The health-boosting practices of yoga and cannabis as therapy both have ancient roots, so it might not be surprising that modern science is unraveling just how CBD (cannabidiol) that's derived from the non-intoxicating, hemp variety of the cannabis plant benefits your yoga practice.
This recently discovered system is beginning to emerge as a key player in maintaining a thriving health profile because it works to keep so many of your body's main processes flowing smoothly. These include immunity, metabolism, pain and inflammatory responses, stress and anxiety levels - and even your ability to reshape your brain (3) to learn new skills and replace old belief systems (4) that no longer serve you.
CBD Yoga: A Path to Wellness
What is CBD Yoga?
Yoga and CBD intertwines health-enhancing asana (poses) with the wellness-boosting benefits of premium CBD extracts in order to help you enhance your practice. There are many different types of yoga, (5) including Hatha, CBD and Hot Yoga, and Restorative Yoga. They all aim to create a balance of your intellectual, physical, and emotional wellness by focusing on different physical moves, breathing techniques, and meditation practices.
Likewise, CBD products (6) come in many different forms and blends, and they work by balancing your mind-body processes. The highest quality CBD products are both an essential oil and a signaling compound known as an 'endocannabinoid'. Much like yoga, it's able to work in cooperation with your body's own ECS. Premium hemp CBD has been scientifically shown to help maintain healthy, balanced levels of naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, hormones, and other neurotransmitters in your body to assist with better sleep habits, (7) athletic performance (8), pain management (9), and mental health.(10)
But did you know that yoga and CBD work together to help promote one of the most groundbreaking processes in neuroscience?
Changing the Inner to Change the Outer: Neurogenesis and the Power of CBD Oil Yoga
Neurogenesis is the creation of new neurons in your brain. It is one of the steps in neuroplasticity, (14) which is the reorganization of your brain's neural circuits. Together, the benefits of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis are vast. They include the potential to significantly reduce (15) the impacts of traumatic events on your life, decrease (16) your risk for neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease, and enhance your long-term memory and attention span to improve your ability to accomplish your goals.
For a long time, neurogenesis was thought to end in childhood, but scientists made the groundbreaking discovery in recent years that certain adult behaviors help promote it as well. And guess which ones work best together?
You guessed it. Yoga and CBD form a synergistic relationship (17) to help boost each other's ability to stimulate neurogenesis and positively impact your ability to learn, reprogram your thoughts to align with your goals, and elevate your beliefs about yourself to gain a greater sense of wellbeing.
Why is this so important? BDNF is a necessary ingredient in cannabinoids' ability to promote neurogenesis – and the opposite is also true.
This means that adding CBD to your yoga routine can create an extra layer of "brain support", so it can more readily get to work on the creation of new neurons that help you "reprogram" your life.
What is a CBD Yoga Class Like?
In 4 Benefits from Combining Yoga and CBD (23) we guided you through a typical cannabidiol yoga class, from the pre-class CBD schedule and relaxing warm-up breathing exercises, through mid-class resistance, flexibility, balance, and breathing training, and on to the relaxing Shavasana pose to end the session.
In reality, your CBD yoga class may vary widely, from a nature-infused toxin free CBD products combined with CBD yoga retreat aimed at helping you take a deeper dive into the practice, to more day-to-day type classes. Instructors may provide you with hemp-infused water and edibles, or they might encourage you to BYOC – bring your own cannabidiol!
At other times your yoga teacher will come around with CBD topicals, extra strength CBD roll-on, or CBD salve to rub on your shoulders or other sore spots during pauses in the ebb and flow of movements as well as pure tincture CBD, CBD premium capsules or extra strength CBD gummies.
How to Incorporate CBD into Your Yoga Practice
Should I take CBD Before Yoga?
Typically yoga practitioners will take CBD oil (24) or CBD edibles before class begins. If you've arrived late or with just a few minutes to spare, it's recommended to take your CBD oil under the tongue (sublingually) because it absorbs into your system faster this way, usually in as few as 15 minutes. (25)
For anyone who enjoys CBD gummies or extra strength capsules, try taking them 45 to 90 minutes prior to your class, since the digestion process can delay CBD's effects.
For muscle and joint recovery and pain relief after class, yogis of all skill levels sometimes use extra strength CBD roll on (26) that penetrate quickly into cannabinoid receptors in your skin for anti-inflammatory, healing effects.
Does CBD Help with Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation, including mindful yoga (27), has been shown to increase gray matter in various regions of the brain to help regulate emotional responses, reduce depression and anxiety, and process memory and learning. And similar to how CBD and yoga work together to improve neurogenesis outcomes, CBD and meditation have something in common too: they both have been shown (28) to increase (29) your brain's alpha and theta waves.
This is so important because theta waves help you relax and focus, while alpha waves help you connect information, emotions, and experiences together to better understand yourself and put things in perspective. That's why meditation and CBD are such a dynamic duo when it comes to bringing on a greater sense of calm, relaxation, and empowerment.
"The towns and countryside that the traveler sees through a train window do not slow down the train, nor does the train affect them. Neither disturbs the other. This is how you should see the thoughts that pass through your mind when you meditate." —Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
CBD and mindfulness meditation are meant to complement each other so that when your thoughts start triggering emotional and physical responses, it's easier to relax back into being the observer of whatever comes up. This helps you understand, through practice, that you aren't your thoughts and emotions, but rather the observer of them. In this way, they become tools to help you better understand yourself and the world around you.
That's why beginning a routine that incorporates CBD before each mindful yoga session is key. This helps promote alpha and theta waves to optimize your calm and focus, and put your thoughts in perspective. To help, we formulated our calming Extra Strength CBD Gummies - Lemon Lime (31) that are infused with healthy ingredients like CBG and limonene that help you stay focused, attentive – and on your way to becoming a Master Yogi!
National Library of Medicine | NIH | NCBI | National Center for Biotechnology Information “Quality of Life and a Surveillant Endocannabinoid System” Published: October 28, 2021 Authors: Ricardo Augusto de Melo Reis,Alinny Rosendo Isaac,Hércules Rezende Freitas,Mariana Macedo de Almeida,Patricia Fernanda Schuck,Gustavo Costa Ferreira,Belmira Lara da Silveira Andrade-da-Costa and Isis Hara Trevenzoli
2. Healthline “A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System”
Published: May 17, 2019 Authors: Crystal Raypole, medically
reviewed by Alan Carter, Pharm.D.
3. National Library of Medicine | NIH | NCBI | National Center for
Biotechnology Information “Endocannabinoid system and
adult neurogenesis: a focused review”Published: 11/2019