The latest workout craze is taking downward dog to new highs at a San Francisco fitness studio where yoga teachers and students are lighting up joints before class.
In the wake of recreational marijuana being legalized in California, some yoga teachers are taking advantage of being able to more openly advertise their classes that include pot smoking.
Yoga instructor Dee Dusssault’s has been holding her “ganja yoga” classes since 2009, but legalization has new students flocking to try it out.
“People have the luxury of arriving whenever they want in the first half hour in what we call the ‘Stoner’s Social,’” explained Dussault.
Dussault believes the combination of mindfulness and marijuana can improve her students’ health.
“There are anti-inflammatory benefits to cannabis and specifically CBD products can have amazing pain relieving benefits and anti-anxiety, anti-depression benefits,” said Dussault.
The class opens with students sampling cannabis products.
“We hang out. We talk. We break the ice,” said yoga student Ezra Malmuth.
The smoking is followed by an hour of yoga with breaks for a quick puff.
While critics question the health benefits of using marijuana, yoga student Tiffany Marquez said pot relieves her migraines and puts her body at ease.
“It helps to loosen your muscles and it helps lower you inhibitions, so you’re more likely to try a different move that maybe before you might have been apprehensive of,” said Marquez.
Students may feel a little loopy after class, so Dussault has them stick around for an additional 30 minutes to sober up.
When asked how she feels after class, Marquez replied, “I’m floating on air.”
A yoga teacher for over two decades, Dussault published a book through Harper Collins entitled Ganja Yoga last year and has taught classes all over the San Francisco Bay Area as well as other cities in the U.S. and abroad.
She is expanding her classes in more cities to help others take their yoga practice to new highs.