4 Benefits from Combining Yoga and CBD
Cannabinoids are a diverse set of natural chemical compounds that bind to special receptors in the human body that compose what scientists call the "Endocannabinoid System" (ECS)(1), from the Cannabis plant.
The name might suggest that this plant came first, but actually the ECS is present in all mammals, given its long evolutionary history, scientists have deduced that the Endocannabinoid System must serve functions of basic importance to animal physiology.
The Endocannabinoid System performs various tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, or bio-balance, or the maintenance of a stable internal environment, despite the fluctuations of the external environment.
It is quite "natural" to find a similarity with the goal of a healthy and constant practice of Yoga... but let's get into it.
In support of the thesis, peculiar to Yoga, that we are all part of the same energy, phytocannabinoids (from the Greek phytón, plant) present in abundance in nature, act and interact to mimic or counteract the effects of some endocannabinoids.
Cannabidiol (CBD) (2)and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two main components of the Cannabis plant. Although both CBD and THC belong to the same class of compounds known as cannabinoids they act differently in our bodies.
THC has the ability to bind more with a specific neuronal receptor called CB1, while CBD binds mostly with the CB2 receptor. CB1 receptors are primarily distributed in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are mainly located in the peripheral nervous system, but mainly affecting the immune system, skeletal muscle system, tissues, skin health, cardiovascular system, digestive system and organs to name several. CBD, unlike THC, does not cause a "high" and holds a wide range of potential beneficial effects.
Let's roll out the mat and see now 4 examples of how the beneficial properties of this particular natural phytocannabinoid, yoga and cbd, act on the field.
1. Preliminary Stage
Tip: Use CBD before yoga, approximately 30-60 minutes before your practice, for best absorption place under tongue for 1-2 minutes or add to herbal tea.
A yoga class is often divided into several distinct phases.
To begin the Yoga practice, each of us must leave off the mat, the events of the day, negative elements and busy thoughts. Precisely for this reason, preliminary relaxation exercises are an important practice as much as the actual physical session of Asanas (postures), making it ideal for mixing cbd and restorative yoga.
CBD is a powerful anxiolytic and antidepressant and is known to help reduce symptoms of anxiety by infusing relaxing effects.
During the preliminary stage, breathing exercises (Pranayama) are performed to create awareness, presence, creating a mind body connection and setting up your practice.
Also here the relaxing effect on muscles, such as the very important diaphragm, the antispasmodic and hypotensive effect of CBD come to support the Yogi, which is a natural fit for CBD and restorative yoga.
Once the ritual of preparation is over, we are now ready for the physical warm-up.
If you are taking a class the teacher will guide you into the flow they have prepared, if you are practicing yoga on your own you can create your own starting point and warm up. Focusing inward, concentrating on having deep long breathe is a great way to begin as well as tuning into your body finding the spots of tension, placing you may be hold stress from poor posture, soreness or emotional tension.
2. Boost and Relief with CBD oil and Yoga
Tip: Use CBD yoga at the end of your practice or maybe during breaks in longer sessions, through topical products that perhaps also contain arnica.
According to some studies, CBD oil, with its anti-inflammatory properties, can improve flexibility and relieve muscle pain when applied directly to the body. Increasing the production of natural cannabinoids. Some yogis find a great benefit for these reasons to use cbd and hot yoga combined.
The first law of the precepts of Yama, fundamental in yoga, is that of Ahimsa or “non-violence” and, in addition to being a social precept, is the key word to keep in mind when putting our body under stress during yogic practices. The first thing on which it should not be applied violence, is your body.
Each individual has different capacities of resistance, flexibility and that's why there are so many different methodologies. It is important to know your body and find the style that suits your needs and consider any injuries that could effect your practice.
For the most predisposed and lovers of challenges and performance there are some types of yoga more "athletic" as the Vinyasa (3) that can put a strain on our muscle tissue, joints and bones and so on.
Vinyasa is a Sanskrit word that means "flow and connection". In yoga, it refers to a series of breath-synchronized movements that connect and synchronize the inhalation and exhalation of the breath with each movement in each specific pose and from one pose to another pose. Each movement in each specific Asana is coordinated with the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. Simultaneously, the breath itself is a combination of Mudra, Pranayama, and Mantra chanting.
The result is a yoga practice that is as fluid and continuous as the breath itself, with no pauses in between. It is a flowing sequence of specific Asana and breath movements and a gradual transition from "position to position".
CBD acts as an inverse agonist of the CB2 receptor, which means it reduces the activity of the receptor. This mechanism could give CBD the ability to affect immune cells in a positive way in addition to the aforementioned functions for the management of pain, inflammation, neuropathic pain, and neuroinflammation.
3. Peace and Rest, Yoga and CBD
Tip: Take CBD oil before bed or during sleepless nights
Poor sleep quality can disrupt the systems that manage inflammation, immunity, and overall well-being. CBD appears to be able to act on sleep issues.
To end a CBD yoga session it is very common and important to perform as the last pose the Shavasana (or corpse pose) to induce a relaxation that promotes awareness and internalize the work done.
Many people who have already tried a few Yoga classes may have fallen asleep during this Asana, perhaps because they are too tired, or do not get enough rest, and cross the line between relaxation and sleep.
It is very common that this happens because it is not so easy to maintain this balance.
It is also an opportunity for the practice to set in, releasing toxins that may have been stored in your body and general reset integrating all the hard work you have dedicated toward your practice.
In the meditative moment of this Yoga Asana, there is this particular intermediate state between sleep and wakefulness, almost 'off' but 'present', which predisposes to the attitude of relaxation, acceptance and 'listening' (not only with the ears).
In order to experience this moment, but also for many other reasons in general, the quality of sleep is a fundamental element of Yoga and life in general.
CBD oil and yoga (4) seems to have proven to be a useful complement to be combined with a healthier lifestyle, in order to descend into states of quiet that will allow us to conserve more energy, have a faster recovery after daily activities and good quality of sleep.
4. Concentration and Sensitivity
What we have tried to present here is that where the lifestyle condition, especially in the "urban" society of this age, makes it much more challenging to reach moments of peace and serenity and puts a strain on our being, then an effective resource that nature offers us such as CBD, which interacts with our ECS, could really help us to react better, on an individual level to the surrounding environment, which in these cases we can define quite "unstable". Basically putting the brain at rest and activating the cannabinoid receptors.
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root Yuj, which means to unite, to join, integrate, put together, with the intention of Self-realization, creating a balance in body and mind, experiencing a sense of freedom and liberation that will hopefully pour into all aspects of you life.
The common purpose of all the different schools is the realization of a "state of integration", which leads to harmonize our whole being in its various aspects, physical, mental and emotional, acting finally also on our personality. We hope this has been helpful and has inspired you to start, continue or deepen your yoga practice and see if the benefits of combing yoga and CBD is a good fit for you.
(1) Healthline: A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System. Published:May 17, 2019. Author: Crystal Raypole.
(2) Harvard Health Publication: Cannabidiol (CBD) What We Know and What We Don’t. Published: August 24, 2018. Author: Peter Grinspoon MD.
(3) Yoga Journal: Consciousness in Motion: Vinyasa. Published: November 13, 2012. Author: Shiva Rea
(4) Wanderlust: Why CBD With Yoga Might be the Best Idea Ever. Author: Rochelle Bilow.