CBD Oil And Yoga

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Why CBD With Yoga Might be the Best Idea Ever This trendy new supplement won’t get you high, but it will take your yoga practice to an entirely new level of chill. So many of us experience (at CBD is one of 2020’s hottest trends. And it could transform your yoga routine. Learn how you can use CBD to improve your practice. CBD and Yoga are great compliments. Taking a few drops of CBD oil before you step on your yoga mat can help you get in the right mindset to practice and

Why CBD With Yoga Might be the Best Idea Ever

This trendy new supplement won’t get you high, but it will take your yoga practice to an entirely new level of chill.

So many of us experience (at minimum) a steady hum of low-grade anxiety as we move about our days. And who could blame us? Our schedules are jam-packed, we’re chasing career goals, tending to our personal relationships, juggling finances, and (if we’re lucky) squeezing in a little time to pursue our hobbies and passions.

These ever-constant feelings of anxiety not only hinder our productivity, they steal our pure, unfiltered, in-the-moment joy. It can be a challenging beast to tame, which is why so many people have been turning to a yoga practice as a way to calm down, go inward, and let go. All eight limbs of yoga, specifically asana and meditation, not only soothe in the short-term, but they also teach practitioners skills for checking in rather than checking out, and addressing anxiety with a calm bravery.

But yoga isn’t the only tool in our coping tool belts. With the increasing legalization of marijuana and hemp-derived products across the country, the stressed-out among us are exploring new ways to cope with anxiety. If the word “cannabis” brings to mind terrible-tasting brownies, it’s time to take another look at a now-booming industry. Although bakeries are now whipping up marijuana-infused cookies, gummies, drinks, and even baklava, there are also companies working to spread the gospel of hemp-related products without the high.

It all comes down to CBD, a cannabinoid compound found in the cannabis plant. Although CBD shares some similarities with THC, hemp’s better-known cannabinoid, there is one big difference: CBD has no psychoactive effects and won’t get you high. What CBD does deliver on, however, is a calming, gently relaxing vibe that has truly been known to make a difference in anxiety sufferers.

Bringing CBD Onto the Mat

If the words “calming and gently relaxing” are sounding a lot like your favorite yoga practice, that’s no coincidence—as many yogis are discovering, CBD products and asana practice go together like bolsters and yoga blankets: Two great ideas that are wonderful alone, but totally dynamite together. Because using CBD won’t get you high, it’s entirely safe and acceptable to use during a yoga practice or any other regular activities. Benefits of using CBD include:

  • Pain relief
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Relief from overthinking
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Increased mood

CBD is a natural fit for a restorative-style or gentle yoga class, but it can also enhance your experience in a more upbeat, quicker-paced flow-style or vinyasa class, especially if you’re prone to a wandering mind. How often have you been in a yoga class and thought, “I am supposed to be zen! I just wish I could silence these thoughts!” It’s hard to automatically turn off your overthinking brain simply because you’ve hit the mat. CBD helps.

It can also aid those with sore joints and muscles. Here’s how: The different cannabinoids in hemp, such as CBD, work in different ways with the cannabinoid receptors in the body, located throughout the endocannabinoid system. This is the same system that triggers your brain when you’re experiencing pain. When taking CBD, it interacts with the ECS and encourages it to produce an increased number of natural cannabinoids, which help to balance the system and produce an anti-inflammatory response. Therefore, helping to relieve those post-asana sore muscles.

CBD can also help to prolong the savasana feelings of bliss after you leave the mat. When we are feeling good, our brain naturally produces and releases a neurotransmitter called Anandamide. In Sanskrit, ‘Ananda’ means ‘bliss’, which is why Anandamide is aptly named the ‘bliss molecule’. Like all neurotransmitters, Anandamide is fragile and breaks down quickly in the body, which is why it doesn’t produce a perpetual state of bliss. It’s been found that CBD suppresses the enzyme that breaks down Anandamide. Thus creating longer lasting effects from the naturally occurring Anandamide in our system. In other words, that blissful feeling you get from your flow session can be enhanced even more by incorporating CBD into the mix.

(As a yogi and author of this piece, I found using CBD to be particularly great during my home practice. While I’m usually distracted by my cell phone, to-do list, and passing thoughts, my home asana routine has become a lot more focused and intuitive when taking CBD.)

How to Get Started

To nip any assumptions in the bud (had to!)—no, it doesn’t need to be smoked. CBD products can be applied to the body as a salve or ingested via tinctures or soft gels. Dana Boyce of Ananda Hemp suggests starting with a 10-15mg dose and increasing with comfort level and familiarity.

