Whether you’re a yogi or a yoga newbie, practicing yoga is a powerful way to feel more flexible, calm and connected. Yoga’s physical postures—or asanas— have been used as self-care tools for thousands of years. The same is true for CBG. Yoga and CBG are not only complementary tools, but they’ve been used together since ancient times.
For ages, cannabis has been used as a way to feel more relaxed, a sense of joy, and a “softening of the edges”. Used independently or alongside a yoga practice, these plant compounds were often prescribed by Ayurvedic practitioners to address a number of ailments.
While ancient yogis used cannabis as part of their yoga practice, and there is a trend of “cannayoga classes” now as well, our more recent understanding of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) allows us to see why there is so much synergy between these self care tools.
Cannabis: a gift from the gods?
Classical yoga defines yoga as the settling of the mind into stillness. The postures are a way of preparing the body for the rigors of deep meditation. The improved flexibility helps one to sit in silent contemplation for longer in order to settle the mind into a sense of one-ness.
Around 500 BCE, a sage and scholar by the name of Patanjali gathered gurus (teachers) from different schools of yoga from throughout India. The goal was to distill—from wildly different approaches and methods—a single coda to guide yoga practice. The result was a written text known as the Yoga Sutras.
They agreed that the insights that yoga can bestow the practitioner can be obtained not only through asanas, meditation, spiritually austere practices, and chanting, but also through the use of medicinal plants. The use of cannabis by Indian sadhus (holy men or sages) was less about getting high as a recreational activity and more about shifting the mind to a more relaxed and expansive state.
In fact, cannabis and psychedelic plants—called aushadhi—were considered to be holy gifts from the gods. Plants or herbs used to balance and maintain physical and mental health and treat dis-ease of both mind and body were considered aushadhi, which means “light bearing”.
Another definition of aushadhi is “to reveal some insight, to make known”, which is a great segue into how cannabis and yoga work well together in the modern world.
A natural “high”
What’s commonly known as the “runner’s high” was once attributed to exercise-induced endorphin elevation. However, researchers now believe this feeling of elation is due to the activation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is an internal system that regulates homeostasis (balance) affecting digestion, mood, sleep, neurotransmitter function and more.
In fact, most exercise—if performed mindfully with deep, rhythmic breathing and to the extent that one enters a meditative flow-state as with a yoga practice—can impact the ECS, helping to reduce inflammation and providing enhanced feelings of well-being.
In addition, yoga has been shown to significantly reduce cortisol—a stress hormone which can make us feel tense or uneasy both physically and mentally. The resulting “high” that comes from practicing breathing exercises, yoga postures, and meditation is sometimes defined as “bliss”, a term also used in Ayurveda to describe cannabis.
The right mix of cannabinoids—like CBG, CBN and other major cannabinoids—can produce very similar effects as yoga via the endocannabinoid system (ECS). As stress hormones are reduced and body and mind relax, feelings of well-being and happiness become elevated.
Yoga and cannabis have been linked for thousands of years, whether in meditation, hatha or tantric practices, and it is easy to understand why. I formulated the Daygold line with the intent that these tinctures would encourage contemplative awareness and well-being. The combinations of phytocannabinoids and terpenoids help to promote and enhance relaxation of mind and body, without causing intoxication. It’s my hope that they will reinforce the value of the yoga session, making it a more rewarding experience.DR. ETHAN RUSSO
Combining different cannabinoids in precise amounts can produce or enhance specific effects. This is what’s known as the entourage effect, which is made even more powerful with the addition of terpenes—aromatic compounds found in cannabis and thousands of other plants. These aromatic oils can heighten or amplify the benefits one receives from cannabinoids.
Daygold’s plant blends are formulated by Dr. Ethan Russo, a board-certified neurologist and esteemed plant medicine researcher with over 25 years of expertise. Each of our formulas contain a precise custom blend of over a dozen terpenes along with specific ratios of cannabinoids. Our thoughtful blends have a delightful aroma and flavor while offering specific benefits (like calming the nervous system) without intoxication.
CBG and yoga: better together?
Given our understanding of the endocannabinoid system, and how cannabis and yoga both tap into this internal balancing system, we can see why they’ve been used hand in hand for thousands of years.
