Heard about smoking weed and doing yoga at the same time? Before you try this trend, think twice! Laws in Singapore and other Asian countries can be pretty harsh and deadly for drug possession.
Cannabis and yoga have a relationship that go back thousands of years. Shiva, the deity who is said to be the source of yoga, is often depicted either smoking cannabis or drinking a concoction of cannabis and other herbs called bhang, a drink which many in India still consume today.
But most of the world has classified cannabis, aka marijuana, weed, ganja, etc. as an illegal drug. Although countries like Uruguay and some States in the US have decriminalised cannabis for medical use, it is still a plant that carries much political controversy.
YOGA & WEED
Don’t even think of mixing marijuana with your yoga practice anywhere where cannabis is illegal. In countries like Singapore and the Philippines, strict drug trafficking laws carry the death penalty – you wouldn’t want your obituary to say, “Died from Ganja Yoga,” would you?
But you may have heard of yoga and weed classes popping up in some States in America where it has been legalized. Sacred Marijuana Retreats is one company that provides a safe place to enjoy pot and meditate at the same time.
Trevor Fenwick, who runs the retreats, said that his interest in mixing marijuana with meditation began when he worked for the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. A co-worker told him that some Tibetan Buddhist sects used marijuana. To him, this made sense because marijuana could aid with elaborate visualization meditations.
According to Trevor, Sacred Marijuana Retreats are held in undisclosed locations. The retreats are conducted in silence and the cannabis is either ingested or vaped. The effects of the marijuana heightens the meditative experience.
“During a retreat, we time everything so you’ll be at your meditation seat once the effects of marijuana set in. This leads to a powerful, sometimes emotional experience during meditation,” he told us in an email.
Trevor hopes that in time the scientific evidence and research concerning the medicinal and non-addictive uses of marijuana will convince the Dalai Lama to reconsider his stance on weed as an intoxicant. But for now, the use of marijuana as a spiritual practice is still met with raised eyebrows.
LEGAL WEED YOGA?
Yoga enthusiasts in Singapore will have to wait even more years before laws change. If you are found guilty of possession of cannabis, you can face a jail sentence of up to 10 years, or pay a fine of $20,000, or both. Being found guilty of trafficking cannabis is even worse—that carries the death penalty! So better travel to places where cannabis is legal before you think about combining yoga with weed.
Only a few places in North and South America have legalised the use of medical marijuana. In Europe, the Netherlands is famous for its Amsterdam cafes where cannabis is legal for recreational use and sale. And the only Asian country where cannabis is 100 percent legal for both medical and recreational use is North Korea. Although yoga is practiced in the country and promoted by the Indian embassy there, it is highly unlikely they will get a tourist boom for Yoga and Weed North Korea retreats anytime soon. In Toronto, regular Ganja Yoga classes are held but students must bring their own vapes.
If you really want to change up your regular yoga routine, there are other off-kilter classes that you can experiment with which won’t potentially end up on your permanent criminal record or worse.
Kink yoga in Australia and San Francisco combine the therapeutic effects of yoga with BDSM. Beer and wine yoga is starting to gain momentum in different countries, and classes like AcroYoga or AntiGravity can also get you flying high without the use of cannabis.