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Because They Got High: Yogis Roll and Smoke ‘Intention Joints’ at Yoga Festival

in YD News

Like we needed more evidence to declare yoga festivals our modern day Woodstock meets Burning Man meets free-loving neo yoga revival camp. These kids have gone so beyond smoking reefer before class they’re imagining it.

Yoga enthusiasts at this year’s Wanderlust Whistler in Canada were treated to home town Canuck and beloved teacher Eoin Finn’s serendipitously intoxicating “Intention Joint.” Huh? (see above photo via the fest’s facebook page, by Ali Kaukas).

Roseanne at It’s All Yoga, Baby got the scoop and checked in with Finn to get the DL on the doobie.

One thing I really try to stress to people – besides great alignment – is how to weave moments of zen with levity in their classes. Authenticity is so key. I find that the more truly yourself you are while teaching yoga, the more you tap into that “mysterious x-factor” that really makes your classes powerful.

The classes I taught at Wanderlust were incredibly powerful in the sense that I just tapped into some stream where ideas and words became lucid as I was standing on the stage speaking.

So during the centering meditation at the start of his “superflow” class which he describes as “very zen and flowy at times and outrageously fun at others, with surfing and animal-like movements” Finn dug deep to pull the Intention Joint out of his “unconscious teaching tools.”

It wasn’t pre-planned but just emerged. People rolled their positive affirmations into a joint, took “Wreck Beach Mudra” and held it in. Waves of laughter came out on the exhalation.

Just like when you’re stoned! But different. Finn confirms that drugs are not necessary, but are useful as an “excuse to let go and feel the enthusiasm for life that we feel as a child,” which we’re not sure he means entirely metaphorically.

Though some may disapprove of the strategy, Finn stands by his weedy whim:

We had a rocking practice where spirits were so high and truly channeled something beautiful.

If you were curious what Wanderlust is like, that pretty much sums it up. No stories of levitation were reported at the fest, though hundreds of imaginary floaters were rumored to have briefly elevated quixotic pursuits before returning to their normal lives.

What do you think? Too much x-factor intoxication? Or harmless zero-hand smoke signals?



27 comments… add one
  • Yogini

    I’ve gotta appreciate someone who can review his own class favorably — so favorably. Since the fall of Anusara, I’ve missed that in a yoga teacher.

    Powerful, indeed.

  • nancy

    What may seem like harmless/playfulness to some is dangerous to others…not too cool man. That would have made me really uncomfortable. You never know if there are any addicts in your class. Believe me…we are everywhere & we are very often found doing yoga. I’m grateful i don’t need drugs to have enthusiasm for life. Isn’t that why we do yoga? That seemed really lame and irresponsible to be honest.

    • Good point, Nancy.

    • Karen Mills

      This is why I only go to 3HO events – they also have the real Yoga, not the fake yoga these in image are doing! So many fake Yoga. I like that 3HO are doing the stuff originating 10’s of thousands years ago in Punjab India. Even in India some fake Yoga happens due to demand! So if its not got a Spiritual depth under it, its not the real deal. 3HO honnors the Ancient American Native Peoples roots to India’s and Punjabs Natives, Source of Yoga!

  • erika

    Nancy, pot smoking is hardly anything close to being a real addiction.

    • Maybe in your experience. For some addicts, pot can be a slippery slope as it leads back into harder drugs, which are their “addiction of choice.”

    • Emily

      I know several people who have found yoga on their road to recovery. Really? How can you judge what is and isn’t “real” addiction for another person.

      To me, this just seems soo gimmicky – like “everyone start dancing!” 15 minutes into class followed by 30-minute dance party gimmicky. Well, to each their own. There’s a practice for everyone, I guess.

    • Amelia

      Erika your ignorance of addiction is obvious and you show a profound lack of compassion or understanding for your fellow. Most sober addicts chose not to use any drugs of any type including marijuana. It may not be addictive I personally don’t think that drug use is at all helpful to experience life. I think drugs, including marijuana, only create a veil that inhibit us from opening up to reality – and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who feels this way.

