Your First Cannabis Yoga Pose
"I want to use cannabis and yoga, but I don't know how to do yoga!"
Don't let the Instagram photos of crazy yoga poses scare you off. It takes years of practice to get to those poses, and you don't have to stand on your head and curl yourself into a pretzel to get the benefits of cannabis and yoga. You can get started right now with the most basic, but most beneficial yoga pose, no equipment or money required. Simply take off your shoes and lay down on the floor. Take long, slow, deep breaths and focus on each part of your body, relaxing the muscles and letting everything sink into the earth.
This is Corpse Pose, or Savasana. Every yoga class ends with a few minutes of Savasana to relax and rest the body and mind. This pose is why yoga class feels so good. This is also my favorite pose for treating back pain and depression.
But my absolute favorite thing is to modify the pose to relax the psoas, a core muscle that connects the legs to the spine. The psoas muscle reacts to stress and the "fight or flight" sympathetic nervous system. If a lion is chasing us, we need our psoas muscle to tighten and spring into action. The problem is, the psoas muscle gets tight when we don't need it to, and it stays that way. Sitting all day can cause a tight and restricted psoas. So can emotional stress.
It is easy to relax the psoas muscle. Get into Corpse Pose, then bend your knees. Plant your feet 16 inches from your butt and let your legs lean against each other for support. Relax everything. Let your arms splay out next to you. Let your shoulders drop and make sure the back of your head in on the floor and your chin is lower than your forehead. Stay there for at least 20 minutes to let gravity do the work and relax the tension from your body.
Bending your knees allows to psoas to completely relax, and it also helps the upper back, neck and shoulders relax and release after too much time staring at screens. If your neck and shoulders are painfully tight and laying on the floor is too much, put a pillow under your head to ease the stretch.
I lay down in this Corrective Rest pose for 30 minutes a day when my back pain is bad. When I sit up my body feels better, but so does my mind. I use this pose during the day to turn off my overactive nervous system when I get hit with stress. After I fractured my spine, my back was a wreck. Everything was tight and I had painful muscle spasms up and down my spine. Releasing and relaxing my psoas released so much pain from my lower back, it's like I never fractured a vertebrae at all.
To combine Corpse Pose with cannabis, simply take an inhalation or two (one puff is enough) and lay down. If you prefer edibles, eat your dose an hour before you get into Corpse Pose. Keep your dose small to reduce anxiety and depression, and make sure to use a 1:1 THC/CBD strain for the most pain relief. You. don't want to get too high - just enough to reduce your pain and melt your body into the floor. I love high THC strains - Ghost Train Haze and Island Sweet Skunk are two of my favorites - but I reach for Pure Love, a THC/CBD strain with just enough THC and lots of CBD, when I want my body to feel better. I save the THC strains for fun times.
When we combine the healing effects of yoga, cannabis and meditation, the result is pain relief that's much more powerful than opioids and depression relief that is much more powerful than pills.
If you do it right, yoga doesn't cost a lot of money. But there are a few yoga tools that are worth the cost. A mat that doesn't let you slip, blocks to help your alignment, a bolster to rest on for delicious restorative poses, and a strap to keep it all together. These are my favorites, but you can choose your own. You never have to buy shoes for yoga, and pricey yoga pants aren't worth it, so spend your dollars on high quality equipment that will last.