Practice ‘Tree’ Pose With Ganja Yoga

A new book offers a unique method for supercharging your yoga experience.

In Ganja yoga classes, participants smoke marijuana before and during class. (Photo by Gabrielle Lurie)

A fine manifesto has arrived for yoga people who like to smoke a little weed now and then (or every day). Dee Dussault’s new book Ganja Yoga — published just in time for the 4/20 holiday —  details a set of yoga practices and philosophies from the founder of the twice-weekly Ganja Yoga classes that have been an underground hit in San Francisco for the last few years.

“According to Google, I was the first Westerner to to offer yoga classes where people enhance,” Dussault writes in Ganja Yoga’s introduction.

But she makes the case that some the most revered Yoga Sutras and ancient Hindu scriptures also advocated for using cannabis. The premise of Ganja Yoga is that pot can supercharge your yoga experience the way it does sex, music, or Games of Thrones-watching. The book has advice on going to your yoga class high and on how to avoid lethargy or distraction while high, and, of course, a slew of yoga poses designed to get the most out of your Granddaddy Purp.

“I started cannabis when I was in my late 20s, and immediately found that I wanted to get down onto the floor and start stretching,” Dussault tells SF Weekly. “After having done yoga for 10 years without cannabis, I was really able to see the difference that the cannabis brought to the practice in so many ways.”

The exercises in Ganja Yoga are not some demanding, kick-your-ass, hot-yoga workouts. These are totally non-challenging yoga poses anyone can do. Ganja Yoga covers practices that are no tougher than the warm-up stretches for the average Zumba class.

What is not as easy to do is hold a book while learning a yoga pose. For a beginner like me, this did not come easily. The step-by-step meditation and breathing instructions are much easier for someone who’s trying to figure them out as they read.

But for anyone who’s tempted to toke up while exercising, there are some very handy and detailed sections comparing the advantages and drawbacks of smoking versus consuming edibles versus dabbing (or any the various esoteric ways we consume our marijuana these days).

Ganja Yoga has some dynamite recipes for THC-infused smoothies and a ganja milkshake, plus tips to alter your diet to make your body more cannabinoid-friendly. The book also contains a chapter on what Dussault calls “Yogaic buying practice,” or ways to bring the farm-to-table, social-justice ethos to deciding where and from whom you buy your weed.

Horny stoners will love that there’s a whole chapter on tantra yoga. But as the book explains, tantra yoga is not so much about sex as it is about mindfulness and self-awareness.

How did a pot-smoking yogi from San Francisco get a HarperCollins imprint to publish a book called Ganja Yoga?

“Interestingly, they came to me,” Dussault says. “They approached me and asked if I wanted to write this book. HarperOne already does a lot of cutting-edge health and wellness books.

“Times are changing,” she adds. “If a publisher that’s owned by the same people who run Fox News want to publish a book about cannabis, that’s pretty cool.”

Even though Ganja Yoga is now a nationally distributed book, those original Ganja Yoga classes still take place in San Francisco every Wednesday and Thursday night. An extra weekend class has been added for the fourth Saturday of every month beginning at — guess what time —  4:20 p.m.

Ganja Yoga classes are $30 and require advance registration, available by searching “ganja yoga” on Eventbrite and buying tickets. But the cost includes a free joint, some CO2 vape tokes, and a selection of paleo edibles to nibble upon. Namaste!

Ganja Yoga’s book release party
Sunday, April 23, 6:30 p.m.,
at the Gateway Incubator,
330 Second Street, #301, Oakland.
Free (21-and-over) with RSVP at
GanjaYogaBook.com.

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