The meditative state is the ultimate goal of yoga, after all. Asana only prepares the body for stillness and silence. When looking at cannabis and spirituality, we must consider the plant’s impact on meditation.
Like meditation, weed is a ritual. You open the bag, break apart a bud, and light up slowly and methodically. You savor each fragrance and flavor while the effects engulf you. Doing anything with such attention is rare for busy Americans, so toking lets you exercise mindfulness.
Marijuana’s effects may open yogis’ minds to new ideas, relax the body, and eliminate physical pains and aches. The combined mental and physical influence shifts your focus inward.
High Yoga and the Higher Self
The higher self is an essential element of yoga and one where weed for spirituality can assist. This concept refers to a part of all humans that’s connected to the universe. It manifests as your intuition, guiding you towards peace and happiness.
Yoga aims to unite the ego with the universe through movement, breath, and reflection. You open this ‘higher’ part of yourself and find peace.
It’s easy to get disconnected from this concept. Thoughts about the past and future creep up as you settle on your mat. You think about work, relationships, and events yet to happen and find it hard to stay present. That’s a big reason why people light up before yoga.
Yogic spirituality and weed pair well because the herb helps you disregard these thoughts. You temporarily forget about pains, stress, and to-do lists, opening yourself up to the divine.
The more you practice doing that on the mat, the easier it becomes off the mat, with or without marijuana. Consider it assistance for tapping into your full potential.
The Practical Aspect
Besides helping your spirituality, ‘high’ yoga offers several practical benefits.
Small doses of cannabis are often concentration-enhancing. They boost your awareness of your body, mind, and breath. The pain-relieving properties of THC and CBD may help you disregard distracting physical discomfort of a challenging pose.
Weed’s spiritual effects sometimes relate to practical ones, too. Taking THC may heighten your senses and alter your perception of time and space. Being high intensifies the practice and makes you more open-minded about your spirit and divine energy.
Take things slow and start with a smaller dose to reap these benefits. Herbs rich in both THC and CBD are ideal. You should also do a Hatha practice before attempting a Vinyasa flow under the influence.
Cannabis and Yoga Through History
These uses of cannabis for spirituality aren’t just anecdotes of modern yogis. The relationship dates back thousands of years.
Shiva is the Hindu Lord of Yoga and Ganja. Legends claim Indian gods would feast on weed, and this deity gifted the plant to humans. The texts of Hinduism that established yoga discussed marijuana as another tool for humankind to reach divinity.
As religion spread, so did marijuana use. The Yoga Sutras mention the herb as an essential element of the practice, and holy Hindi men used it to find enlightenment. They didn’t smoke to get high but for spiritual purposes; that’s how the East saw ganja till modern days.
A Word on ‘Ganja Yoga’
Ancient Eastern practices often find their way to the West—the same happened to marijuana and spirituality. Ganja yoga is a modern practice where yogis toke to establish a link between their minds, bodies, and spirits.
While these practitioners evoke the ancient principle, it’s essential to consider their motivations. Overconsumption of pot can dull emotions and hamper the sense of presence.
Classes emphasizing the ganja element can be fun, but they don’t follow the scriptures. If you’re interested in joining, find a teacher with a spiritual background. Avoid trendy yoga in favor of deep practice.
Weed Yoga Verdict
Weed and spirituality appear to have a beneficial relationship. Why not take advantage of the plant to facilitate the link?
Like all things yogic, practicing high is about finding balance. Use natural assistance in moderation and don’t consider it a shortcut but dedicate yourself to the process. It’s also better to avoid store-bought buds for this purpose. Yogis who buy seeds and grow weed at home find the experience more holistic.
Kyle Kushman is an American writer, educator, activist and award-winning cannabis cultivator and breeder specializing in veganic cultivation. He is a representative of Homegrown Cannabis CO company, has been a contributor for over 20 years, and has taught courses in advanced horticulture at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California and across the United States. Kushman also hosts a cannabis podcast called “The Grow Show with Kyle Kushman”.