Disclaimer: This article is intended for education and entertainment purposes, and is meant for mature audiences. If you choose to use cannabis, know that it can impair your judgment and affects everyone differently. Be mindful, be wise.
A cannabis yoga class is a journey to remember
I should preface this article by admitting that I’ve only taken a yoga class one, possibly two times in my life, and I’m only an occasional cannabis user. When this opportunity presented itself, I expected nothing less than for it to be an interesting journey.
And I’m pleased to report I was not disappointed.
As the day came to go to a cannabis yoga class, I felt my nerves rear up and immediately regretted not inviting someone to join me. What was it going to be like to be high with complete strangers in a place I’d never been before? Would I be any good at yoga or possibly have a bad trip? Would I make it through the class? Despite my hesitations and elevated nervous system, I went to the 8 p.m. bake and bend class at a small yoga studio in London, Ontario.
Upon entering, I was immediately welcomed by a warm and calming energy. The yoga instructor, Catherine, kindly helped me select a mat and outlined all the available organic munchies. This would include grapes (my go-to selection throughout the class), three types of cheeses, kettle chips, popcorn, and tea.
When I laid my mat down it all kind of hit me. I was about to be high in a room with eight strangers trying to somehow force myself to relax and find my inner yogi. At the beginning of the practice, I was certain there was absolutely no chance of this.
The instructor opened with a gentle greeting and explained that class would center around the upcoming spring equinox. She continued to list the food menu and detailed the specifics on the three available cannabis strains. We began with breathing exercises to clear and prepare our lungs.
The class was instructed to stand in Tadasana pose. We were told to “relax, focus on your breathing, and flutter your eyes closed.” This sounded like an easy task, but closing my eyes felt nearly impossible. It’s interesting how challenging it can be to let go and relax. The instructions felt daunting to me, but as we continued, it got a little easier. Through the instructor’s voice and soft background music, I could finally feel the nerves beginning to release.
After several simple breathing warm ups, attendees were invited to enjoy cannabis passed around in bags filled by vaporizers. I opted to stay away from King’s Crack, which we were told contained significant levels of THC. I instead stuck to the strains higher in CBD to benefit from the muscle relaxation and maintain a lower degree of being high.
I bent. I baked. And I bent and baked some more
As we moved into savasana pose, I could feel myself getting higher. All the surrounding elements were contributing to the journey in my head that had no intention of slowing down. As I closed my eyes and listened to the light background music, I felt myself drift away, like I was at sea. Colors started taking shape and I felt lost in my dreams, even though I was wide awake.
For many people (so I hear), yoga is about solitude, escaping your thoughts, and calming your mind. This was not my experience. I liked that my mind wasn’t focused on the outside world or my annoying ‘to-do’ list, but instead zeroed into the journey of adventure, full of colors, and varying landscapes. It was definitely something I’d never experienced before.
As the class continued, I could feel the high moving to various levels. And suddenly, all I wanted to do was giggle about absolutely nothing. Thankfully, this happened right at the point we were instructed to do a movement with our arms that left little space between you and the person beside you leading everyone to eventually clash arms. This resulted in an outburst of laughter, which I embraced with much gusto and gratitude.
While moving into the more difficult poses my thoughts suddenly changed as I realized how challenged I felt. Up until this point, I was more focused on how I was going to feel after smoking cannabis, but now concentrating on trying to hold the poses and follow instructions. I could feel my muscles reacting strongly. Yoga is definitely the workout people say it is.
All the elements in the room, the energy, people, music, and the instructor (who might possibly be the world’s sweetest person) contributed to a two-hour voyage that was hard to put into words.
As the class ended and people got up and prepared to leave, I decided to stay behind to reflect on what the instructor continued to suggest as the ‘purpose.’ With many of the poses, she recommended we focus on a purpose. Throughout the class, my purpose was to make it through the class. Now that it was complete,I paused to reflect on my experience.
It was remarkable. A surprising trip that allowed me to focus strictly on myself and on the person I am.
I really appreciated the lack of mirrors in the room. It helped me to direct my attention to how I felt instead of what I looked like. I also enjoyed the relaxed instructions which provided us the flexibility to enjoy the movement and do what felt right to us. For me, the cannabis eased my nerves and allowed me to do what felt good instead of focusing on the others around me.
I highly recommend the experience.