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Namaste Mary J, Welcome to Pot Yoga Class

in Meditations on Mutations, YD News

You’re going to love this one. Get your yoga high…with marijuana! And, meditation too, of course. Some folks, we know, already get recreational with  ‘enhanced inhales’ to deepen their yogic experience, but how about a class that actually requires that you light up? It’s true! On the long list of yoga mashups comes the most obvious, if not most illegal, combo – yoga and weed! The Globe and Mail reports on the new trend.

Teacher Dee Dussault who runs the pot yoga out of her home studio in Toronto (no, not CA – those yogsters smoke at home) says, “When you’re high, you can focus better on your breath.”

And there’s more…tokers rejoice!

She says smoking marijuana in small doses before a yoga class also makes students more receptive to the poses and philosophies behind the activities. “For some people, it makes them uninhibited and open to the idea of the heart chakra, for example.”

But comments from the happy students may be the best:

” Yoga and marijuana, together… It’s like putting salt on your food. It’s just a little enhancement.”— Tanya Pillay

“ Marijuana quells those voices in your mind. ”— Melinda Reidl, yoga practitioner

Namaste, Mary J. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!

Would you try a weed-flavored yoga class? What are the benefits and/or disadvantages? Enlighten us. We won’t tell the cops.

——
Earlier

50 comments… add one

  • Yogini#

    Not the way I balance; might blunt the pain going down, tho’

    IOW, surely the style would have to be ’70s throwback mellow … might not work too well in an All-Levels flow class …

    Would love it if they let me try that class straight, though … can’t breathe right with even incense in the room …

  • Ayogini

    Tried it at home. I loose my balance and have a hard time controlling my monkey mind. Yoga alone makes me feel high. I prefer to keep the two separate. But, I know someone else that loves it. It helps him gain balance, control of his monkey mind, and a deeper connection.

    To each his own.

  • Christopher

    Yet another yoga story that makes me want to hang myself by my yoga straps.

  • jane

    me too!

  • Mateofeo

    I’m so conflicted by this. I believe yoga is about emancipation from habits, especially unhealthy ones like smoking anything. Everyone is different. I think one feels more in control, creative, … on cannabis but medical studies have largely disproved this.

  • me

    Actually, they did a pretty comprehensive study at Harvard that showed that smoking marijuana increases IQ, creativity, etc. Which studies exactly have you read?

  • Cali

    I am right there with you, Christopher. Isn’t the point of yoga to stop relying on things outside of the body and let your body show you how powerful it can be? Who needs weed for that? In the most non-judgmental way, I would like to ask these folks what types of yoga they’ve practiced straight. If they have never felt naturally high after whatever they’ve tried perhaps it’s just time to try a different style, not get high. But in the yogi mind set, to each their own…

  • Meg

    I smoke pot and practice yoga at home several times a month (I do have a regular home practice, which does not include pot). I enjoy practicing while high as I find it increases my concentration and makes me feel more physically connected to movement. It is most beneficial for me when my mind is too active or I just don’t feel like practicing. It leads to a slower, more medatiative practice – a beautiful experience every time. And yes, I have experienced the natural yoga high many times. It would be interesting to try a class while high, but it is probably not something I would seek out.

  • I know if I smoked a doobie there is no way I would want to do any yoga. fall asleep maybe, but no yoga.

    but smoking a chillum with a shiva baba? sign me up.

  • Having had years of experience with both, I’ll stick to the motto of my blog: “Yoga: like marijuana but good for you.” Or, another way of putting that: “Marijuana: like yoga but with nasty feeling in your sinuses.”

  • Hi there,
    I read some of your blog for the first time today, and found it really quite fun. I was doing a bit of research for my own blog post, and linked to your most recent post on pot and yoga. You can check my post out at http://fliederfloxx.blogspot.com/2010/09/yoga-for-skeptics.html (I’m new to blogging so I hope this shameless plug is OK). Anyway, thanks for the amusing posts….
    Tracey

  • I enjoy doing yoga stoned, but only occasionally. However, I would love to take a class where EVERYONE was stoned, even the teacher, just for the experience. Toronto’s so far away, though, and who knows if that weed is any good…

  • technicolordog

    Not for me. Would keep laughing and getting the munchies half way thru’ an asana.

  • I think we are losing sight of what yoga has to offer to the west. I feel
    all drugs alter the mind and we get distracted from our true self.
    Hopefully over time, we have realized this, as we move forward in our
    practice.

