It had been a while since 420 days. I indulged a fair amount in college, but my old habits melted away as fitness and wellness became a better way to chase the high as I got older. Now more than ever, I'm craving a spiritual practice—and it looks like the rest of the wellness world is too. With several states leading the charge in decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, it's become somewhat of a buzzy superherb that's making its way into mainstream spiritual ritual.
So when Dee Dussalt's new (and beautiful) book, Ganja Yoga: A Practical Guide to Conscious Relaxation, Soothing Pain Relief, and Enlightened Self-Discovery crossed my desk, I was curious. Ganja yoga is exactly what it sounds like: smoking pot before you practice. According to ancient texts, this isn't new: Yogis have been using herbs to supplement practice for millennia. Both yoga and weed, Dee writes, "bring a shift in consciousness that allows one to become more open to psychological, emotional, and energy states that aren't usually operational in the grind of daily life."
Yes, independently of each other yoga and marijuana offer these experiences, but together? I was honestly skeptical at first. Would I break out into a giggle fit? Would I want a predominantly restorative practice, or simply an extended savasana? Would I unintentionally fall asleep? After paging through the health benefits and deepened experiences Dee describes, my interest was piqued enough to try.
I used a vaporizer and had just enough to feel a little "buzz," while I put together a short playlist. I made sure to be intentional about not doing too much—I wanted to have a mindful experience. I lit a candle, rolled out my mat, and set a timer for 20 minutes. For anyone who is curious about trying ganja yoga, here are nine ways my practice was different: