If you’re an avid yogi, you might have noticed a new trend popping up at the yoga studios in your area — CBD. It seems like every day, more and more yoga instructors are finding ways to incorporate CBD products into their practice. But why are so many people now mixing CBD with yoga, and does the pairing even make sense? According to Jolie Parcher — founder and director of Mandala Yoga Center for Healing Arts in Amagansett, NY — CBD and yoga absolutely belong together.
Mandala began offering CBD yoga classes a few years ago after Parcher began experimenting with CBD herself. The CBD made her feel more present and helped her achieve what she says is the primary goal of Practicing yoga: listening to your body.
“That’s what yoga ultimately is. It’s really taking care of your body, and especially listening to how it’s doing,” says Parcher. “So, CBD is another tool helping us to listen. It turns on the ability to perceive and be patient when there is discomfort. Rather than just wanting to push through it or avoid it.”
People have busy, stressful lives, says Parcher, and that makes it difficult to get into the relaxed state you want to be in when practicing yoga. CBD helps relieve daily stresses and gently coaxes people into a yoga-appropriate headspace when they’re struggling to get there.
Aside from helping get the most out of a yoga class, Parcher says that introducing people to CBD through a more familiar medium like yoga is a powerful means of destigmatizing cannabis. By making sure she’s built strong relationships with her students and by being open to conversations about CBD, people who would otherwise never consider it begin to come around to the healing potential of cannabis.
“Pairing CBD and yoga is a safe way to put CBD in its place. It detaches it from the whole experience of what people think of as cannabis. You get to look at cannabis differently, as a medicine. This is a way to use it that supports you.”
For those yoga students who want to incorporate CBD into their practice, but don’t know where to start, Parcher says the best thing to do is to take it slow. Avoid challenging yoga classes to start, and make sure participants become familiar with how CBD affects their body.
“CBD takes about 20 minutes for it to really begin to affect the body, so you could sit in meditation for 20 minutes and then begin the class. And I would suggest taking gentle, or slower yoga classes, just so you can really use the quality of the CBD oil that helps you to hear yourself more acutely.”
Once you start to learn how CBD and yoga can help you become more in tune with your body, you can begin to bring that knowledge into more active and stressful activities, too. Parcher says she likes to have a little CBD before going surfing to help her stay focused.
“Many times, I’d go to look at the water, and I would be aware that I was feeling some anxiety about it or feeling afraid and realizing I just wanted to be clear. I wanted to be calm and steady and clear, so I wasn’t going into the water with fear that wasn’t useful. And to help myself to see clearly. I found that using a bit of CBD before getting into the water was really useful just to help me see clearly and get my nervous system calm enough to respond intelligently.”
CBD can do more than keep you in the moment, too. Using a CBD topical is also a great way to help soothe sore muscles and speed along post-workout recovery. It’s just a matter of understanding dosage and applying the right product for you.
So, yes, it seems like CBD and yoga are a great combination after all. Not that we had any doubt about that anyway.