(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Pot yoga has come to San Francisco, where students are encouraged to take a puff before assuming various postures to increase their level of relaxation and flexibility.
Historically, cannabis has been linked to really early use with yoga in ancient Shiva cults," said Dee Dussault, 34, a 20-year yogi and instructor of Ganja Yoga in San Francisco, which launched this October. "Back then, they weren't smoking it, but drinking it in a milk beverage and burning it as an incense. But if you're burning incense, you're essentially hotboxing the temple as a result."
At Ganja Yoga, students are responsible for their own high: Those who possess medical marijuana cards can participate in a 15-minute smoking session before class, at which point everyone will form a circle, state their name and share their inspiration for attending.
"A lot of students are consuming it before yoga anyway," said Dussault. "So a big benefit that I am hearing is the community aspect. The first thing they want to do after consuming cannabis is lay down and stretch. And, depending upon the dosage and strain, it really encourages people to relax."
Described as primarily a meditative or a mental practice, Dussault focuses on slow-moving Hatha yoga poses that promote joint mobility and are approachable for different body types. The classes -- which are held on Wednesdays at Merchants of Reality studio in the Bay Area -- average around 16 students at a time and are typically divided equally between female and male practitioners, she said.
"Far more men attend Ganja Yoga classes than any of the others I teach," said Dussault, who also leads sessions of Clothing-Free Yoga, Tantra and Sexual Awakening Yoga, among others.
The class has proved so popular, in fact, that there is talk of adding additional times to the studio schedule.
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