Every so often, a new yoga trend emerges that promises to help you reach a higher level of consciousness (Like these 7 Wacky New Yoga Styles: Worth a Try or Just too Weird?). But this new practice practically guarantees it.
Ganja Yoga, which launched in October in San Francisco (naturally), starts each class with a 15-minute smoking session for students with a medical marijuana card. It's not just a gimmick (pot is legal now in 23 states); according to instructor Dee Dussault, who told ABC News, "Historically, cannabis has been linked to really early use with yoga in ancient Shiva cults. Back then, they weren't smoking it, but drinking it in a milk beverage and burning it as an incense. But if you're burning incense, you're essentially hotboxing the temple as a result." (Check out Your Brain On: Marijuana.)
Of her own class, Dussault said, “These ‘enhanced’ yoga and tantra journeys are opportunities for you to enjoy trippy relaxation, pain-relief, sensuality, and the cultivation of inner peace.” Yogis without a medical marijuana card unfortunately miss out on the bonding opportunity and are stuck either indulging before before coming to class or showing up sober and working toward that all-natural yoga high.
The benefits of "pot yoga" have yet to be explored, but exercising under the influence of THC can be dangerous—it can raise your heart rate by 20 to 100 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But as long as you don't tax yourself, Dussault says, "cannabis, if the strain and dose are correct for the individual, promotes relaxation. Yoga obviously cultivates relaxation. So, the two together are greater than the sum of the parts."
No word yet on the increase of laughing fits, pre-savasana naps, or post-yoga munchies.