Namaste: Cannabis Elevates the Yoga Experience

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Getting stoned and blissing out during savasana isn’t a new concept. Many yogis regularly consume cannabis prior to entering a yoga class. But now that medical and recreational marijuana is legal in 31 states and Washington, D.C., yogis have new opportunities to stretch and smoke in a community of like-minded people.

Khara Pechtes is a Los Angeles massage therapist and yoga instructor who leads private sessions that incorporate cannabis into the practice. (Courtesy Photo)

“Before legalization, it wasn’t a thing you could talk about,” says Khara Pechtes, a massage therapist and yoga instructor in Los Angeles. “Now that this veil is being lifted there is more acceptance.”

Pechtes, who has been teaching yoga since 2013, recently became certified in Ganja Yoga and hosts private cannabis yoga classes and workshops throughout Los Angeles.

“Cannabis consumption allows us to let go and get to the spaces in between, be that physical or mental,” Pechtes told Marijuana.com. “Intentionally altering our state of consciousness can become meditative and spiritual.” The idea of tapping into a higher state of consciousness is appealing to smokers and yogis alike, which has led to a boom in cannabis yoga classes.

Cannabis yoga and public consumption


As cannabis has become legal in 31 states and Washington, D.C., yogis are elevating their practices with marijuana enhancing the experience. (Photo by Gabrielle Lurie)

The recreational use of marijuana is legal in nine states, but consuming weed in public isn’t. To get around legal restrictions on public consumption, Ganja Guru Yoga, a series of cannabis yoga classes in Denver, holds invitation-only events in private spaces. To comply with Colorado law, participants must be 21 or older. Whether or not attendees choose to possess or be under the influence of cannabis in a private space is entirely at their own discretion and risk.

“We must continue to operate privately until the public consumption laws in Denver allow for us to have a brick-and-mortar facility and public consumption classes,” explained Adam Brous, founder of Ganja Guru Yoga. The rules in California are no different. Tickets for Cannabis Enhanced Slow Flow Yoga, which will be hosted by Pechtes at Sanctum LA on Oct. 3, 2018, must be purchased in advance. All students will need to show their medical marijuana cards and sign a liability waiver to participate.

What to expect at a cannabis yoga class

Cannabis-enhanced yoga practices are typically private sessions with venues revealed to yogis after payment in advance. (Photo by Gabrielle Lurie)

Each cannabis yoga class is different, but most are slow flow or restorative classes that focus on breathing and relaxation. Some cannabis yoga classes are BYOC, while others supply flower, tea, or edibles for students to sample and share. Participants can consume before, during, or after their practice — or not at all.

“These events are designed to enhance the student’s ability to work with their body, their subtle [energies], and their yoga practice in a more skillful manner, regardless of cannabis use,” explained Brous.

Cannabis yoga classes are set to music to enhance the experience, and some even feature live musical performances. First-time cannabis yoga participants, as well as those who are new to yoga in general, are encouraged to consume less cannabis than they normally would to start.

Where to do it

Los Angeles

Cannabis Enhanced Slow Flow Yoga + Live Harp Music

Date: Oct. 3, 2018

Time: 7–9 p.m. Pacific time

Location: Sanctum LA – 2121 Lincoln Blvd., Suite B, Venice, California

Price: $30 per person, $50 for a pair

Cannabis supply: Organic, sun-grown flower from Bloomfield will be provided.

All participants must bring ID and medical marijuana cards. Follow Khara Pechtes on Instagram (@therapeuticsynergy) for more information and to purchase tickets.

Oakland

Cannabis Enhanced Slow Flow

Date: Each Tuesday

Time: 7–9 p.m. Pacific time (7-7:45 p.m.: cannabis social; 7:45-9 p.m.: yoga)

Location: A private loft near the 19th Street BART station, Oakland, California (The address is revealed on the ticket confirmation email).

Price: $15

Cannabis supply: BYOC

Visit The Ganja Yoga website for more information and to purchase tickets. Instructor Jessica Dugan also co-hosts a “Monthly Bliss Sesh” that includes a DJ and sound healing on the second Sunday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific time.

Denver

Ganja Guru Yoga

Date: Oct. 3, 2018

Time: 7:30–9 p.m. Mountain time

Location: Urban Sanctuary – 2745 Welton St., Denver, Colorado

Price: $20; $15 with discount code “MJCOM”

Cannabis supply: BYOC, but the class will also be sponsored by 1906 New Highs.

Visit the Ganja Guru Yoga website, enter your email address, join the private group, and receive an invitation to register for class.

About Author

Kate Kasbee is a health and wellness writer based in Chicago. She is the content creator, recipe developer and content strategist for the site Well Vegan and co-authored her first book "Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy and Delicious Vegan Cooking." Beyond health and wellness, Kate is an experienced travel and real estate writer, serving as a contributor to publications such as "Travel in Style" and "The Los Angeles Times Las Vegas Guide."

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