Yoga on high. Pot yoga. Call it what you will

This story seems to be getting picked up everywhere, for all the obvious reasons:

Controlled breathing has always played an integral role in mindful yoga practice. But a small number of classes on the West Coast are now choosing to inhale controlled substances.

You’ve heard of hot yoga? Well, welcome to pot yoga, where students are encouraged to take a puff before assuming various postures to increase their level of relaxation and flexibility.

“Historically, cannabis has been linked to really early use with yoga in ancient Shiva cults,” said Dee Dussault, 34, a 20-year yogi and instructor of Ganja Yoga in San Francisco, which launched this October. “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.”

At Ganja Yoga, students are responsible for their own high: Those who possess medical marijuana cards can participate in a 15-minute smoking session before class, at which point everyone will form a circle, state their name and share their inspiration for attending.

“A lot of students are consuming it before yoga anyway,” said Dussault. “So a big benefit that I am hearing is the community aspect. The first thing they want to do after consuming cannabis is lay down and stretch. And, depending upon the dosage and strain, it really encourages people to relax.”

Yeah, how can the media resist?

I’m of course trying to resist reacting to someone talking about “hotboxing” a temple. (Having been inside such a temple, I understand the comparison, I just can’t help thinking Dussault is trolling to the lowest common denominator.)

Here are other pick-ups of this story. It was this SF Chronicle piece is the one that got the bong ball rolling. It has a classic journalism end:

For Cole Short, 24, an advertising art director who was not a yoga enthusiast before attending Dussault’s classes, the marijuana was the big draw.

“This is the only way you’d get me to do yoga,” he said.


Posted by Steve


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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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