Yoga and cannabis have long been used together to achieve ultimate relaxation and clarity. States like Colorado, where cannabis is legal recreationally, even offer yoga classes that are accompanied by a smoke session. Cannabis has been intertwined in the history of yoga for many years. In India, the birthplace of yoga, both yoga and cannabis are revered as sacred and treated with the extreme respect; it’s no wonder the two are being paired together. These four examples are just a few of the ways cannabis and yoga are connected.
Lord Shiva loved cannabis
Lord Shiva, the god of yoga, is also the god of cannabis. In the stories of his time, it is said that Lord Shiva was suffering from sun exposure when he happened upon a cannabis plant.
These plants only grew in sacred areas where Amrita, the elixir of life, had been dripped. Lord Shiva ate the plant’s leaves and was magically rejuvenated.
After making cannabis a staple in his diet, he became known as Lord of Bhang. Bhang is a traditional cannabis edible that is still prepared in India today.
Tantric cults couldn’t get enough
Tantra, an ancient Indian tradition, has influenced many of the poses we see in our yoga classes today. Early tantric cults believed cannabis was a link to divine powers, providing prolonged stamina and increased pleasure.
The cannabis allowed indulgers to feel the divine powers within their bodies and their partner’s body, allowing them to achieve euphoria that had never before been experienced.
The Sadhus still believe in the power of cannabis
Some extremely dedicated people of India choose to live their lives in caves, where they meditate all day, far away from advancing societies.
These Hindu holy men are called The Sadhus, and they are known for, among other things, the cannabis they keep and use inside their dwellings. They use cannabis to help reach Nirvana and for other spiritual purposes.
During holidays, it’s not uncommon for these dedicated men to use cannabis continuously for days straight. Not only does it help their bodies remain calm and still, it helps their minds elevate to a level that would otherwise be unachievable.
The Yoga Sutras, yoga affirmations, outlines the basic principles of yoga in 196 threads. Compiled in 400 CE, these rules have become known as the foundation of all yoga experiences. One of the sutras explicit mentions cannabis,
The subtler attainments come with birth or are attained through herbs, mantra, austerities or concentration. Cannabis use allows for a quieting of the outside world, and the ability to focus more totally on the interior process of meditation.
Some may argue that the exact words were translated incorrectly and cannabis was not distinctively noted, the proper wording may have simply been “herbs,” as seen in the beginning of the text.
Whether they believe the wording or not, it is clearly understood that the text was making a nod to cannabis.