- On February 23, Dee Dussault will host a ganja yoga session in Toronto at her studio, Follow Your Bliss. The owner and yoga aficionado began smoking marijuana at 27 and has made the class an event, occurring on the last Thursday of every month.
Fascinated by its affect to her breathing, Dussault wanted to combine marijuana with restorative yoga and share it with friends when she established her studio three years ago.
“I was able to relax into the sensations of energy moving into my body,” Dussault says of her first experience with marijuana. “I felt cosmic connections and mystical experiences more easily.”
Dussault’s class has grown from a few friends to more than 28 people, leading her to rent a bohemian loft space. If numbers continue to grow, Dussault will implement a mutual rule in which she says that “you must know me or one of my regular yoga students personally”.
Though marijuana is illegal in Canada, the monthly cannabis session at Follow Your Bliss has even inspired an investigative article; Dussault believes that its popularity will remain within a select following.
“I don’t think it will become a trend because there’s still a lot of social anxiety about publicly admitting to smoking cannabis,” she says. “Marijuana can awaken people to the body as something to occupy and I hope there’s increased acceptance of using sacred plant medicines as spiritual tools.”
An instructor of restorative yoga in Concord, Ontario cites Dussault’s practice as “pretty bold” and says if weed were legalized, it could definitely become a trend.
“It would depend on the attitude people have towards weed,” the instructor says. “Weed would enhance whatever the person’s natural experience is.”
Despite a varied societal acceptance of marijuana, some insist that the way Dussault and her students get high is the least detrimental to health. At Follow Your Bliss, cannabis is inhaled through a vaporizer, so its effects can be received without smoking or ingesting.
- A standard vaporizer used as an alternative way to smoke marijuana.
“Vaporizing is the most efficient delivery system,” says Robin Ellins, owner of Toronto cannabis culture store, Friendly Stranger. “It’s definitely more cerebral and allows you to get the most out of the herb because you are not burning it off as you would in a bong.”
Cannabis activist and blogger Foxx Cant says that vaporizing is even better than smoking, which already increases lung capacity by 5 per cent. He labels his relationship to ganja “deeper than yoga”, citing both practices connected to India through Sadhus, Hindu monks that seek supreme liberation.
- In a twitter conversation, Cant responds to ganja yoga as an affective method of meditation and possibility of becoming a trend.
Dussault believes that marijuana is not “the way”, but can potentially introduce the plant as a sacred method to teach relaxation in restorative yoga.
“One doesn’t need ganja as a part of yoga practice,” she says. “But for those who are not inclined to spend years cultivating yoga practices slowly, ganja can expedite our awakening."