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Marijuana and yoga

skye2010-07-03 17:32:51 +0000 #1
Hi. I'm a Senior Editor with HIGH TIMES magazine. For those who may not know, HIGH TIMES has been around nearly 35 years and is considered the Bible of cannabis. I am a former fitness pro and star aerobic instructor who spent 15 yrs in the fitness industry. Hired many yoga instructors in my time. From experience, I know many exercisers like to get high prior to working out. And I know that many yoga practitioners feel equally favorable toward catching a buzz prior to class. It helps, they say. "It make me feel more in tune with my body," more than one person has stated. How do you feel about yoga and marijuana. Are they compatible?
justwannabe2010-07-03 17:46:59 +0000 #2
Yogis like to have a good diet and since that stuff gives you the munchies it messes up the eating habits
InnerAthlete2010-07-03 17:53:09 +0000 #3
The use of marijuana or tobacco, meat or sugar, wine or water would depend on the purpose of ones practice and thus the purpose of ones life and their perceived actions toward those purposes.

Some do not see a purpose to Yoga beyond "it feels good" or "I burn calories" while others use it to raise the flag of their spirituality up the pole to see who will salute. And there are many positions in between, some more free from Ego than others. This is the continuum from which the question is answered.

For me my practice is about feeling more, becoming more sensitive, more aware. That feeling, sensitivity, and awareness germinates in the central nervous system. My work, in my practice, for my life, my dharma, is to work organically to be more connected to the central channel - the sushumna nadi, the soul, the heart center.

Those things which prevent the nervous system from it's job, things which alter, block or things which do the work for me instead of me training the organic body to learn, these things I do not put in my system. Marijuana (neurotransmitter release inhibitor) is included. I don't drink alcohol (though I used to) by choice, not because I have a problem with it. I do not eat red meat as a choice, not because I'm an animal rights activist. For these same reasons I do not drink coffee and am now trying to eliminate refined sugars.

So for me, at this stage of my life, my practice, my path, marijuana is not necessary. For others it may be.

"Hapiness is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose"
skye2010-07-03 18:15:56 +0000 #4
Very incisive. Thanks. I'm reminded of what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA great, once said: that he loved mj, but it never helped him shoot a better jump shot. But MJ does seem to enhance yoga for many. Some report they are able to unhook their minds from the scheduled, linear experience our daily lives can often be, allowing them to engage themselves more immediately in their yoga class. To each his own, I guess. Anybody else?
InnerAthlete2010-07-03 18:25:07 +0000 #5
Thank you. It's a very important question not for the conclusion but to stimulate a thought process around "WTF am I doing?".

Just to turn the other side of the "it helps me.." coin; some people also say they can drive perfectly fine when intoxicated and others "feel" it is a coffee, and not sleep that is in their best interest relative to fatigue.

Another larger question, when using mind altering substances is the pendulum effect. "Am I hiding", as it can be very easy to receede from life using THC (or alcohol or pharmaceutical grade cocaine). At that point one is again out of balance, just in another direction.

Some may be able to "unhook their mind" but they're not actually doing the work now are they? Therefore when they come down the only way they can "evolve", if that it the experience leading one to evolution, is to roll another. The unhooking you mention IS the work and it's difficult. Change is difficult, growth is difficult.

A psychadelic experience (carlos castaneda teachings of don juan) can certainly open pathways and I've "been there and done that" though a good 25 years ago. But as a daily practice I don't think "it enhances yoga" can really be put forth as a solid concept. It enhances something (other than the munchies offered above) but I don't think it's yoga that is being enhanced.

You are quite right though, to each their own. If a weekly joint helps you, the toker, to evolve, if it brings something to your life, if you can look back and see that you've changed, grown, matured, that is something. If you have let go of attachment and aversion, if your sensations are heightened around the clock, if you are more mindful of words before they leave you lips, your language has refined and thus so has your mind, you've connected more deeply with your purpose for being here and you more authentically express outwardly that light this is YOU within, then you are being served by your life choices.
yogiforlife2010-07-03 18:35:51 +0000 #6
I like your reasoning, especially on diet. I drink rarely, never use any drugs, limit my red meat consuption and abstain from things like coffee and soft drinks becauseof the high sugar content.

I just think that if a person needs to use MJ in order to enhance their practice, there's a deeper roadblock within themselves they need to explore and rid themselves of.
xela2010-07-03 18:10:59 +0000 #7
I smoke occasionally, but never before an asana practice. I would think that I would focus less if I was high.
Mirjana2010-07-03 17:54:57 +0000 #8
Yoga in practice and marijuana are for me more comparable than compatible. The higer you are more you see.

And the difference for me is that I rely on yoga.
skye2010-07-03 19:05:36 +0000 #9
Just talked to a yoga instructor who works for a major chain of resorts. She says she likes to smoke after yoga because at that point, she's extremely relaxed and more fully enjoys the sensation of being "high."
Hubert2010-07-03 21:10:44 +0000 #10
I never tried any drug, so my opinion is not well founded. But I wonder if we care about the quality of our food to the level what most people find ridiculous or superstitious, how can a drug be advised ?

Could someone describe the experience given by marijuana ?
skye2010-07-03 18:33:58 +0000 #11
It's different for everyone. And it depends on the strain. Marijuana horticulture is very advanced and each strain generates different sensations. However, a general description of the marijuana high is a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. Some people get giddy, some get lethargic, some get sleepy, some get energized, some get ravenous for food, some get introspective. Many people like it for exercise. Weightlifters very often say that it relieves the monotony of the process. Thanks for responding!
Hubert2010-07-03 20:38:00 +0000 #12
Is it the one supposed not to cause addiction ? ( I am sceptical, because from my personal experience, everything what gives pleasure, causes addiction)
ScottHughes2010-07-03 20:37:14 +0000 #13
I smoke every now and then, and I currently do Yoga regularly. However, I don't do them together, because they represent different parts of my life. I do Yoga in the morning before work as a way to keep myself focused and driven. I smoke as a a form of recreation, and usually only do it when I am slacking off from work and such.

Of course, that's just me. As has been said already, everybody does Yoga as well as marijuana for different reasons. Plus, both affect people differently.
Mirjana2010-07-03 21:31:11 +0000 #14

Originally Posted by Hubert

Is it the one supposed not to cause addiction ? ( I am sceptical, because from my personal experience, everything what gives pleasure, causes addiction)

I enjoy also walking in a nature or travelling to the new countries ... I think is more about if we are able afterwards to let it go and not just thinking when we can repeat it. I believe we can learn this.
skye2010-07-03 18:35:24 +0000 #15

Originally Posted by Hubert

Is it the one supposed not to cause addiction ? ( I am sceptical, because from my personal experience, everything what gives pleasure, causes addiction)

Wow, that's kind of extreme. Marijuana can be "psychologically addictive" (if such a thing exists), but I've certainly come across yoga "addicts," too, who can't imagine a day without it. Maybe we should redefine terms: what is addiction? Still, we shouldn't over-intellectualize the issue. In simple terms, we like to do what we like to do. And if it doesn't hurt our bodies or others, who's to say what's appropriate?
Hubert2010-07-04 01:07:11 +0000 #16
Maybe I was too judgemental.

I really can't talk against what I don't know. But I think my practice won't be hindered by the absence of marijuana.



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