Certain yoga poses and strains of cannabis are known to combat restlessness and insomnia. When combined, the pair can do the trick to settle the mind fluctuations and bring about deep relaxation and sleep. Here are a few poses I like to combine with cannabis to calm my mind and relieve stress, especially after a physically stressful day at work.
What you’ll need:
- A quiet space you can practice uninterrupted for at least 30 minutes
- Your favorite indica strain
- Your preferred smoking tool(s)
- Comfortable clothes
Make the experience even better with:
- Low lighting
- Warm smells from incense, diffused essential oils, sage, cleansing wood, or scented candles
- Calming music with minimal to no lyrics
- Yoga props like bolsters, blocks, straps, blankets, and eye pillows
Remember to breathe deeply and consciously as you sit in or move through poses. Focus on the rhythm and fullness of your breath, and notice how your breath creates space for your body to relax into positions over time.
I recommend splitting your smoking session into two parts; smoking first at the beginning of the practice and then again about halfway through. This gives yourself a better chance of finding a comfortable high.
- Start in a tabletop position, with your palms flat on the floor underneath your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Root your shins and palms into the floor.
- On your inhale, draw your shoulders back away from your ears, drop your belly, and scoop your tailbone up (cow pose).
- On your exhale, tuck your tailbone towards your heels, round your back (drawing your navel into your spine) and tuck your chin into your chest (cat pose).
- Go through 10 or more inhales and exhales then return to a neutral tabletop position.
Contraindications: If you have a neck injury, keep your neck inline with your torso rather than gazing up or down.
- From tabletop pose, touch your big toes together and make your knees as wide as your yoga mat (if you’re using one), or as wide as is comfortable.
- Sit back on your heels and relax your forehead on the floor.
- Walk your hands out in front of you and let your belly hang between your thighs. Let your elbows relax on the floor.
- For added relaxation, support your torso and forehead with a bolster or big, fluffy pillow.
Contraindications: Knee injury
Supported Reclined Bound Angle Pose
- Modify this pose by using or omitting a bolster, or supporting your knees with blocks.
- Lay on your back with the soles of your feet touching and gently butterfly your knees open.
- Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest to feel a connection with your breath, or reach your arms overhead for a sense of surrender and relaxation.
- Rather than press your knees towards the floor to force the stretch, stay passive and allow your hips and groins to gradually open.
Contraindications: Groin or knee injury (support knees with blocks)
- Lay down on your back and on your inhale, hug your right knee into your body (avoiding your ribs).
- Exhale and let your right knee drop to the outside of your left hip (you can support your knee with a block).
- T out your arms, gaze over your right shoulder, and keep your right shoulder glued to the floor. It doesn’t matter how close your knee comes to the floor.
- To deepen the pose, rest your left palm on your right knee and gently press down to facilitate more of a twist. If your right shoulder starts to lift off of the floor, lessen your twist to keep the stretch in your lower back.
- Stay for 10 or more slow breaths then hug both knees into your chest, and repeat the pose on your left side.
Contraindications: Chronic hip, knee, or back injury
Supported Bridge Pose
- While laying on your back, place both feet on the ground and walk them toward your hips until you can graze your heels with your fingertips.
- Inhale to lift your hips and place a block (or something else of a similar shape that is stable) on your sacrum – the flat part of your tailbone, rather than your lower back.
- Tuck your chin slightly to lengthen the back of your neck.
- Feel free to keep your knees over your ankles, or let them lean onto each other.
- Stay for 10 or more breaths with your eyes closed or gaze at your stomach as it surges with your breath.
Contraindications: Neck injury
Happy Baby Pose
- While laying on your back, draw your knees towards your chest and hold onto the soles of your feet (I gripped from the inside but most beginners will find it more accessible to do this from the outside of the feet).
- Melt your shoulder blades into the floor and feel your collarbones get broad. Press your palms into your feet and your feet into your palms.
- Rock side to side to massage your tailbone and shoulders to the floor.
- Explore bending one knee as you straighten the other, then alternate sides with your inhales and exhales.
- Take 10 or more breaths slow breaths here.
Contraindications: Knee injury
Supported Savasana (Corpse Pose)
- Lay on your back with a bolster or fluffy pillow supporting the back of your knees, to release your lower back to the floor.
- Let your palms face up and heels fall open. Take up as much space as your need.
- Breathe deeply and consciously in this pose for 5 minutes or more.
When you’ve reached the end of the routine, roll onto your side and stay in fetal pose for a few moments. Do a mental scan of your body, just noticing how you feel without attaching any labels or judgments to it, then sit up slowly.
I’d love to know if you try any or all of these suggestions. Do you have any yoga poses you like to do for relaxing? Or do you have a strain of cannabis that helps you unwind and go to sleep? Let me know in the comments below!