Why CBD With Yoga Might be the Best Idea Ever This trendy new supplement won’t get you high, but it will take your yoga practice to an entirely new level of chill. So many of us experience (at CBD and Yoga are great compliments. Taking a few drops of CBD oil before you step on your yoga mat can help you get in the right mindset to practice and
Why CBD With Yoga Might be the Best Idea Ever
This trendy new supplement won’t get you high, but it will take your yoga practice to an entirely new level of chill.
So many of us experience (at minimum) a steady hum of low-grade anxiety as we move about our days. And who could blame us? Our schedules are jam-packed, we’re chasing career goals, tending to our personal relationships, juggling finances, and (if we’re lucky) squeezing in a little time to pursue our hobbies and passions.
These ever-constant feelings of anxiety not only hinder our productivity, they steal our pure, unfiltered, in-the-moment joy. It can be a challenging beast to tame, which is why so many people have been turning to a yoga practice as a way to calm down, go inward, and let go. All eight limbs of yoga, specifically asana and meditation, not only soothe in the short-term, but they also teach practitioners skills for checking in rather than checking out, and addressing anxiety with a calm bravery.
But yoga isn’t the only tool in our coping tool belts. With the increasing legalization of marijuana and hemp-derived products across the country, the stressed-out among us are exploring new ways to cope with anxiety. If the word “cannabis” brings to mind terrible-tasting brownies, it’s time to take another look at a now-booming industry. Although bakeries are now whipping up marijuana-infused cookies, gummies, drinks, and even baklava, there are also companies working to spread the gospel of hemp-related products without the high.
It all comes down to CBD, a cannabinoid compound found in the cannabis plant. Although CBD shares some similarities with THC, hemp’s better-known cannabinoid, there is one big difference: CBD has no psychoactive effects and won’t get you high. What CBD does deliver on, however, is a calming, gently relaxing vibe that has truly been known to make a difference in anxiety sufferers.
Bringing CBD Onto the Mat
If the words “calming and gently relaxing” are sounding a lot like your favorite yoga practice, that’s no coincidence—as many yogis are discovering, CBD products and asana practice go together like bolsters and yoga blankets: Two great ideas that are wonderful alone, but totally dynamite together. Because using CBD won’t get you high, it’s entirely safe and acceptable to use during a yoga practice or any other regular activities. Benefits of using CBD include:
- Pain relief
- Relief from anxiety and depression
- Relief from overthinking
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased mood
CBD is a natural fit for a restorative-style or gentle yoga class, but it can also enhance your experience in a more upbeat, quicker-paced flow-style or vinyasa class, especially if you’re prone to a wandering mind. How often have you been in a yoga class and thought, “I am supposed to be zen! I just wish I could silence these thoughts!” It’s hard to automatically turn off your overthinking brain simply because you’ve hit the mat. CBD helps.
It can also aid those with sore joints and muscles. Here’s how: The different cannabinoids in hemp, such as CBD, work in different ways with the cannabinoid receptors in the body, located throughout the endocannabinoid system. This is the same system that triggers your brain when you’re experiencing pain. When taking CBD, it interacts with the ECS and encourages it to produce an increased number of natural cannabinoids, which help to balance the system and produce an anti-inflammatory response. Therefore, helping to relieve those post-asana sore muscles.
CBD can also help to prolong the savasana feelings of bliss after you leave the mat. When we are feeling good, our brain naturally produces and releases a neurotransmitter called Anandamide. In Sanskrit, ‘Ananda’ means ‘bliss’, which is why Anandamide is aptly named the ‘bliss molecule’. Like all neurotransmitters, Anandamide is fragile and breaks down quickly in the body, which is why it doesn’t produce a perpetual state of bliss. It’s been found that CBD suppresses the enzyme that breaks down Anandamide. Thus creating longer lasting effects from the naturally occurring Anandamide in our system. In other words, that blissful feeling you get from your flow session can be enhanced even more by incorporating CBD into the mix.
(As a yogi and author of this piece, I found using CBD to be particularly great during my home practice. While I’m usually distracted by my cell phone, to-do list, and passing thoughts, my home asana routine has become a lot more focused and intuitive when taking CBD.)
How to Get Started
To nip any assumptions in the bud (had to!)—no, it doesn’t need to be smoked. CBD products can be applied to the body as a salve or ingested via tinctures or soft gels. Dana Boyce of Ananda Hemp suggests starting with a 10-15mg dose and increasing with comfort level and familiarity.
So which one is right for you? As a general rule, tinctures begin acting faster than softgels—about 15 minutes, on average. They have a mild hemp flavor that fans describe as earthy. If you’re looking to minimize taste, softgels might be a better fit, although you’ll want to note the difference in acting time: they take a little longer to reach the system, around 35 minutes on average. T he salves can be a beautiful part of a self-care routine, and are particularly nice when applied after a shower, before or after yoga, or just before bed.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that CBD isn’t a miracle “cure” for anxiety. (And BTW — neither is yoga!) As Ananda’s Boyce explains, “I always tell customers to not go in with expectations. Take the product consistently for a week and see if you feel any different.”
