Yoga has changed many people's lives. In these times of doing everything fast, of spending almost the entire week working, of not having time for ourselves and of experiencing constant stress, mental and physical disciplines such as this are revolutionary. Imagine adding some cannabis to your daily practice and you will find yourself practising ganja yoga.
Dee Dussault says on her website that the first time she gave a Ganja Yoga class in her Toronto room, nobody, not a single person showed up. But this pioneer in the public practice and teaching of Ganja Yoga did not give up because it had been powerful and very healing for her to discover that yoga improved with the plant. "Was I the only one who had discovered that cannabis calmed my mind, smoothed my muscular tension and made the flow of sensations spread throughout my body in a much more delicious way?", We read on her website.
From Toronto to the USA
Although for us in the West it is something new, in other countries they have used cannabis as medicine for thousands of years. It seems that when Dee Dussault started in 2009 there was no other place in the English-speaking world that advertised cannabis-enhanced yoga classes. Then some students showed up, they went back to the next sessions and told their friends. Thus, through word of mouth, the oldest form of marketing, her group grew larger.
It has been nine years since then. Now the Toronto group, which started in 2009, is well established. And this practice has spread to more places, such as San Francisco, where Dee Dussault moved in 2013. Dee's "ganja yogis" and "ganja yoginis" are characterized by their diversity in terms of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and age.
Reconnecting with our body
To begin the yoga with cannabis experience you have to consume less than usual for the first classes. Dee also reminds us that each person experiences different sensations with the plant.
"Ganja yoga must be slow and conscious. In our class the students have their eyes closed most of the time because it's about relaxing in an introverted way."
Relaxing is revolutionary
In a world where we are expected to be productive for the capitalist system 24 hours a day, connecting with ourselves can be very complicated and revolutionary. That's why Dee reminds us what is really important.
"Our time on earth is very short and very precious and entheogenic mind-altering substances such as cannabis make it much more rewarding, almost like recovering this idea that relaxing is doing activism."
The cannabis that they consume is free, since Proposition 64 of California allows giving up to an ounce of grass (about 28 grams) legally. The classes are worth $ 25 (a little more than 21 euros). Students need their medical card to participate in the classes. Before each yoga class they share half an hour of talk, where they smoke together.
"An extremely relaxing practice incorporating a sense of community and body awareness that I have never experienced in all my years as a yogi. I have also never slept so well," Michael, a student in the class.
Benefits in duplicate
Many are the benefits that yoga can bring to our lives: it can relieve stress, depression, hypertension, back pain, asthma, stomach disorders, improve our sleep. It can even help us lose weight, gain flexibility or increase our immune system at the genetic level, according to a Norwegian study. Cannabis increases the capacity to meditate. Both yoga and cannabis are anti-inflammatory and relieve pain. So, it seems that combining them can increase their properties.
Ganja yoga, the book
Dee Dussault has also written the book Ganja Yoga (Harper Collins, 2017), where he explains that he has rescued this ancient practice and made it mainstream.
"Ganja Yoga is not just mixing cannabis and exercise, it is a ceremony that makes conscious relaxation an intentional ritual, which can be improved with practice. A lifestyle to help you create a more harmonious and stress-free world."
This instructor of hatha yoga, ganja yoga and tantra, among other practices, advises us to attend a class first, before practicing it by ourselves, to avoid injuries. He also advises organizing sessions at home with friends and that one person from the group is in charge of leading the session and giving directions, so that it does not get out of control and become a class of people laughing and smoking.