Listen, I could go on and on about the benefits of both cannabis and yoga. But--real talk--it also just feels great to pair the two. Cannabis and physical activity isn’t a new thing; in fact, many athletes and yogis enjoy pairing cannabis with their practice because it allows them to focus more on proper form and less on everything around them.
It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to yoga, so I recommend starting with a series of poses called Sun Salutations (AKA Surya Namaskara in Sanskrit). With Sun Salutations, you can do one set of the poses, or as many as feel good to you. Allow yourself to enjoy these poses at your own pace, slow down, or speed up as your body needs. Focus on breathing through your nose and give appreciation to the muscles and bones in your body allowing you to do these poses.
Sit on your mat and allow your mind and body to start relaxing. This is a great time to set your intention for this practice. Do you want to allow yourself to shut off your brain? Get in a good sweat? Or maybe just enjoy the feeling of deep stretches? This will help you decide which strain is right for your practice.
Strain selection varies person-to-person, but I’ll reach for Blue Dream which is physically relaxing while still being mentally stimulating for a more meditative practice, gentle indicas like Cherry Pie or Grand Daddy Purp to really feel the stretches throughout my body, or if I want to get my sweat on, I’ll reach for something more stimulating like Jack Herer or Sour Diesel.
Take a hit or two and put your vape pen aside. Ease into your high, you can always smoke more if needed, but you don’t want to overdo it and take a nap on your mat instead.
Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara)
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
To get this party started, stand with your feet hip-width apart and bring your hands together in prayer position resting your thumbs on your chest.
Focus on standing straight and strong and allow yourself to take several breaths in this pose.
Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
Inhale and sweep your arms out to the side and up to the ceiling. Rejoin your palms, gently arch your back, and look to your thumbs.
Focus on keeping your shoulders away from your ears.
Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)
Think of this one as a swan dive into a pool. Lengthening your spine, exhale as you fold forward from the hips and bring your hands to your mat and bend your knees if necessary. Flatten your palms if possible or just keep your fingertips on the mat, you can use a yoga block (you can really use anything here, like a stack of books or DVDs) if you need a little support.
Focus here on keeping your back flat.
Plank Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
From the last pose, exhale as you jump or step back into a plank position. You’re probably thinking, “I know how to plank!” But remember to line your shoulders up over your wrists, keep your head and spine aligned, and don’t drop those hips!
Take several breaths in this pose and on an exhale, slowly lower your shoulders towards your hands. Feel free to lower your knees if needed.
Focus on keeping your elbows by your sides without tucking them in or flaring them out (think about making a right angle with your arms), don’t dip your hips or head, and make sure you’re not sticking your butt out, think about making your body a plank.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) or Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
You have some options here as these poses are very similar, and you can do whichever one feels easier (or more challenging if that’s what you’re intention is).
For Cobra: lower your stomach, pelvis, legs, and feet onto your mat with your toes out and the tops of your feet on your mat. Inhale and press your hands down to lift your chest off your mat. Roll your shoulders back and keep your neck neutral gazing at the floor.
Focus here on a neutral gaze, you don’t want to stress your neck.
For Upward-Facing Dog: pressing your hands into the mat, lift your body off of the floor while keeping the tops of your feet rooted into the mat. Bring your shoulders down away from your ears and straighten your arms.
Focus here on making sure your legs are straight and your knees are lifted off the floor.
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
You know what to do here. Exhale and push back. You’re making an upside-down V here, so make sure your butt is in the air, and your legs and upper body are straight. You’re grounding your palms into the mat and while your heels don’t need to touch the ground, you might want to for the amazing stretch through your calves. Take a few breaths here.
Focus on lengthening your spine.
Standing Half-Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)
We’re circling back now, so step or jump both feet between your hands so you’re back into Standing Half-Forward Bend.
Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
Inhale as you sweep your arms out and upward. Gently arch your back and gaze up.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Exhale as you come back into Mountain Pose bringing your hands into prayer position again.
WTF do I do now?
How are you feeling? If you’re new at yoga, maybe do one more round and then enjoy as much time as you need in Corpse Pose (Savasana). Or, do as many Sun Salutations as feels right to you! But TRUST us, don’t skip the Savasana! It’s the BEST part of any practice.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
This could be a great point to take another puff. Lie down flat on your back allow your arms and feet to fall apart from your body. Don’t move around. Let yourself fully relax here.
Focus on relaxing everything. Relax your face and neck, relax your shoulders, allow the floor to support you. Relax your hips, knees, and feet. Just CHILL. Allow yourself to breathe and be here as long as you can.