Why You Should Smoke Up Your Inner Yogi

by Sabrina Lowe, connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

I have had an on again off again relationship with yoga since I was maybe 10 years old. It is one of my favorite ways to wind down while still feeling like I got a work out in. There’s a cycle: I’ll get super into it and then it starts to feel like a chore.

Photo by  Form  on  Unsplash

Photo by Form on Unsplash

Taking Care of Yourself Should Never Feel like a chore

Recently, I have found that when I start to feel that if I do another downward dog I’ll die, I will go outside, smoke a little and find a deeper level of my practice. I do not recommend getting high every time you practice. That is not what this is about. Yoga, for me, is something that is freeing by itself, and most of the time I can achieve awareness without having to light up. Sometimes though, the chaos around me shakes me up to the point that even yoga can’t shake me out. Those are the times when I will spark up and settle in.

One day, I had set out some me time to hop on the mat and release my pent-up energy from the day. However, when I got ready to start, I just felt like it was another check on my to-do list rather than the release I needed. I started to tell myself, “Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe you should just skip today.” That just didn’t seem right. Then, something told me, “Go outside and take a couple puffs. You got this.” I followed my gut and had the best experience on my mat in a very long time.

 How Cannabis Helped My Yoga Practice

The first change I noticed was being able to actually follow my breathing, which is something that I had lost awareness of overtime. I was sitting up tall, breathing deeply, truly feeling each inhale and exhale as I prepared for the practice ahead. One of the key components in the effectiveness of yoga on the mind, body and spirit is breath.

Awareness of the breath helps take yoga from “just some postures you’re doing to try to be healthy” to “honoring your mind, body and spirit while finding length and strength”. Finding your breath and following your breath helps to take you deeper into postures to increase flexibility and stabilize your muscles to be able to hold postures by activating your core. The breath helps to move energy within you, so you get what you need out of every asana.

Once I found my breath, I found that going with the flow was easier and almost second nature. Because I wasn’t letting my overactive thoughts get in the way of what I felt I was “supposed” to be doing, I transitioned from one asana to the next effortlessly. It was as though I was finally allowing energy to flow through me rather than forcing energy from one limb to the next. I felt sharp and focused in each posture. I felt like I went deeper into each asana than ever because I wasn’t forcing anything or holding myself back out of fear. I was finally able to let go again.

 Finding Your Inner Strength

Surprisingly, I felt stronger than ever. Some of the postures that involved a lot of core strength or inner thigh strength (both depleted after pregnancy and a C-section) seemed effortless. I usually shake and feel defeated during planks and certain lunges and warrior poses. When I hit the mat after just a couple small puffs, it went away. I was able to isolate my muscle groups and make them work together for once instead of stressing them all out. I was able to hold postures in a way that made me feel strong instead of not good enough. I felt like a true goddess (especially when we actually did Goddess pose).

 Cannabis As A healthy Little Nudge

Sometimes the world just robs you of your power. Sometimes we just need a little a little nudge in the right direction to remember the foundations of yoga. For me, that nudge is a little bit of green, wrapped up in a piece of hemp paper, brought to life by a spark and inhaled with gratitude.