Nothing is legitimate in Los Angeles until there’s a yoga class that involves it, and boosted by the recent boom in legal cannabis, a greener kind of yoga offering has taken off in a big way in LA. A simple Google search revealed dozens of options for cannabis yoga classes in the Los Angeles area geared toward a variety of audiences, all involving consumption of some form of weed. I decided to go gonzo for this story and try out a Ganja Yoga class taught by Dee Dussault, who claims to be the first teacher to offer public cannabis-enhanced yoga practices.
I walked into the class unsure of what to expect. At first, it looked like any other yoga class, with wooden floors, dimmed lights and people’s mats spread out sporadically. Except, instead of people sitting on their mats, they were gathered together on a blanket in one corner of the room. The event was BYOW (bring your own weed), but thanks to the generous nature of people who inhabit the slice of venn diagram encircling both yoga enthusiasts and stoners, a bountiful arrangement of joints, cbd drops, balms, and even jars of flower was laid out on Dussault’s “picnic blanket”. Slowly people would trickle in and wander over, offering their goodies, passing joints, and making small talk. There’s something about sharing a joint with a stranger that harkens back to a traditional peace pipe, and makes you much less self-conscious about the fact that you’re about to do a series of ridiculous physical poses in front of them.
Dussault says she starts every class like this, “I think my students get just as much out of the community aspect of the circle as they do from the yoga. I don’t remember how I came up with it, it just sort of formed, that stoner circle, you know, ‘pass the dutchie to the left hand side’ or whatever. So as people come we congregate at my mat. Sometimes it’s not the picnic blanket just my mat, but you put the products, candles and ashtrays out and people will flock to it.”
Dussault’s class markets itself as relaxation-based and open to all levels, and the crowd she drew was made up of a diverse variety of ages, body types, ethnicities and genders. Although the differences amongst the crowd were easily noted, we all seemed to get along swimmingly knowing that we had one very important thing in common: cannabis. She says, “I get a lot of first-timers to yoga and I think that they figure that even if the yoga is weird or too hard, at least there’s weed.”
After circling up and sharing a few joints and pleasantries with each other, the class began. We all took to our own mats and began the series of slow stretches and deep cleansing breaths. Aside from an occasional cough or attack of dry mouth, which encouraged me to constantly hydrate, the cannabis only enhanced my experience. While I’m normally the type who gets very self-conscious in group exercise experiences, this was a profoundly zen experience.
Dussault started her Ganja Yoga practice in 2009 in Toronto, moved it to San Francisco in 2014, and just recently landed in Los Angeles. She says the biggest challenge outside of promoting, since sites like Facebook will take down cannabis events, is finding venues that allow on-site consumption.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Samantha Gurewitz on Marijuana Times
Published: February 09, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News