At first thought, yoga and cannabis may not seem like a natural fit but for Brittney Howell, it’s been a life-changing, mind-expanding combination.
Intrigued by the prospect of new experiences, Brittney started smoking cannabis a few years ago. “I needed new friends and a new idea of where I wanted to be in my life,” she says. Brittney credits cannabis with helping her deal with the stresses of college life. After starting her first job, she found herself needing something more to help her stay focused on her new tasks and responsibilities. “I started talking with my co-workers about my issues with staying focused and one of them recommended yoga. I loved every minute of my first Vinyasa Flow class two years ago and yoga has been a passion of mine ever since.”
As a Patient Advocate at Revolutionary Clinics, Brittney has found the perfect setting to share the therapeutic benefits she’s enjoyed from both cannabis and yoga. “I came to Revolutionary Clinics to help improve the quality of people’s lives with medical marijuana. I never expected to be teaching yoga here but once I started talking to my supervisor about how much cannabis and yoga have helped me, she told me to make it happen!”
If you’re in the Boston area, please check out her upcoming event at 110 Fawcett St. If you’re not able to attend in person, here are some reasons why yoga and cannabis are such a healing combination:
Cannabis and yoga can relieve anxiety
When you’re anxious, it can feel like your mind is going 100mph in completely unproductive directions. You wish you could harness that nervous energy and put it to work for you but you’re more likely to dwell on the enormity of the tasks on your to-do list instead of actually doing them. Brittney recommends using cannabis before yoga to calm your anxious mind and help you achieve a relaxed state because “cannabis has the potential to reduce chemicals in the brain responsible for anxiety and stress symptoms”. Once you’re feeling relaxed, practicing yoga forces you to focus on your breathing, replicating your instructor’s movements and experiencing all the different sensations.
Cannabis and yoga can help you cope with stress
Relieving your anxiety is like popping open an umbrella in the middle of a stress rainstorm – you may still get a little wet, but you’re far better equipped to keep the daily deluge of deadlines and responsibilities from soaking you. “A lot of people worry about the stoner stigma, that cannabis will make them lazy or apathetic but that’s just not true,” Brittney explains. “Revolutionary Clinics patients are some of the most successful and productive people I’ve ever met and cannabis is a key part of helping them manage their stressful lives.” Combining cannabis and yoga will not only help you feel better during your class but in the hours afterward as you apply your calm, focused mind on accomplishing what you can and not stressing about the things you postpone until tomorrow.
Cannabis and yoga can improve heart health
Lowering your anxiety and remaining calm in stressful situations will help you maintain a healthy heart rate. It’s not uncommon for new yoga enthusiasts to experience lower blood pressure levels as a result of their improved blood flow and lower pulse. “When I’m practicing yoga, I can feel my heart beat slowing and my body becoming more relaxed and under my control,” Brittney says. “Your heart is the most important muscle in your body and it’s incredible to feel it respond the same way as your arms, legs and back do when you’re coming out of a pose and letting out a deep breath.”
Cannabis and yoga can reduce chronic pain
The pain relieving qualities of cannabis are well known but they’re even more powerful when combined with the strength building and flexibility improving benefits of yoga. “We’ve been conditioned to reach for a bottle of pills when we’re in pain,” Brittney says. “I’ve seen people who had a hard time walking become virtually pain-free by slowly and methodically engaging their muscles in ways they never did before.” When you become physically and mentally stronger, you’re more resistant to pain and less prone to injury.
Cannabis and yoga can help you sleep better
Let’s recap: cannabis and yoga can reduce anxiety, help you cope with stress, improve your heart health and reduce chronic pain. Put all those things together and it makes sense that you’re going to sleep a whole lot better at night. You’ll wake up each morning feeling rested, confident and ready to take on the day. When you feel confident and happy, you’re more in control of your work life and more open to other beneficial life changes like exercising, eating healthier or taking a class. It’s a snowball effect that can put you on an infinitely more productive path.
At Revolutionary Clinics, the only thing we enjoy more than connecting our patients with the right medical marijuana for their situation is helping them discover new ways of taking charge of their personal wellness. Brittany will be the first to tell you that yoga isn’t for everyone. Both she and all of our other Patient Advocates are happy to talk to you about other ways to build up your physical and mental strength so you feel happier, healthier and more powerful. Give us a call at 617-213-6006!