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Yoga Weed

Yoga, Meet Weed

In a delightful combination of ohms and mmms, yoga teachers in California have begun offering classes that include pot smoking.

YogaGanja Yoga, a cutting-edge studio in San Francisco, now offers 15-minute smoking sessions for yoga students with medical marijuana cards. The toking is followed by standard one-hour yoga sessions.

Don’t have an official MMJ card? The studio advises you to spark up at home before class. The marijuana-themed sessions mix yoga and tantric principles, said Dee Dussault, a certified instructor at Ganja Yoga.

She brought the concept to California after five years teaching it in Toronto. She started her pot-oriented class in October.

“These ‘enhanced’ yoga and tantra journeys are opportunities for you to enjoy trippy relaxation, pain-relief, sensuality, and the cultivation of inner peace,” Dussault said.

Marijuana and yoga go hand-in-hand

News reports didn’t indicate the type of yoga involved or the difficulty of the exercises. Weed seems like an absolutely terrific mix with simpler forms of yoga that focus on relaxation, breathing, and mental focus. More rigorous types of yoga might not blend with weed so well: Who wants to waste a good high on indoor temperatures north of 100 degrees?

Dussault said she’s the first Western instructor to bring yoga and pot together in any kind of formal way, though similar classes have recently appeared in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

There’s every reason to think yoga and weed should mix well. They both alter your mental state, they both promote calmness and ease anxiety, and they both help a lot of people lead better, healthier lives. They’re also both very old and come from the same part of the world.

Yoga’s long, interesting history

Yoga has been with us for more than 2,000 years, originating around 500 BCE in or around present-day India. It has deep roots in both Buddhism and Hinduism, the primary religions of South Asia.

There are several traditional schools of yoga practiced by many Buddhists and Hindus. Practitioners from India introduced yoga to the West in the 20th century. It has since diverged widely in the United States and other Western countries, typically spurred by new philosophies and yoga techniques in the East.

Hot yoga, for example, is a popular modern form of yoga derived from Bikram Choudhury, a prominent Indian yoga teacher. Bikram yoga, as it’s formally known, arrived in the U.S. in the 1970s. It involves yoga exercises performed at high temperatures, usually at least 95 degrees, with high humidity.

Marijuana was born on Himalayan mountains

Legalizing MarijuanaMarijuana, meanwhile, is native to Nepal and India, both located in the tropics. It first grew wild low on the slopes of the Himalayas, though it now grows naturally in humid places around the world, especially the tropics (though it’s easy to grow in temperate regions as well).

Humans started smoking weed long before yoga appeared: at least 5,000 years ago. But they’re both ancient practices with health benefits and the promise of peace of mind. Why not mix the two?

About Matt Brooks

Based in San Francisco, Matt is a journalist who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than five years. He provides regular news coverage on marijuanaandthelaw.com and californiamarijuanamarket.com.

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