It’s not surprising that Colorado was perhaps the first state to come up with the idea of incorporating marijuana into a yoga practice. Obviously, with it being legal there, marijuana is not a deal breaker, so to speak, when it comes to educating yoga and meditation students on how to use cannabis to take their practice to another level. Certainly, no one will be arrested if there’s a pipe next to someone’s mat!
Interestingly, what’s being called yoganja (yoga + ganja, the slang for pot) is now being practiced in many places aside from Colorado. While in most studios students are not allowed to smoke in the yoga studios, instructors encourage them to get high before class as a sort of drug-induced warm-up.
In some studios in San Francisco, students with medical marijuana licenses spend 15 minutes getting high together before the start of class. Sounds perfect to some and pretty awful to others. To each his/her own!
Participants, for the most part, enjoy the experience of being high during yoga and feel “at one” with the earth, their mats, the class, etcetera. Others say they find themselves too distracted to focus. It’s very personal: It works for some, not for others–just as it does off the mat.
There are also books on the subject of Yoganja as well. For example, Cheri Sicard, author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, is aware of this new trend. Aside from the amazing tips she gives to women about how to use cannabis in a responsible way to enrich their lives, she also sees the pot-yoga connection:
“A growing number of yoga studios, in legal and medicinally legal states, are openly embracing the cannabis-exercise connection by offering 420-friendly classes that encourage students to participate ‘under the influence.’”
The yogic theory behind all of this is: Not only does marijuana allow the practitioner to go deeper inward, it allows practitioners to fully relax and breathe deeply while allowing the stresses of life to fall away. For those who find their minds wandering during the practice or they have a hard time balancing, they’ve either smoked too much (yes, it’s possible) or this type of practice that incorporates cannabis is just not right for them.
We want to hear what you think about yoganja–if you’ve ever done yoga while high or are curious to do so. We also welcome voices that aren’t for it too. Let us know what you think below.