There are tons of niche styles of yoga just waiting to be enhanced with cannabis, but similar to how strains of weed can bring out great feelings when the conditions are optimal, I believe certain cannabis types and strains can bring out the best of specific kinds of yoga. There are three kinds of cannabis: indica (relaxing high), sativa (energizing high), and hybrid which is a combination of the first two. In this post I’ll explain the effects of sativa and indica, and list some styles of yoga they are best paired with as well as specific strains I like for a comfortably enhanced experience.
I N D I C A
I almost exclusively offer indica during my cannabis-enhanced yoga classes. Compared to sativa, indica has a lower THC to CBD ratio – CBD has no mind-altering qualities and diminishes some of the negative effects that THC can sometimes have (anxiety and short-term memory impairment) making it a great option for the group setting of cannabis-enhanced yoga classes, or even for smoking prior to a regular yoga class. Indica is generally relaxing and grounding, and provides a body high that promotes introspection. This makes it easier to rein in a wandering mind and focus on internal sensations. Cannabis in general acts as a muscle relaxant so the relaxing properties of indica make it especially blissful with styles of yoga that open up the body with props and extended time in poses.
Specific strains I use include Blue Mystic, Bubba Kush, and Hindu Kush that leave me feeling dreamy, uplifted, euphoric, and a little bit hungry (a post-yoga smoothie has never tasted so good!).
Indica pairs perfectly with slow flows, therapeutic and passive yoga styles where unwinding and relaxation are key:
- hatha (beginner level)
- tune up
- iyengar (beginner level)
S A T I V A
If I’m smoking sativa prior to doing yoga I’ll usually do a faster paced or more challenging class, but I don’t get too crazy with arm balances unless I’m familiar with them and I steer completely away from inversions. Sativa generally increases alertness while stimulating and energizing the mind. This works well when paired with breath-to-movement styles of yoga like vinyasa or power yoga because that increased awareness can be focused towards finding a connection between mind, body, and breath in challenging poses and continuous movement. Sativa has a greater THC to CBD ratio than indica so offers more of a cerebral and emotional high- this means lots of internal philosophizing can happen as every action and thought becomes profound. This can work well in a studio you’re comfortable with as instructors usually theme classes around a question or idea and sativa allows you to connect more with this, although your mind might not stay on that idea for long before it finds something else to ponder on.
Specific strains I use include Jack Herer, Sour Diesel, and Super Lemon Haze because they spark creativity and deep thinking, while keeping spirits high.
Sativa pairs perfectly with breath-to-movement flows and styles where you have a focus or challenge.
- vinyasa (beginner-intermediate level)
- power (beginner-intermediate level)
- hatha (beginner-intermediate level)
- ashtanga (beginner level)
For simplicity I didn’t include hybrid strains since what kind of yoga the individual strain pairs well with depends largely on whether it is indica or sativa dominant. But you can assume if a hybrid is indica-dominant it will pair well with the styles of yoga I listed above for preferred indica and yoga pairings, and the same goes for sativa-dominant hybrids and and the list of sativa and yoga pairings.
For almost every yoga style there is a cannabis strain that pairs perfectly with it, but whether I’m high or not (but especially when I’m high) I don’t do bikram yoga. The intense heat and movement just don’t go with being in an elevated state and is a recipe for feeling light-headed and uncomfortable. Whatever the style of yoga you choose to enhance with cannabis, be sure to try cannabis-enhanced yoga at home first before taking some beginner level classes at a studio (even if you have experience with the class), and always consume less cannabis than you think you need.
I hope you find these tips useful! Do you have any specific strains you like to do yoga with? Have you tried any of these combinations or do you want to? Let me know in the comments below!