  • bastian

    yes you are right about that but for your information marijuana is something natural that makes you relaxed after having smoked some

  • Interesting set of comments you’ve got here! I agree with everyone who said it’s probably best to keep these two separate. I truly believe that yoga is about getting your body and mind in sync with each other through completely natural means. I doubt I’d enjoy a class that smells like weed. Yuck! I hear that some people do practice this way, though, even teachers. Even Bikram teachers, which I find ridiculous and pretty unprofessional. How can you deliver a solid dialogue and deliver good corrections if you’re in your own little hippie mind? Hope those teachers reconsider the habit.

  • the munchies, yeah, didn’t think about that one….

    made hash brownies once and gave them to….oh never mind…..

  • i think this post gets the award for best title! love it.

    as a canadian, i have to say that a ganja yoga class feels like more of a vancouver than a toronto thing. like yoga for cynics, i also have a lot of experience with both yoga and weed, and on occasion i like to combine them. not in class though, i get too paranoid (“everyone knows i’m stoned! why is my teacher looking at me like that? i can’t stand on my hands, i’ll fall over! what am i doing here?”). however, in my general resistance to yoga + anything classes, you will never find me in a ganja yoga class.

  • Daniella M

    I would go to a yoga class where everyone was stoned for suuuuureeee, would probably be so much fun. But occasionally.

    Going to a regular class stoned? Not happening, yoga requires concentration and i like to go to hard classes!!!
    love this post thou
    xo

  • IT IS POSSIBLE IN CALIFORNIA. The only difference is that it is not and cannot be mandatory. Therefore we ask that legal patients medicate on their own (for ex. in their cars) before strolling into our spine tingling restorative class! SATURDAYS ans SUNDAYS at 4:20 (of course)at YOGA and Pilates Los Angeles. It was the logical next step for me to offer a more affordable yoga + weed option through group classes after observing that most of my private students “medicate” before their session. I support its use as a tool for students ready to reach the next level of their asana practice by feeling their energy as something that concretely exists and can be manipulated as opposed to an academic or esoteric concept rumored to exist by yogis in Himalayan caves. Whatever it takes for students to truly feel and connect to this energy ultimately serves their practice. Marijuana’s continued use is a personal choice, but I think every yogi should try it once and likewise, every stoner should try yoga once.

  • RS

    Liz–I would so love those classes!

    I have medicated many times before yoga and the two activities have been very positively synergistic for me. Of course, it also depends on the kind of herb are using, and the method. I would definitely consume an edible or vaporize to spare my lungs over actually smoking pot (yuck). And I would highly recommend herbage that is tilted more towards a sativa for a more active class and more indica heavy for a slower, more meditative class.

    Liz I really liked your description about feeling our energy concretely and being able to manipulate it b/c that is exactly how I have feel when I practice high. Time feels like it slows down, focus increases several fold (and I can choose what to focus on), and my heart feels more open and free. The enhanced ability to focus on each breath, from start to finish, has become a bedrock of my daily practice of yoga and life.

    Most people’s knowledge pertaining to marijuana is rooted in information we learned growing up, like smoking pot is a gateway drug to cocaine and heroine, it makes you crazy, and if you use a lot of it you turn into a couch-locked stoner. All completely not true from personal experience and from experiences of many other regular users.

    Weed and yoga are a perfect union!!!

  • No way, only because I practiced next to someone in class the other day who reeked of marijuana. My first thought was 1) gross and 2) how rude. It’s really not a pleasant smell.

  • IT IS POSSIBLE IN CALIFORNIA. The only difference is that it is not and cannot be mandatory. Therefore we ask that legal patients medicate on their own (for ex. in their cars) before strolling into our spine tingling restorative class! SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS at 4:20 (of course)at Brazilian YOGA and Pilates Los Angeles. It was the logical next step for me to offer a more affordable yoga + weed option through group classes after observing that most of my private students “medicate” before their session. I support its use as a tool for students ready to reach the next level of their asana practice by feeling their energy as something that concretely exists and can be manipulated as opposed to an academic or esoteric concept rumored to exist by yogis in Himalayan caves. Whatever it takes for students to truly feel and connect to this energy ultimately serves their practice. Marijuana’s continued use is a personal choice, but I think every yogi should try it once and likewise, every stoner should try yoga once.

  • Julian Pursell

    Yoga comes from the Himalayas, it is survival gear.
    Yogis in the Himalayas smoke a lot of Ganja.
    One of the reasons they developed yoga was to repair the damage from smoking.
    It is wrong to alienate smokers from yoga classes. A lot of decent smoking folk are put off by the health-elitist attitude found in many yoga circles.
    the best part of all:
    weed kills ambition, ambition kills yoga.
    weed is the enemy of the enemies of yoga.
    weed is the antidote to capitalism and cannibalism ;)

    weed + yoga cures aspergers syndrome (nearly).

