Yoga & The Medical Cannabis Movement.

A proposed position for Yoga Teachers seeking clarity on this issue.

First Order of business is to clarify my longstanding position and one which I advocate for Yoga Teachers and the Yoga Movement:

  • A Yoga or Meditation session or class (Ganja Yog Class) should never be done after consuming Cannabis. Our motor skills are less awake, less responsive, dull….and during class, those small pains can escort the physio to heal.
  • I am a strong advocate of Medical Marijuana to alleviate joint pain and hence give a student the ability to get to his/her yoga practice the next day. But students should medicate following the practice, again, never during. Further, only CBD rich, full spectrum products for its many healing qualities.
  • Leaders in Yoga should encourage the medical application, not scorn it or belittle those using it…be gone with the denegrading, lets normalize not criminalize or villionize…non of which are yogic paradigns of love and acceptance.

Japa Yoga is an ancient yoga embedded deep in Vedic tradition.  Usually associated with Mantras and Sutras, there are some Yogis (myself included) that put asana and breath as vibrational frequencies parallel with mantras and sutras.  At the core of this and many lineages of Yoga is Pantajali’s only edict regarding Yoga---practice earnestly.  It is this core principle for which I have found comfort to endorse use of Cannabis.  If an earnest practice is accomplished because of Cannabis CBD products are of assistance, then so be it.

Japa Yoga, literally means “routine, repetition, nurturing and sustainability.  So, a daily lifetime practice, an earnest and sustainable practice is of great inner desire for the aspiring yogi’s and yogini’s (even for the fitness crowd).  Our #1 goal as teachers is to give hope and encouragement for students to own a “lifetime yoga practice”.  (see Japa Learning Kit)

As I lead into the qualities of this plant that defend it as medicine for the joints and an ally for the “lifetime” or earnest practice of Yoga, let me be clear…..Advanced States of Consciousness, born of yoga can benefit from the medicinal qualities of Medical Cannabis (specifically CBD’s or Cannabinoids).  Hence, to my Vedic seers, Guru’s, Pundits, Siddha’s, and scholars I offer to you….a medical component that allows traditional Yogic & Vedic thinking a way to loosen its grip.

Yoga practices that are actually being practiced …are best.  For the individual, society, and world peace.  For those “dabblers” in yoga maybe it’s a way to bring a daily or regular practice into your life.   I can’t tell you the number of people in my teaching career espousing to practice yoga and admitting at the same time their lack of earnestness---“2 years ago”, I go once a month, every quarter, etc….this is not practicing. By the way, my only opening warm greeting to all my students in the over 15,000 hrs of formal class instruction…”we come to practice”

I further this position to encourage the Yoga Movement to embrace the current Medical Cannabis Movement for its Medical, specifically it ability to assist “joint care pain, inflammation and “blockage” of a yoga practice.  Further, the support to this movement will unlock pent up consciousness that has been oppressive to many.

Let’s look at our science and the Yogic and Vedic medicine of Ayurveda (cb’s, joint care, and concoctions)

The Ayurvedic  position on Cannabis or Marijuana.   Ayurvedic practices vary, but the most sacred text, the Sushruta Samhita, mentions Hemp in concoctions and Vedic lore. Although the scholars may dispute plants “of the earth” in detail, it is obvious today, there are medical benefits from the Cannabis CBD’s, and for plants like Aloe, turmeric, ginger, and many others.

Also, the use for oils and treatments is widespread in Ayurveda.  Ayurvedic concoctions come from a diverse background of agriculture.  Also, Vedic scripture does mention Lord Shiva became the god and deliverer of cannabis to planet earth.  Cannabis, per Vedic lore, grew only in places where the gods, the devas, dripped Amrita (elixir of life).  Wherever the devine nectar touched the earth, a cannabis plant sprouted.   Shiva consumed the leaves and was rejuvenated…it became a favorite part of his diet.  Thus, Shiva became Lord of Bhang….the traditional way India consumes Cannabis.  On a personal note, WHILE TRAVELING TO INDIA ON A YATRA (SPIRITUAL TREK), I encountered Sadus  and  SAMPLED BHANG IN THE CITY OF TEMPLES, VERANASE….IT WAS NOT THAT TASTIE NOR WERE THE EFFECTS THAT EUPHORIC.  However, Lord Shiva offers countless stories using Cannabis to find peace, respite, or inner inspiration.  Vedic art frequently depicts Lord Shiva, lover of Cannabis smoking.  (pic)

Note; Edibles should be the preferred method of injestion for pain, this will deliver the medicinal values of CBD’s….smoking flowers will always have a combustion issue with flame and always a lesser medicinal impact.

Further, on the India tradition, early Tantric Yoga in 7th century A.D. espoused Cannabis or the magical use of Cannabis to enable practitioners to feel divinity within….

In addition, the Sadus, Hindu holymen, mystic yogis still today, use cannabis as a tool to aid in reaching Nirvana.   To bring it a bit more modern from Mother India, there is a very progressive legal movement to clarify the governments position. (currently illegal).

All glory to our Yogi brethren in India…showcased in my documentary film “Yatra in India” encounters with many Sadus, holymen, etc using Cannabis was frequent and revered with honor….and sometimes a sense of lightness. ….however, we are westerners, we have ways, customes, etc…..yes, there is a place for Medical Cannabis, but not in the actual “yoga room”... Never consume during your practice.

Lets remember there is a sacredness to the yoga practice, reserved for our “Un-high’ physiologies”.  Noting, post class / session a little Medical Cannabis  for a lot of pain relief, gets us back to the mat, gets us back to the good work of Yoga.

Jai Guru Dev