Consistency is key here; sporadically taking CBD when you feel like it, or remember, won’t yield the beneficial results of a regular regimen. (Again, noticing any parallels with your yoga practice?)
Have you tried CBD products with your yoga practice? What did you think?
In partnership with Ananda Hemp
Ananda Hemp offers information on how to incorporate hemp extract into your daily practice. Ananda Hemp believes that Mother Nature is the best architect for health and wellness. Their full spectrum products are derived from Kentucky-grown and produced medicinal hemp. Ananda Hemp strives to cultivate a sustainable crop that produces solvent and pesticide-free whole flower extract that complements your ongoing journey to wellness.
6 Ways CBD Can Improve Your Yoga Practice
CBD and Yoga are great compliments. Taking a few drops of CBD oil before you step on your yoga mat can help you get in the right mindset to practice and meditate. Combining CBD with yoga can help heal sore muscles, reduce inflammation, and give you a boost of energy. This naturally occurring supplement can also improve yoga’s mental aspects by reducing anxiety, regulating emotions, promoting calm, and improving mental focus. In total, we have found six powerful ways how CBD can positively enhance your yoga experience and take your practice to the next level.
The benefits of using CBD with Yoga
CBD won’t get you high, but it can improve your yoga experience. It’s completely safe to use during a yoga practice or any other regular activities. Here are the six main benefits of combining CBD with your yoga practice:
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- Reduces Stress. Cortisol is the stress hormone that causes you to feel stressed and anxious. CBD is a known reliever of stress and anxiety through its effect on the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is the body’s system of maintaining hormonal balance and regulating our physiological responses. By boosting your body’s ability to reduce stress, you can experience even deeper levels of relaxation and calm in your yoga practice. This combined effect will ensure that you are free from worry, stress, or anxiety throughout your whole day.
- Increases Focus. In a study conducted in 2014 and published in the Current Neuropharmacology, CBD was found to be a wake-promoting agent. This means that it keeps your mind active so that you don’t lose focus on what you are doing. Similarly, Yoga helps you take control of your mind so that you are not distracted by the events happening around you.
- Relieves Pain and Soreness. If you engage in rigorous or challenging yoga routines, you will likely suffer from some degree of musculoskeletal pain and inflammation after your practice. In a study conducted in 2018 on CBD’s effectiveness in reducing pain and inflammation, it was affirmed that adding CBD into a yoga routine is effective in alleviating pain and managing soreness.
- Better Rest. If you’re feeling exhausted and you need to unwind, a combination of the CBD and yoga is your best option. CBD works on your endocannabinoid receptors, allowing you to elicit responses to your physical, emotional, or mental state. If you combine that with a relaxing yoga session, your body feels calm and rested.
The Best Supplements for Yogis
Different nutritional supplements can help with post-yoga recovery by reducing inflammation and increasing circulation to sore muscles and achy joints. Other supplements for yoga can help boost energy, enhance muscle health, calm the mind, and increase focus and concentration.
Who shouldn’t use CBD during Yoga?
There are no studies to show the negative effects of using CBD with yoga. However, it is advisable to avoid using CBD with yoga if you are:
- Pregnant or trying to conceive
- Taking prescription drugs
How to use CBD with Yoga
There are several different ways to consume CBD products. You can apply a CBD salve or lotion to any parts of the body that tend to be stiff or sore. You can also ingest CBD through tinctures, soft gels, herbal teas, or tasty gummies. It is recommended to start with a 10-15mg dose of CBD or 1-6 mg of CBD per 10 lbs of body weight and slowly increase the dosage if needed. Tinctures begin acting as fast as 15 minutes, and softgels take effect around 35 minutes on average. The salves can be used before or after yoga or just before bed. Establishing a regular regimen of using CBC products with yoga will yield the best results.
To sum up
CBD is an incredible supplement for helping you relax. Sometimes, you may have trouble clearing the racing thoughts in your mind before a yoga session. In such a situation, CBD can help you clear your head so that you are ready to go deep in your yoga practice. After your yoga session, CBD can also help you to recover faster from the tightness, inflammation, or soreness that may have occurred during the yoga-process. Combining CBD with yoga is a simple and easy way to boost the amazing feel-good effects of your yoga practice. If you’re interested in CBD but are overwhelmed by the number of brands and options, check out this list of medically reviewed oils to find the best one for your yoga practice.
About Laura Powell
Laura Powell was introduced to yoga at the PranaVida Yoga Studio in Orlando, FL, in 2001 and has been studying yoga ever since. She began her study with Ravi Singh and, after trying many teachers and styles in the yoga cornucopia that is New York City, gravitated to the classes of Sharon Gannon and David Life of Jivamukti whom she considers to be her primary influences. Inspired by her students and yoga masters B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar, Gary Kraftsow, Godfrey Devereaux, and Donna Farhi, she emphasizes safety and proper alignment, building awareness of the body so that time, effort and the breath can bring about the many potential benefits of yoga. Laura is committed to her self-study and daily yoga practice, along with attending regular workshops with Kofi Busia and other senior teachers.