  • Tony

    I love practicing with some herb. At times, I feel like I’m cheating. It makes easy for me to let go of my normal tension much quicker, and really sink into postures. However, my regular practice is at 6am, which is a little too early for me to smoke.

  • The more yogis you talk to about this, the more we can start coming out of the closet and admit that we have experimented with weed as a yogic tool. Is the problem with marijuana usage the plant itself or the social shame that surrounds it? People mention feeling paranoid about being discovered “high” in a class as a disadvantage. I agree, when you’re paranoid it defeats the purpose of trying to sink into a deeper meditation. Thus, I see a need for an open, accepting place to experiment. Any yogis in Los Angeles who want to practice yoga in a non-judgmental environment – come check out my studio. I created it for this reason and call it Brazilian Yoga because it’s challenging, spiritual, and hedonistic at the same time! I wanted to create a safe environment where it’s ok to experiment and play – whether that means you smoked-out before class, added your own variations to a pose, toppled over during handstand, or even had a burger after class – it’s all good! It’s all about feeling happy, healthy, and growing in a way that works for you! Every BODY is different!

  • Yogini#

    Hope there’s a very low price to go along with your lack of judgment. I actually can’t afford recreational drugs (let alone my medical conditions – we are talking financially) and I do think that lots of recreational drug use as well as frequently yoga studio attendance are financially correlated …

    Okay … enough now .. back to my 3-figure savings account and I’ll leave you stoners alone ….

  • Yogini#

    Umm, I just looked at your website. For those prices, for the sake of us financially challenged, I kinda hope that the classes stay small and personal attention-like …

  • Tony

    @Yogini#: sounds like you wouldn’t like that studio anyway. Most of the studios in my area offer work-trade for people who can’t afford class fees. Check with the studios in your area. You may be surprised with the kindness you find in the community.

  • Yogini#

    @Tony … well, I did find a teacher. No time to engage in work-trade (there IS such a thing as the working poor who don’t have flexible hours … ) The teacher has to be a certain type of teacher. When I no longer take those classes, it is back to the four walls, totally. Hint: kirtan and incantations … and a bit of benevolent countertransference from the teacher is also nice. Who needs drugs when they go searching for (and even if by degrees) find what they want in this life … ?

  • Is $12 to $15 a lot for a yoga class in Los Angeles? I did market research and most studios charge a couple bucks more for a group class, with yoga works topping the charts at $22…I already offer work trade and those slots are filled. the rent alone is 2K per mo…so…..right now my bank account is negative! thanks for looking at the site tho! loka samasta sukhino bhavantu! may all begins every where be happy and free weed or no weed! “practice and all is coming” Pathabi Jois

  • Jacquie

    I love this idea, but it would have to be a really low to the mat class otherwise I’d fall on my bum. Once in awhile it would be great but overall smoking would greatly interfere with my practice.

  • Julian Pursell

    It’s not bad to wobble in a yoga class. Wobbling is another word for developing balance. If you are standing there, one one leg, solid as a rock, sure you have proved maybe that your mind is still and your body is strong and aware of it’s core, but where are you going?

    If Utitha Hasta Padangustasana is too easy, try looking at your toe or nose or even third eye, and there’s a whole new challenge.

    If that’s not hard enough, get stoned as well. It’s a bit like altitude training or wearing ankle weights. Take them off and the handicap turns into an advantage.

  • Yogini#

    Maybe I don’t get it … what if youwant to just plateau for a while … has diehard Nietzscheanism taken over my yoga class as well? Sometimes, I wish my feet had never gotten so bad that I couldn’t do step aerobics anymore, if *that* is a motivation …

    I’ll take my classes straight, I’ve had a little coffee before hand in the past. Alertness and sukha are underrated in today’s climate …

  • Okay, when I first read this article in the paper, I could only think “Wow, from hot yoga to hoot yoga,” and “I’ve always known yoga was good for the joints.” If I keep practising, perhaps I can conquer desire to indulge in bad puns.

  • Jason

    Although I do like to smoke pot, I would never practice yoga stoned. I enjoy a physically demanding practice that does not jive well with the stoned mindset, and I wouldn’t mix the two out of my respect for serious practice. It is unfortunate the stigma that many people, expecially self-righteous yogis, have against weed when they don’t think twice about drinking (those 2 are equivalent in my belief). One of the joys of consciousness is the ability to alter it, through yoga and meditation practice, and yes even through mild intoxication. The exploration of pleasure, the unexpected thoughts and new perspectives that these states induce, are insightful and fun. Why not enjoy them?

