How Taking CBD Daily May Improve the Benefits of Yoga
Have you ever considered combining CBD with yoga? As it turns out, these two wellbeing practices have a long and fascinating history together.
Cannabis is one of the five sacred plants mentioned in the Vedas, a body of religious texts originating in ancient India and which form the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. According to these texts, a guardian angel resides within the plant’s leaves and the drug can bring joy, happiness, and a release from anxiety to its users.
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means “union” or “to unite.” There is evidence that the earliest theories and practices of yoga may have been developed around 2700 BC.
Though modern yoga is often conceptualized as an exercise form that focuses primarily on the physical aspect of the practice (poses or asanas), breathwork (pranayama), meditation, and spiritual practices are also vital tenets of yoga.
Overall, the practice aims to cultivate awareness, higher consciousness, and harmony between the mind and body as well as physical strength and relaxation. There are many different styles of yoga, and an increasing body of medical and scientific evidence to attest to its benefits.
Why Taking CBD Daily and Practicing Yoga Are a Match Made in Heaven
Decreasing Stress and Promoting Mental Wellness
Across America and the Western world, Yoga has exploded in popularity in recent decades. There is likely a good reason for this: we live increasingly stressful lives in our modern, fast-paced and high-pressure culture, and yoga is a fantastic way to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression and to cultivate a calm, positive, and balanced mindset.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound taken from the cannabis plant. Research suggests that CBD may have anxiety-reducing, antidepressant, and neuroprotective properties. Some research has even indicated that it may help to alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and insomnia. Some people use CBD daily, while others take it only occasionally.
When used in harmony, CBD and yoga can combine to produce a powerfully positive impact on stress levels and overall mental wellness.
Contrary to what some believe, CBD cannot get you “high.” Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and is not present in broad spectrum CBD products (in full spectrum products, THC is present but only in quantities of less than 0.3%.) Instead, CBD can produce a profoundly relaxing effect.
This is because CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a vital role in regulating various physiological functions such as stress response and mood.
Therefore, when you combine using CBD daily with a moderate yoga practice designed to promote relaxation, the calming and soothing effects are nothing short of miraculous.
Physical Benefits During and After Practice
Along with the incredible benefits of taking CBD daily and yoga together for mental wellness and relaxation, this combination also offers some excellent physical benefits.
CBD, like yoga, may help maintain healthy joints and muscles. Though research in this area is still relatively new, some studies have suggested that CBD may offer muscle relaxant properties which could help alleviate muscle spasms and cramps during and after exercise, and that it could play a role in reducing pain and inflammation of the joints.
Due to its anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxing, and pain-relieving properties, CBD may also aid in the recovery process after a workout. If you are practicing yoga at a more intense level, taking CBD daily could help your body to recover post-practice.
Or, if you engage in other forms of exercise (such as running, weightlifting, or high-intensity interval training), the combination of CBD and moderate yoga could be a great way to complement your training and keep your body healthy on rest days.
Is it Safe to Take CBD Daily?
In most cases, yes. CBD is very safe for most people and using CBD daily should produce no adverse effects in healthy adults. Consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns and cut back or stop CBD usage if you experience negative side effects.
How to Combine CBD and Yoga
If you reside in one of the states that has legalized recreational cannabis, you may be able to find a “ganja yoga” session. However, these programs often involve psychoactive marijuana (the kind with THC), so make sure you know exactly what you’re taking and if you are comfortable with it before you go down this route.
Some yoga studies have embraced using CBD alongside yoga and offer classes specifically utilizing this combination. If you’re lucky enough to live near to one of them, we recommend checking out a class.
However, you can also easily and safely experiment with combining yoga with CBD daily at home. All you’ll need is a small amount of your favorite CBD product, a yoga mat, a warm space and some comfortable clothes.
A Simple CBD-Inspired Yoga Routine
Once you know how your body responds to CBD, you can safely combine it with any of your regular yoga practices. In this section, we’ve put together a simple suggested routine to help you get started. If you’re not sure how to perform each pose correctly, instructional yoga videos can help you.
Start by setting out your mat, changing into comfortable clothing, and lighting a candle or dimming the lights. Remember to take your preferred CBD product in enough time to allow it to take effect (anything from 15 to 45 minutes.) If you wish, you can meditate during this time.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Lie down on your back with your legs slightly apart and your arms slightly away from your body, palms pointing upwards. Close your eyes, relax your jaw, and breathe deeply in and out. Stay in savasana for as long as feels right to you, but we recommend a minimum of 10 minutes.
While savasana is often used at the end of a yoga practice (and you’ll be doing it again at the end of this one), it’s also a great way to begin a relaxing CBD-inspired routine.
As you exhale, bring your knees to your chest and keep your back flat against the floor by gently pressing your sacrum and tailbone downwards. Gently tuck your chin towards your chest and hug your arms over your knees, holding each forearm or elbow with the opposite hand. If this isn’t comfortable, widen your legs slightly and put your hands on your knees instead.
Hold this posture for around 15 seconds, breathing slowly and calmly, then release. Repeat up to 5 times. Apanasana is amazing for lower back pain, stomach pain, and any general bodily tension.
Supine Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)
On an inhale, bring your knees up towards your chest and spread your hands out to your sides at shoulder level. Slowly and gently turn to your right, dropping your knees towards the floor while turning the upper body as little as possible. Turn your head to the opposite side.
Hold this position for as long as it feels comfortable for you, breathing deeply and focusing on your breath, then repeat on the left.
Jathara parivartanasana is an amazing relaxing pose that can reduce upper back pain and stretch out tight shoulder and chest muscles. It’s ideal for those who work at a computer and, combined with CBD, should be exactly what you need to melt the day’s stress away.
Move to a tabletop position on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders, your knees under your hips, and your spine neutral. On an inhale, lift your chest and chin, drop your belly, and press your lower back down. On an exhale, round your spine by lifting your lower, middle, then upper back and bringing your chin down to your chest.
Repeat as many times as you like, following your breath. The cat/cow pose is a great way to improve spinal mobility and relieve back pain as well as re-establishing emotional equilibrium.
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
From a tabletop position, slightly rotate your arms externally so your elbows face towards the back of your mat. Curl your toes under, exhale deeply, and lift the knees and then hips up and backwards. Push your heels towards the floor (don’t worry if they don’t go all the way), try to distribute your weight evenly between your hands and feet, and keep your head between your upper arms.
Stay in this position for as long as is comfortable, then gently lower to your knees and repeat 3-4 times. Downward-facing dog is one of the most well-known yoga poses, and it’s a powerhouse that calms the mind, boosts energy, and stretches the entire body.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Finally, end your practice by returning to savasana. Your CBD has had plenty of time to work its magic, and your mind and body should be feeling active and awake, yet relaxed. Stay in savasana for as long as you like, consciously relaxing your muscles and focusing on your breath.
Now that you understand the benefits of using CBD daily and combining it with a restorative yoga practice, you’re all set! We hope you enjoy reaping the benefits of these two powerful tools together.