Medical Marijuana Combined with Yoga Can Create Deeper Body Awareness
It’s a late Saturday afternoon, 4:20 to be exact. The sun is just beginning to start its transition toward evening. A small disparate group gathers under a commercial carport at a downtown Phoenix business. The carport has been sectioned off with drapes. Inside, a table, chairs and indoor/outdoor carpet, along with hanging plants, transform this parking area into the feeling of a backyard patio.
The small group exchanges pleasantries. The people come from all walks of life. They don’t fit any stereotypical definition. There’s a mix of economic backgrounds, education levels and interests.
But the rapport between each member is authentic, warm and sincerely caring. The one thing they share happens to be what they’re most passionate about: their commitment to health. They are here to do 4:20 Yoga (4:20 is code for marijuana). They’ve come to experience plant medicine in the form of cannabis mixed with yoga.
Although their journey getting to this point is as varied as the individuals, the common theme that surfaces is the need for release and healing. These brave wayshowers are fighting the social stigma of the “typical stoner” and instead embracing deep self-compassion and release through the combination of medical marijuana and yoga.
One 30-something yogi comes because he says it helps relieve the pain of 10 surgeries, while another says it eases his fight against candida. One more has lupus and another is suffering from a broken heart.
Along with everyone else, they head into the studio, settle on their mats and begin to slowly start focusing exclusively on themselves.
For many, this is the one space and only time they have to finally tune into their body, their thoughts and their needs. Marijuana can slow the perception of time, as well as heighten the senses. When paired with yin restorative yoga, it can promote profound inner awareness.
The instructor guides the class into deep relaxation through breath, imagery and slow, restorative asana. Fascia, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments finally unclench. When the body is relaxed, it can better restore and repair itself. Long-held physical patterns dissolve as breath flows deeply in and out of the body like waves flowing to and from shore.
What we cannot see but what is reported by these yogis is that long-learned negative energetic patterns are also dissolving.
Class ends with a crystal bowl sound bath. When it’s over, no one is in a hurry to leave. They sit and they linger. Finally, hugs and words of encouragement are exchanged before each yogi heads back into their life and out into the world. They are relaxed and breathing more easily. They are feeling a little more peaceful and a lot more certain of who they are.
420 Yoga is offered by Healing Herb Yoga. It is the first medical marijuana yoga class offered in an Arizona studio. All participants must have a valid Arizona medical marijuana license. Each person brings their own cannabis.
Among other health conditions, medical researchers are now looking at marijuana’s role in slowing the growth of cancer and the progression of Alzheimer’s, as well as helping reduce pain, anxiety and arthritis symptoms. Marijuana is also credited in helping some patients with epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Bre Wolfe is a 500-RYT yoga instructor and certified professional life coach. She is the founder of Healing Herb Yoga and teaches donation-based 420 Yoga every Saturday at 4:20 p.m. at Urban Wellness, located at 2024 N. 7th St., in Phoenix. For more information or to connect with Wolfe, visit HealingHerbYoga.com.