  • RS

    I used to think of them as equivalents, but I don’t think they are anymore. I began to realize that something which is grown and which can be used in a variety of ways–smoked, vaporized, eaten , drunk, and rubbed on the skin–was necessarily such a bad thing. No hangovers. If you try to commit suicide using weed, you will fall asleep, and still not have a hangover. I think of weed now (after lots of research) as something distinctly different from alcohol and more akin to caffeine-plus. I think that if/when we do much more extensive research on the matter, the many benefits of marijuana use will come to light. As a society we just don’t know too much about it and the things we do know either we learned from smoking crappy weed in the past, or from unverified dogma we learned growing up.

    Let’s get past the stigma and learn something about pot before we lump all marijuana into just one “drug.” There are so many different strains and so many wonderful ways to mix them. We seem to have no problem as a society with people pounding alcohol and anti-anxiety/anti-depression medications. Why not just look at marijuana without judgment, as if for the first time? We’re good doing that because we’re yogis.

  • bastian

    totally on your side why are people to stupid to see that all those anti deppressants have life threataning side effects but they want to risk it instead they should smoke marijuana it just takes the depression away after smoking some nice strains it just disappears and your pain reliefs also i dont get why they haven’t legalized it yet thousands of people die every year on overdose of alcohol or because of ciggaretes has anyone ever hear of someone dying from an overdose of marijuana i don’t think so because its impossible that’s another great thing about marijuana you can not overdose and there are absolutely no side in short term and long term plus it is not phisically addicting its mentally addicting so you can easily stop .

  • Ram Sus

    well, after all these years i have recently discovered that ashtanga series go expicitely well with a bottle of good craft lager ( e.g. brooklyn lager or IPA ) about 5-10 minutes before the first surya namaskara. but it is VERY important it is a beer brewed with love and handpicked natural ingredients – only excellent water, hops, and malt !

  • Truly THE BEST way to do yoga! You are so much more in tune with your body and breath. I’ve been doing it for years.. ;)

  • RS

    amen sista!

  • I do this on a regular basis. More often when I’m trying to create new routines to teach classes. It definitely gets you out of your head and into your body very quickly. Also, for the health freaks out there, smoking is NOT the only way to consume marijuana!

  • Free the monkey mind!!

  • BEATRICE

    No. This practice would not lead to a union of your TRUE self, mind and body. Only an altered version. Another western way to blemish the practice.

  • Actually, it’s an eastern way. And it predates your hatha yoga practice. And what do you know of our true self? Like any other herb in ayurveda, it has an effect. If used correctly, it leaves us balanced. If used incorrectly it leaves us unbalanced. I know plenty of vata dosha people who would likely benefit from it, but instead drink coffee and add to their imbalance. Why deal in such absolutisms? So much of yoga is, after all, balance. Fit the practice to the student, not the student to the practice. And if you’re so sure this practice won’t fit you, don’t use it. But I can hardly see any reason to decry it out right. The Buddha ate pork, so I don’t obsess too much with worldly notions of purity. The rishis were all high on soma when they composed the vedas. Seek any path that leads to self realization, and follow that one which is expedient.

  • Anna

    I definitely agree with the effects of marijuana on yoga described within this article. In fact, when I smoke, I intuitively start moving my body to realign not only my physical, but also my ethereal body. By ethereal, I’m defining the subtle, energetic body; within it, the spirit lies. It allows me to enter into a meditative state while moving my body, which really brings a new and powerful component to the practice of yoga. The original intent of practicing yoga, is to allow one to enter a Oneness with the Divine. Smoking marijuana encourages this type of connection by allowing one to be better in touch with their subtle energy body.
    I’m actually on this site responding because I had the question myself of whether it was okay to practice yoga while high. I found this article, realized I agreed with it, and while writing out this response, it dawned on me that I knew all along; you just have to trust your instinct.
    Well, I’m off to go practice some amazing yoga now since I just smoked ;)

  • BC

    I’d like to see you come to my power yoga class all high.
    Should be fun watching your ethereal body trying to get into inversions.

  • KJs

    Not a problem. Done inversions many times while high during class.

  • LM

    oooo power yoga, oooo bryan kest and baron baptiste, ooooo!!
    I’ve been doing yoga 15 years, son. I could get into your inversions with a blunt in my mouth. In fact, i may try that later. Yoga snobbery is a sure sign of a beginner, keep it to yourself.

  • Anna

    Actually BC, smoking would help me get into inversions. Because I’m more trusting of and in-tune to my body while high, I do better at moving into and holding poses that are usually more challenging.

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