Book Review: Ganja Yoga
Exploring a cannabis-enhanced practice at home.
It can be easy to feel uninvited to the weed party if you live outside of the hazy sphere of legal cannabis — those states where people are casually indulging in cannabis-infused dinners, attending swank smoking soirees and doing yoga while stoned in public. Often, if you can’t physically travel to these places, your chances of participating in these types of events are slim, leaving you with the feeling that you’re looking from the outside in.
Luckily, “Ganja Yoga” seeks to fill a bit of that proximity gap by showing readers how to recreate an exclusive cannabis experience wherever they are, with whatever resources are available right now.
Certified yoga instructor and author Dee Dussault claims to be the first person to formally bring a cannabis-enhanced yoga practice to the Western yoga community, following in the footsteps of yogis who have been using the plant in their spiritual practices for thousands of years. She combines a lifetime of personal experiences with decades of professional training to highlight some of the best reasons to incorporate cannabis into your spiritual practice.
Dussault artfully avoids being esoteric, approaching yoga and cannabis in pragmatic and physiological terms, and discussing its benefits to both the body and the mind.
For example, she explains how the deep breathing often encouraged during yoga increases oxygen in the body and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which makes us feel more relaxed. When we smoke or vape, we naturally practice this deep breathing as well, with intentionally slow and full inhales and exhales. When stress hormones decrease, our mood improves, which changes the energy within our body. So when we smoke and practice yoga, the benefits are essentially amplified.
Readers are encouraged to mindfully medicate by considering which methods of consumption are best for them (smoking, vaping, dabbing, using a tincture, eating an edible…), what strains would be most suitable (sativa, hybrid or indica) and how much would actually be useful during a moving practice.
Dussault offers additional resources at the end of the book, including several appendixes, a list of suggested books to read, an extensive list of sources and an index to help quick reference information. And, of course, there is the obligatory chapter on safety — being careful not to over consume, making sure not to over exert oneself and moving the focus from flexibility to flow.
This book is useful for both beginners and highly-practiced yoga enthusiasts with varying levels of seriousness about their craft, regardless of whether or not they approach yoga as a spiritual practice. However, this book purposefully delves a lot deeper than just getting stoned and doing a downward dog and warrior pose.
If you’re into yoga and curious about cannabis, or into cannabis and curious about yoga, this book is an easily-digestible resource to begin researching the topic. It offers a modern approach to an ancient practice that can really elevate the experience of expanding your consciousness through movement, breath and great bud.
Originally published in Issue 26 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE
TELL US, have you ever tried cannabis to enhance your yoga practice?