Have you thought about what a CBD-inspired yoga routine involves? Combining cannabis and yoga isn’t anything new. There’s actually an ancient connection between the two. Cannabis is referred to in the Vedas (sacred Hindu spiritual texts) as one of the five sacred plants, where it is said that a guardian angel lives within its leaves.
According to the Vedas, cannabis is a source of happiness, a substance that offers joy and something that was compassionately given to humans to help liberate them from worry and fear.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means to “unite” or “to be made whole.” Like cannabis, it can be used to liberate the mind from worry and fear. Yoga is the ultimate liberation, allowing us to unite with the limitless potential we all contain.
Yoga is a practice that invites us to center our energy through pranayama (breathwork) and asana (postures) and is wildly beneficial for body, mind and soul. It promotes relaxation while building strength and offers inspiration to live more mindfully in our everyday lives.
Why CBD and Yoga Make the Perfect Pair
There’s a reason yoga has become so popular in Western society over the past couple of decades. It’s amazing for reducing stress, anxiety and depression — things far too many people experience on a day-to-day basis in our modern, fast-paced society.
CBD is an awesome complement to yoga. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid has shown to have an astounding effect on our endocannabinoid system, helping to promote a calm mind and bring balance to the body.
What happens when you combine yoga and CBD together?
We’d like to think it’s nothing short of magic.
While CBD won’t get you high, it’s incredible for helping you relax. Combine that with a gentle yoga routine that inspires you to do the same, and you’ve got something that has the potential to make you feel really, really good.
Aside from the amazing benefits the combination of CBD and yoga have for promoting tranquility, the physical benefits of the two together are unprecedented. CBD can help support healthy joints and muscles, just like yoga. Additionally, yoga and CBD can both help you recover after a workout.
You’ve got a few options when it comes to combining CBD and yoga. If you live in one of the states that have passed recreational cannabis laws (think Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington), you’re likely to find a yoga studio offering “ganja yoga” classes. Many of these classes, however, are aimed at combining marijuana that contains THC with a traditional yoga class.
There are some studios that have embraced the concept of using CBD and yoga. If you’re lucky enough to live close to one of these studios, we encourage you to go check out a class!
Combining CBD with your home yoga practice will give you the same benefits of heading down to the studio. For many, it’s a lot more feasible than finding a studio that offers CBD yoga. All you need is a little CBD and your yoga mat.
A CBD-Inspired Yoga Routine
We invite you to soothe body, mind and soul through the combination of a powerful plant extract and ancient yogic postures.
Before moving into this gentle CBD-inspired yoga routine, give yourself a moment to set up for your practice. Roll out your mat, maybe light a candle and grab a bottle of CBD oil tincture. Because CBD tincture takes a bit to kick in (15–40 minutes, depending on the method you use), we like to begin our CBD-inspired yoga routine with a 10–15 minute meditation.
Come to the top of your mat in the cross-legged position to prepare for this relaxing, CBD-inspired routine. Take your desired serving size of CBD and place it under your tongue while setting an intention for your practice.
As you let the tincture sit under your tongue for 1-2 minutes, reflect on the intention you’ve set. Here’s one of our favorite intentions when coming to our yoga mat for this gentle CBD-inspired yoga routine:
I intend to be fully present in each moment and allow myself to completely relax into my practice.
Once you’ve swallowed your tincture, go ahead and lay down on your mat to begin this sequence in Savasana (we told you it was gentle). The goal of beginning this CBD-inspired yoga routine in Savasana is to allow the CBD time to work in the body. Give yourself at least 10 minutes in this relaxation pose before moving into the rest of your sequence.
Corpse Pose (Savasana):
Close your eyes and lie quietly in the perfect stillness that surrounds you. For a few moments, just lie there, breathing deeply in and out, without straining the breath or body in any way. Let the following float through your mind:
I don’t have to speak for a few minutes. I don’t have to move or respond to anyone or anything. For a few moments, I can become perfectly quiet in body and mind and I don’t even have to think. I can become completely still and relaxed. In this moment, I am free from all responsibilities. I allow myself to completely relax into the floor beneath me, knowing I am completely supported in this moment.
While Savasana is typically reserved for the end of yoga sequences (prepare to do it again at the end of this one), we love starting our CBD-inspired yoga routine in this resting pose to allow the CBD tincture time to work. Because this sequence is designed for total relaxation, starting in Savasana sets the mood for the intention of this practice while allowing the CBD to interact with the endocannabinoid system.
