Namaste, yogis! There is much buzz around combining CBD and yoga and the reasons are pretty positive. Cannabidiol, or more well known as CBD, is a hot topic because of the recent research and understanding of its potential benefits. Like CBD, yoga has been around for centuries and has a plethora of benefits for the mind and body. But what do these two things have to do with one another? This article will explore CBD and its benefits as well as yoga and its benefits. After all of that, we will explore the mixture of them both. Can CBD enhance one’s yoga practice? If so, what type should you be taking? When should you be taking the CBD? Does the kind of CBD you choose depend on the different types of yoga practice you do? Let’s explore together.
What is Cannabidiol?
First and foremost, one needs to understand what cannabidiol is. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. This cannabinoid is often confused with THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Let’s be clear, these two cannabinoids are not the same, but they are found in the same plant and are often used in conjunction with one another. THC is the cannabinoid that gives users the “high” feeling. This inebriating effect is the reason THC is not legal in all 50 states. CBD is legal as long as it is derived from the hemp plant rather than the marijuana plant. Why may you ask? The Cannabis sativa L. plant can be grown in different ways. When the Cannabis sativa L. plant is grown with higher than .3% of THC, it is titled a marijuana plant. Whereas if the plant is grown with less than .3% of THC, it is deemed a hemp plant. The 2018 Farm Bill gave farmers across the United States the ability to grow hemp plants legally. Only a handful of states allow the legal growth of marijuana as well as the medical and recreational use. The most important thing to note about the difference between CBD and THC is that CBD will not get you “high,” but there are potential benefits that may follow the use of CBD.
What about CBD and Yoga?
If you are reading this article, it is likely that you are either a new yoga goer or a seasoned yogi looking to improve your practice in some way. More often than not, those who practice yoga are often looking for more holistic ways to heal or improve their bodies and lives. To be clear, we are not saying that CBD or yoga will heal you in any way, but it may assist you in enhancing the holistic elements in your daily lives. So, what kind of CBD should you be using? When? What if I practice a vinyasa flow? Ashtanga? Let’s explore more.
Types of Yoga
There are so many different types of yoga. Like, a lot. Some are purely from the source, while others have been bent and twisted into a more westernized form. So, what types are there? Let’s explore the eight major types that you have likely seen while browsing for yoga classes in your hometown.
- ANUSARA – This type of yoga is an Americanized version that was developed in 1997 by John Friend. These classes are sequenced to use one of Friend’s Universal Principles of Alignment. These principles are as follows:
- Set the Foundation & Open to Grace,
- Muscle Energy
- Inner – Expanding Spiral
- Outer – Contracting Spiral
- Organic Energy
These principles are used to make each class different from the other but use the same principles.
- ASHTANGA – This type of yoga is one of the most ancient yoga techniques. It was brought to the west and then popularized by K. Pattabhi in the 1970s. This practice is one of the most intense types of yoga. It is the most consistent of the types as it always uses the same poses in the exact order. This type links movement to breath (similar to a vinyasa flow).
- BIKRAM – A heated room and a sequence similar to Ashtanga practices are what Bikram Choudhury created. There are 26 poses in this series but are different from Ashtanga. This is a very popular type of yoga that should not be confused with hot yoga, as Choudhury wants the 26 poses taught the same throughout all Bikram titled classes. Make sure you bring a towel and a water bottle because sweat will be present.
- HATHA – This type of yoga is a broad term that is the soul of all westernized yoga styles. It is likely that the yoga class taught where you live is a form of “Hatha.” It means you will get an understanding of basic yoga and leave the class feeling not as tight and maybe more relaxed.
- HOT YOGA – Hot yoga was based on Bikram because of the heated rooms classes are taken in. But hot yoga does not follow the same 26 postures that Bikram does and therefore cannot call themselves Bikram classes. But, bring a towel and water bottle as well because these classes are hot.
- IYENGAR – Developed and popularized by B.K.S. Iyengar. This type of yoga is taught with extreme attention to make sure you use proper alignment in a pose. To make sure you reach the correct alignment, this type of studio will use yoga props, including blocks, blankets, straps, chairs, and bolsters. These Iyengar teachers must go through rigorous training to make sure their teaching is correct.
- RESTORATIVE – Restorative yoga is a wonderful type of yoga that relaxes those who practice it as well as assist those who want to begin a meditation practice. This may also be titled as a yin yoga practice because poses are held longer. Props are used in this type as well, so that these poses are made with minimal or no effort.
- VINYASA – This type of yoga focuses on movement to movement to create a type of flow. Most generic yoga classes follow this type of fluid sequence. Breath to movement is also a key factor in these types of classes.
There is a plethora of different types of yoga around the world, but these top eight are the ones found most commonly here in the United States.
When should I take CBD for yoga?
The timing of your intake of CBD could mean you feel the effects before, during, or after. This all depends on when you would like to feel the sense of calm CBD may bring you. And because of this, you need to know what type of CBD is available as they all have different bioavailability thresholds and therefore are felt at different times. If you want to feel the CBD right before your yoga class, a tincture is the best way to feel the effects ASAP. If you would rather feel the CBD after the class or perhaps during Shavasana (the relaxing end portion of most classes), maybe a gummy edible will do the trick as their bioavailability is different than a tincture. Now you may be asking what a tincture is or an edible? Continue on to learn about the different types of CBD.
What types of CBD are there?
There are many different types of CBD available for purchase across the United States. Here is a list of a few:
- Sublingual tablets: these are administered orally by placing them underneath your tongue to dissolve. The CBD then enters into the bloodstream from the mouth immediately.
- Softgels: these are also administered orally but must go through the lining in the stomach after being broken down.
- Edibles: edible is similar to soft gels, and their bioavailability is the same but, instead of a pill, gummies or candies can be eaten.
- Topicals: salves, creams, or lotions can be administered on the skin for potential benefits. These need to be applied liberally to feel effects and never enter the bloodstream but are absorbed by the pores in the skin.
- Tinctures: Tinctures are taken orally (generally administered under the tongue), and like the tablets are immediately entered in the bloodstream from there.
- Vapes: Panacea Life Sciences does not advocate for the use of vapes. While this is a popularized commercial product, vaping can lead to serious injury or death.
Other times to take CBD.
Okay, so, you can take CBD for yoga, cool! But are there other times to take CBD? When? If so, why? The time that CBD is taken depends on the user and their lifestyle. Some take CBD before bed to produce a sense of calm throughout their slumber. Others take CBD in the morning to produce the same sense of calm because they often have feelings of anxiousness. Other reasons to use CBD are that it may have anti-inflammatory properties such as Panacea Life Sciences found in this study about canines. Dog owners described more mobility in their pets with Osteoarthritis after the use of CBD. There is an FDA approved medication that contains CBD that stops seizures in those who have two severe forms of epilepsy. CBD has also been used for skin health (hence the topicals). There are many uses of CBD. How will you use it?
Will you try CBD for your yoga practice?
Alright, yogis. After exploring all the information about CBD and its uses for general life, will you use it for your next yoga session? Let us know!