By Denise Dicks
For those not enmeshed in the yoga world, a shared, and common, notion is that yoga is solely for those few calm, meditative individuals. While many yoga styles are actually based in a vigorous physical practice—queue images of yogis standing on their heads or wrapped in some complicated twisting position—many styles are meditative and calming, such as yin yoga.
It is no surprise, then, that yoga studios now offer classes that combine the experience of yoga with the use of marijuana. Two such classes are 420 Yoga in Los Angeles and Ganja Yoga in San Francisco.
Ganja Yoga is offered at San Francisco’s Merchants of Reality collaborative work space. Here, students with valid medical marijuana cards are encouraged to bring marijuana to class. In contrast, those students taking the 420 Yoga class come in having already partaken.
The motivation to do yoga ranges from wanting a workout, finding relief from physical pain, to the exploration of higher states of consciousness. For students wanting to move deeper into themselves, or, as Timothy Leary advised, to “turn on, tune in, drop out,” yoga classes incorporating marijuana can offer a way to do just that.
Each yoga style varies greatly in their respective views on the use of substances that alter the mind or body. Kundalini yoga suggests practitioners abstain from stimulants while other yoga studios offer wine to celebrate the completion of class. In Mike Kessler’s article on his experience at 420 Yoga, he speaks to moving through a gamut of emotions, finding himself both overly paranoid and spacey, to calm and reflective.
Whether or not yoga and marijuana use should be combined is up for debate. What is not left in question is the rapid growth taking place in both the yoga and marijuana industries. According to the Yoga Journal, “the yoga and Pilates studio industry is one of the 10 fastest-growing industries in the U.S.”
Statistic Brain provides compelling statistics on America’s yoga industry: with 15 million yoga practitioners in the United States, 44 percent earn more than $75,000 annually. Coupled with the marijuana industry’s 60 percent growth rate, this could be a lucrative collaboration.
If entrepreneurs can find a way to combine two of the fastest growing industries, then the results could be significant. Successful collaborations between the worlds of yoga and marijuana could prompt investors to infuse capital into some of the marijuana industry’s more therapeutic enterprises.