CBG and yoga can be very effective at calming the nervous system and while they work very well together, they can also be used to great benefit on their own. If you have time for a dedicated yoga practice, you will likely feel those benefits for a while—throughout your day and even impacting your sleep. When you use Daygold you can also experience a greater sense of well-being and benefit in the same ways.
When combined, yoga and CBG (like Daygold) can boost the effects of one another—its own entourage effect. Similar to when you combine any self-care routine with another, these practices have benefits on their own, but the benefits are enhanced when done in concert with other helpful practices.
Just as yogis have used cannabis for thousands of years, you may want to experiment with taking Daygold 20-30 minutes before your practice in order to have a deeper experience. If so, notice if you feel more calm, more connected to the sensations in your body, or more flexible. Did you enjoy your practice more and feel a sense of connection with the moment? Did you have a greater sense of well-being?
Daygold’s products were formulated to help you relax and feel more at ease in your body and mind. They’re the perfect complement to a yoga practice, as they’ll support your ECS without the intoxicating effects which may impact your balance or equilibrium. They’re also supportive when used on their own.
Either Calm Mind or Easy Relief are helpful for putting both mind and body in a more receptive state before you step onto a mat for a morning or afternoon practice. If you prefer to do restorative practice in the evening, Restful Night can be a very pleasing addition to your sleep hygiene routine and can enhance your feelings of relaxation before you head to bed.
If you’re short on time, adding one of our CBG tinctures to a brief yoga or mindfulness practice may provide many of the benefits of a longer yoga session. Or perhaps you practiced yoga earlier in the day and life’s stressors have diminished the benefits you were feeling. Taking a dose of Daygold may bring about many of the good feelings you had during and after your yoga practice.
If you have time for a short practice, here’s one meant to calm the nervous system and release tension quickly:
Calm Mind, Easy Body, Restful Sleep
You will need a firm cushion or bolster, a block, or a stack of blankets for this gentle mindfulness practice.
- Find a comfortable seated position (use a chair if sitting on the floor is challenging). Shimmy around a little bit to settle into your body, then sit tall, without being rigid.
- Open the Daygold tincture of your choosing and hold the bottle under your nose. Breathe in the aromatic terpenes while repeating the phrase “calm mind, easy body”.
- When you’re ready, place the desired dose under your tongue. Close your mouth and breath, swirling the tincture gently in your mouth. Don’t rush. Continue the mantra silently.
- After a minute or so, swallow the tincture and continue breathing deeply, in and out, through your nose. Enjoy the aromas as they infuse your entire being and help you ground into the present moment,
- Soften your face and envision your breath carrying relaxation and ease to any parts of your body that feel tight, sore or achy. If you’re struggling with tension in your mind or emotions, visualize your breath enveloping your brain and nervous system with calm, clarity, love, and safety.
- Ask your nervous system what it needs and whatever answer arises from within, go with that. Examples: Safety. Focus. Peace. Health. Joy. This will be your new mantra.
- Once you have your reply, slowly rise to standing. Separate your feet hip width apart for easy balance. With your arms down at your side, turn the palms outward.
- Inhale and raise your arms overhead while repeating your new mantra. Keep a soft bend at the elbows and wrists and visualize that you are gathering this quality from outside of your body.
- At the top of the inhale, turn the palms downward and inward, and bring your hands toward your body, crossing your palms and pressing lightly against your heart.
- As the inhalation begins, sweep the arms down, out, and up again, repeating the circular gathering movement with your mantra.
- Do this 5-10 times, slowly. Don’t rush it. Let the movement be slow and relaxed.
- When you’re done gathering this energy within yourself, keep your hands pressed against your heart for a moment. You may want to keep one hand on your heart and place the other on your abdomen. Notice your heartbeat, feel your face relax.
- To conclude the practice, thank yourself for this gift of presence and mindfulness that you’ve given yourself. Envision yourself carrying this centeredness with you as you move through your day.
It’s like yoga in a bottle
You may have noticed that we’re huge fans of yoga and CBG here at Daygold. In fact our co-founder, Liz FitzGerald is a former yoga instructor and a natural teacher. Our content creator, Üma Kleppinger, is also a former yoga teacher who devoted 15 years of her life to teaching students and training other teachers. They both know the profound effects yoga, mindfulness, movement and meditation can provide.
We know from personal experience how wonderfully Daygold tinctures complement any wellness practice. As Liz likes to say, “it’s like yoga in a bottle”.