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Cannabis & yoga: Combining the two can provide balance, healing and strength

Yoga is an ancient practice that helps many find balance and a sense of wholeness. Cannabis is also a form of medicine that helps people understand and heal their own bodies on a deeper level. Put the two together, and cannabis-enhanced yoga classes are an experience not to be missed.

As with all things related to cannabis, there are several options for an enhanced yoga experience.

In your area, there may be cannabis-centric yoga classes offered by certified yoga teachers in a private residences where cannabis is complimentary and is often available in flower, edible, and/or tincture form. Usually, time is provided both before and after class for “elevating,” and tea. A medical card is sometimes required, but not always. Check the registration details so you know what to expect.

Or you may want to check out the classes at a dispensary where you’re already a member.

Taking a yoga class at your local cannabis club isn’t what you think. It isn’t necessarily doing yoga in a smoke-filled room. It may be a well-seasoned cannabis user’s first time doing yoga, or an experienced yoga practitioner’s first time using medical marijuana. In fact, at Harborside, Oakland, you don’t need to consume cannabis at all to participate in yoga classes — you simply need to be a member of the collective.

After becoming a member, you can access many comprehensive wellness services, including acupuncture, chiropractic care, reiki, tai chi and, of course, yoga – all for free. However,  cannabis is not dispensed at these classes, so if to take the class in an elevated state, you need to BYOC (bring your own cannabis).

Also, because a dispensary can get busy, it’s important to make an appointment as the yoga classes are popular offerings and tend to fill up. The nice thing about going to a yoga class at your local dispensary is that the classes tend to be capped on the small side – at Harborside, there’s a six-person limit per class. Capping the classes lends itself well to being tailored to your body’s individual needs and is accessible for all levels and body types.

The wellness room is stocked with all the props, including yoga mats, blocks, straps and bolsters, and had a clean, calm feeling inside. I took a private 60-minute class with Hillary Russak, who had already worked with clients on sciatic pain, sleeplessness, and how to move with a dislocated elbow, before I arrived. She emphasized that “This is a health clinic, and yoga is part of the holistic healing offered here.” Hillary guided me through some myofascial release techniques (which I could use at home!), helped me with my overall body alignment, and we finished with some simple asanas. Private sessions at a regular yoga studio usually run upward of $90, so it was a treat to get one-on-one attention at no additional cost.

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Positive aspects of yoga at Harborside:

  • Lots of individual attention and tailoring to your wellness needs
  • Healing from pain + injuries
  • Accessible for all income levels and body types
  • Multigenerational community of care
  • Offers a range of health offerings, including acupuncture, chiropractic, reiki, massage and Tai Chi

Downsides:

  • If you’re looking for an enhanced yoga class experience, you will need to medicate beforehand.
  • You do have to show your card and ID several times before getting to the yoga space. It might feel a little hectic initially, depending on how busy the dispensary is.

So, go forth and stretch it out, regardless of whether you plan to elevate for your yoga experience. Here are places around the state that offer cannabis-infused classes or are offered by cannabis clubs.

Oakland

Ganja Yoga Oakland< – Jess Dugan leads hatha-flow classes every Tues. and Thurs. from 7-9:00 p.m. The fee is $25, which includes complimentary cannabis.

Oakland Cannabis Creative – upcoming workshops at this 4/20 friendly art and event space

East Bay Canna Community – great way to find out about local fitness offerings

Los Angeles:

Lit Yoga – first designated cannabis studio in LA

Higher Self Yoga with Emily Meyers + Nathania Stambouli

Evoke Yoga – Elevated Yoga Workshops

Evolve Yoga – Trap Vinyasa and Restorative Flow, two unique offerings

Pop-up yoga classes at spots like Hitman Coffee Shop taught by Vance Vlasek, and Shoot the Moon in the Arts District

Meet-ups:

Ganja Yoga/

Cannabis Enhanced Yoga

San Jose & South Bay

Elemental Cannabis Collective and Wellness Center

San Francisco

Ganja Yoga with Dee Dussault

The Apothecarium – Mondays @ 9:00 a.m. at St. Francis Church in the Castro district

Mirage Medicinal – offers seasonal and astrologically-informed yoga classes


To read more of our special report on Cannabis & Fitness, click here. To subscribe to The Cannifornian’s email newsletter, click here.