    • Addictions can be either psychological or physical. While marijuana is not a physical addiction, psychological addictions can be just as real (think gambling addiction).

  • Clea

    Ya know yoga brings joy and a “feeling” of being high on universal love for all. That’s my opinion.

    “Finn confirms that drugs are not necessary, but are useful as an “excuse to let go and feel the enthusiasm for life that we feel as a child,” which we’re not sure he means entirely metaphorically.”

    That’s the only part that I don’t understand.. However there’s a responsibility as well. You don’t need to pretend to smoke a joint to let go and feel enthusiasm. You get a clearer and better high being awake and present to the moment.

  • nancy

    Erika, “As addicts, we are people whose use of any mind-altering, mood-changing substance causes a problem in any area of life. Addiction is a disease that involves more than the use of drugs.” My point is that for the addict it is not life-affirming..it is poison. If I smoked I wouldn’t be feeling “enthusiastic for life.” If I smoked pot I know that I would be in grave danger…probably would be dead soon as the disease is progressive and fatal. The disease doesn’t know the difference bw pot or harder drugs. Plus, I know many people whose lives have become unmanageable bc of pot. I understand that addiction is something that most people don’t understand…but I feel responsible to share my experience when the opportunity. This is my yoga. Yoga is a conversation.
    with deep gratitude,

  • http://www.johnjamesford.com/blog/1033-Eoin%5FFinn%27s%5F%22Intention%5FSpliff%22

    My comments to this are in the blog I posted above- if you have time+inclination, I encourage to to wander over and check it out.

  • I attended Eoin Finn’s Superflow class at Whistler and it was amazing. The “smoking the intention” was only one of the amazing things he made us do within that class. The humour of it really did release any tension we had before the start of class and it allowed us to laugh and let go. It was the perfect way to end the four-day yoga festival. It’s unfortunate that the entire class is being focused on this one moment. I hope you get to hear about the other great things he made us do in his Superflow class.

  • I wonder what the many people who have found yoga an important tool in their healing from substance addiction think of Eoin Finn’s “mysterious x factor”. Grow UP, Eoin.

  • I think its a fun idea. Perhaps if he had more options it would be better for those recovering from addiction or not comfortable? Example you can drink your intention like a milkshake or wear your intention like expensive jewlery. Corny i know. The point is i think hes just tryong to get a different perspective on interacting woth your intention and having some fun with it. Yoga doesnt have to be super serious for everyone all the time. I am not tryiong to downplay those offended. Just showing that this technique can be useful though maybe his example for some was not.

  • Sporkman

    The smoke your intention idea seems clever and light hearted. With regard to marijuana and yoga, they go together just fine for me, but I cannot speak for others. Marijuana is in balance in my life. I don’t need pot to do yoga, I don’t do it every time I practice, and I don’t necessarily get more benefit out of the practice. That said, I very much enjoy the experience of smoking a little pot before yoga and it typically helps focus my practice. I’m guessing this is fairly common, though pretty much taboo to admit it to other yogis.

  • Yoga?

    Yoga is not a substitute for marijuana. It is not a tool to get high. With sustained skillful practice your need to get high from doing yoga or anything else is replaced by clarity of mind and simplicity of living.

    Large yoga festivals and conferences promote yoga teachers who live their lives in airports, hotels, among big crowds and assistants filling their schedules with photo and commercial shoots and cooking up the next big commercial projects. There is nothing clear or simple about this kind of lifestyle. Their teachings naturally reflect their lives.

  • Eoin Finn

    Thank You for your comments, everyone.

    I hope that you will take the time to read this blog for a deeper insight into my motivations:


    I welcome your feedback.



  • Dave

    A sacrament to Shiva… no?

  • Karen Mills

    Narcotics are prohibited in Real Yoga! I used to go to a number of thes Yogas, till I found 3HO and realized wow real Yoga is life changing , life enhancing a upgrade of ones system! I went to the Summer Solstice event they hold in Arizona!

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