“Inhale,” says yoga instructor Stacey Mulvey, sitting in front on a mat, instructs to a class of half a dozen students in the living room of her Washington D.C. apartment. “Exhale.”
Nearly a decade ago, Mulvey began practicing yoga to relieve day-to-day aches and pains. Additionally, whenever she consumed cannabis, she always felt the urge to move her body.
One day, seven years ago, the thought occurred to her: why not combine both passions? Once she adopted cannabis consumption into her practice, she noticed a huge difference. However, she was quietly practicing this on her own, until she began speaking her truth to other instructors.
A year ago, the concept for Marijuasana, a cannabis-infused yoga class for novices and tailored yogis alike, was born.
“I changed the physiology and the way I felt in my body,” she explained over a phone call. “I was always in physically pain and discomfort. I was never physically active.”
Consuming cannabis alone nourishes your body through its cannabinoid system, which activates all of its medicinal benefits. Additionally, because American lifestyle is sedentary, yoga helps us move our body and get active. Working together, cannabis brings your mind to a more meditative state, giving your more awareness to what parts of your body ache or hurt more than others.
“For me, cannabis and yoga as a combination seems to help me focus on my synergy of bodily sensations,” Mulvey said.
Unfortunately, a recent article in Vogue covers the fact there have been very little studies in regards to cannabis consumption and athletic performance. Research shows either a neutral or negative effect, but the dosage and methodology were also inconsistent. For now, we can treat cannabis yoga as a mindful social activity, which shares the benefits of cannabis and yoga as if they were done separately. However, all consumers should be aware of their bodies and pay attention to your heart rate, just as you would exercise any other time.
Coincidentally enough, her first Marijuasana class ever was on one of the most dramatic days in recent American history: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. She initially picked that date long beforehand, and thought everyone would want to celebrate a giant sigh of relief once Hillary Clinton became the first ever woman president of the United States.
Following this auspicious start date she continued teaching Marijuasana classes weekly in Denver before shifting to a limited-time event model, on a monthly or quarterly basis, in different cities all over the country. For instance, before moving to Las Vegas, she offered classes for a few months this year in Washington D.C.
Before the class actually begins, Mulvey invites students to consume cannabis, drink CBD tea and socialize with each other. Even in states with recreational laws, she feels there aren’t enough places to socially consume and foster a community around cannabis. Marijuasana is not only a place where cannabis consumers can enhance their yoga routine, but meet other people who consume cannabis.
For those living in places without recreational cannabis laws, Mulvey is working on an online video series so cannabis consumers can practice yoga at home.
How much exactly should you consume before participating in the yoga class? Leafly recommends starting with small doses (by vaping or smoking) if you want to pay fully attention during the session. If do notice your attention wandering off, you can take deep breathes to reconnect and flow cues for different poses. Edibles, however, can greatly intensify and enhance your yoga experience.
Mulvey will offer Marijuasana classes in Boston and Washington D.C. this fall. Reservations can be made on her website via Eventbrite. Students should come prepared with a yoga mat, towel and water bottle. Of course, don’t forget to BYOC.
TELL US, have you ever combined cannabis and exercise?