After you’ve given yourself 10–15 minutes in Savasana, on an exhalation, bring both knees to your chest for Knees-to-Chest pose (Apasana). Keep your back flat while drawing your sacrum and tailbone down to the floor, slightly tuck the chin and gaze down the center line of your body. Hold this pose for a count of 10–15 seconds, focusing on deep inhalations and long, slow exhalations. Repeat 2–3 times.
Knees-to-Chest pose is excellent at relieving anxiety. This gentle posture can also help reduce excessive anger and is great for individuals with high blood pressure. It’s also wonderful for helping to alleviate lower back pain.
Supine Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana):
After you’ve released the legs from Apasana, inhale deeply and bring the right knee to your chest. Interlace the fingers and hold, focusing on each breath as you deeply inhale and exhale for 10–15 seconds. On your final exhale, gently take your knee and twist to the left side of your body. Hold here, breathing deeply in and gently out of the body for as long as you like. We like to stay here for 1–3 minutes, but since this pose isn’t very active, you won’t get tired holding it. In fact, the longer you stay, the deeper the release you’ll experience. Repeat on the other side of the body.
This is an awesome pose for tuning into the body and allowing yourself to completely relax. It’s also amazing for reducing upper back and neck pain and opening tight shoulder and chest muscles. It’s the perfect release for anyone who sits at a desk or in front of the computer all day. Supine twist combined with CBD should melt away any lingering tension you’re holding onto from the day.
From your position on your back, roll over and get into tabletop position on your hands and knees. Make sure your weight is placed evenly through your hands and legs and your core is engaged. Breathe deeply here for 5–10 breaths to center your energy. On your last exhale, arch your back and tuck your head towards the chest for Cat pose. On an inhale, expand your belly toward the floor, gazing up towards the sky for Cow. Complete 5–10 rounds of this Cat/Cow sequence.
Cat/Cow is an incredibly beneficial posture for the mind. Not only does it increase prana (lifeforce energy in the body), but it is also excellent to help promote intentional focus. If you’re feeling at all scatterbrained (and seriously, who isn’t?), cat/cow is an excellent pose to employ. It’s also great for achieving emotional balance.
Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana):
From tabletop position, exhale deeply and move into downward-facing dog. Lengthen the tailbone away from the pelvis and lift your sit bones towards the sky. Stretch your heels down towards the floor and firm the outer thighs and outer arms, pressing your weight evenly through your hands and heels. Keep the head between the upper arms without letting it hang. Stay in this pose between 1–3 minutes, breathing deeply with each inhale and slowly releasing each exhale.
Aside from being one of the most well-known yoga poses that exists, downward-facing dog is one of the most beneficial. Not only does it energize the body, but also helps calm the brain and can relieve stress and mild depression. It’s a great full body stretch that is an excellent accompaniment to practically any yoga routine.
Child’s Pose (Balasana):
From downward-facing dog, allow yourself to kneel on the floor, touch your big toes together, and separate your knees about hip-width apart. Exhale and fold your upper body towards the floor to move into child’s pose. Child’s pose is a resting pose that should be held anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes or more. During our CBD-inspired yoga routine, we like to stay in child’s pose for about 3–5 minutes. It gives us a chance to release any lingering tension, letting it melt away with each conscious breath we take.
Child’s pose is wonderful to help calm the brain, while also relieving fatigue and soothing stress. We also like to think of it as the perfect ending pose for our CBD-inspired yoga routine before we move back into Savasana.
Corpse Pose (Savasana):
To close our practice, we meet back in Savasana where we began. By now, the CBD has had time to work its magic. Combined with the gentle postures you just moved through, your body and mind should be feeling alive, yet completely relaxed. Allow your breathing to become quiet, smooth and free from all strain or tension. Visualize a wave of relaxing, white energy moving from the top of your head slowly down to the tips of your toes, further releasing any lingering tension you might be feeling.
Let the mind become absolutely quiet and still, free from any movement or thought and simply allow yourself to be in the calm of this moment. Focus on full expansive inhalations and deep, extended exhalations with each breath you take. Remain here in this final resting pose for about 10–15 minutes, allowing yourself revel in the relaxation and stillness this CBD-inspired yoga routine offers.
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.