Canadians get high with a new form of yoga

Friday 10 September 2010 00:00 BST
(Michael McCarthy)

In Toronto a new type of yoga class has cropped up: Ganja Yoga, cannabis-enhanced yoga classes. It's unclear whether it will become a global down-low speakeasy-type yoga trend, though it is unlikely that large gyms (Equinox, Fitness First) will be adding Ganja Yoga, pot Pilates or stoned Spin to their group fitness class schedules.

On September 9, the founder of Follow Your Bliss center and Ganja Yoga classes Dee Dussault told Relaxnews that she has "been smoking marijuana for four years, practicing yoga for 15 years" and "teaching cannabis-enhanced yoga for about one year."

Her classes range from "usually between 4 and 15 students" and students need to bring their own mats, "dress comfortably. Bring your own pot, as there is a very strict No-Buying, No-Selling, No-Mooching/Sharing policy. It's recommended not to eat for 1-3 hours before a conventional yoga class, but it is also recommended not to smoke marijuana on an empty stomach (unless you are used to doing that), so use your discretion."

A class includes "a vaporizer café and chat (approximately 30 minutes), followed by a profoundly trippy yoga class, set to mystical music (approximately 75 minutes). Light munchies served afterward" for C$15 (€11.43).

If you are unable to find a Ganja Yoga class in your hood, Dussault has shared some tips to create your own Ganja Yoga experience, after toking up:

-  Focus more on the sensations that one feels in the body than on trying to achieve more intermediate or advanced postures while high.
-  Really slow down, focus inwards, let go of your idea of what "yoga" is supposed to look like. Just "be" in different poses. Hang out there, let the ganja take you to new realms of experience. Notice your breath. Notice how the body moves and feels. Do some simple stretches, whatever your body calls for.
- Always listen to your body, and err on the side of doing less than you think you can.
- Stay away from balancing poses unless you are used to them, as marijuana can negatively impact balance for some people. Spend a lot of time in meditative poses.
- If your mind wanders, just come back to your breath. If thoughts interrupt or distract you, see if you can commit to focusing on the breath and the feeling of the body.
- Marijuana is great for making us super-interested in things for the short-term. Be super-interested in things you've never noticed about your body before. Continually commit to coming back to the breath, to the body.
- If you feel anxiety or cannabis-induced paranoia, try "Child's Pose" - kneel on your knees and lower legs, with your hips reaching down towards your heels, and your forehead on the mat. You can have your arms extended over your head, or by your sides. Child's pose reduces mental tension and anxiety.

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