So which one is right for you? As a general rule, tinctures begin acting faster than softgels—about 15 minutes, on average. They have a mild hemp flavor that fans describe as earthy. If you’re looking to minimize taste, softgels might be a better fit, although you’ll want to note the difference in acting time: they take a little longer to reach the system, around 35 minutes on average. T he salves can be a beautiful part of a self-care routine, and are particularly nice when applied after a shower, before or after yoga, or just before bed.

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that CBD isn’t a miracle “cure” for anxiety. (And BTW — neither is yoga!) As Ananda’s Boyce explains, “I always tell customers to not go in with expectations. Take the product consistently for a week and see if you feel any different.”

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Consistency is key here; sporadically taking CBD when you feel like it, or remember, won’t yield the beneficial results of a regular regimen. (Again, noticing any parallels with your yoga practice?)

Have you tried CBD products with your yoga practice? What did you think?

In partnership with Ananda Hemp

Ananda Hemp offers information on how to incorporate hemp extract into your daily practice. Ananda Hemp believes that Mother Nature is the best architect for health and wellness. Their full spectrum products are derived from Kentucky-grown and produced medicinal hemp. Ananda Hemp strives to cultivate a sustainable crop that produces solvent and pesticide-free whole flower extract that complements your ongoing journey to wellness.

CBD and Yoga: Rediscover the Benefits of This Ancient Duo

CBD is one of this year’s hottest trends. And it could transform your yoga routine — for reasons you’ll soon understand.

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CBD and yoga — it’s a surprisingly age-old combination that’s just now making a comeback.

The first time around, news of the practice spread by word of mouth through ascetics and yogis, and their sacred texts like The Vedas and the Yoga Sutra.

This time, however, CBD-fueled yoga has the full backing of social media, google trends, and a veritable army of health enthusiasts. It seems they might be onto something.

Though the practice of yoga is nearly as old as society itself, the biological basis of the practice has remained pretty much unchanged. Yoga still promotes inner awareness, just as it did back then. But with modern scientific advancements, we’ve since discovered other tangible benefits yoga has to offer the body.

One such area of benefit overlaps with the effects of CBD and the system it works through — called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

When you stop to think about it, there’s a lot of overlap between the effects of CBD and yoga — which makes the two a perfect pair.

Table of Contents

Below are just a few more of the ways that CBD could benefit yogis of all levels:

  1. Better adaptation
  2. Improved mind-body connection
  3. Increased focus
  4. Reduced inflammation
  5. Enhanced inner awareness
  6. Faster muscle recovery

Yoga Adaptation Using CBD

While the practice of yoga teaches us to say no! to external distractions and demands — yogic exercises themselves can be physically demanding. They put a strain on tendons and ligaments, especially if done incorrectly.

Even the gentlest transition into yoga requires the body to respond with increased flexibility, fluidity, and suppleness. Yoga also requires good balance, which in turn demands strong proprioception (awareness of body positioning).

Then there’s the stretching inherent to yoga, of course… which can be intense as well. It seems mentally transcending one’s environment may require a dose of physical transcendence too!

Yet stretching has actually been shown to activate endocannabinoid receptors in the muscles and fascia. More receptor activation may allow for more cannabinoid engagement [1].

We’ve covered the benefits of CBD for muscle recovery in another article, here’s a summary of the benefits:

  • Relaxes the muscle tissue
  • May relieve muscle pain
  • Curbs inflammation in the muscle tissue
  • Enhances satellite cell differentiation (leading to faster recovery)
  • Supports protein synthesis through cortisol reduction

Improve The Mind-Body Connection

CBD may allow you to better adapt to yoga by improving the mind-body connection, too.

After all, CBD strengthens what researchers call “a literal bridge between body and mind”.

Although the idea that CBD can better bridge the gap between consciousness and movement may seem more mystical than scientific — there’s some truth to the statement.

One study conducted by the Intercontinental Neuroscience Research Group theorized that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a role in human consciousness itself. This is evidenced by the involvement of the ECS in abstract cognitive processes like post-traumatic stress, mood, and dream states [4].

Such is the depth of endocannabinoid function — even the world’s leading researchers sometimes describe it with broad concepts like consciousness and emotional fluidity.

Part of the mind-body connection goes back to one of the central tenets of yoga — clearing the mind. A study from way back in 1979 agrees: “Hatha yoga calms the mind to the point that the individual is aware only of the ‘here and now’ […which] includes an awareness of subtle bodily conditions.” [5]

CBD may play an equally important role in this area. Many users report feeling more focused and intuitive when they take the plant compound.

Perhaps best of all, it doesn’t usually take much CBD to see enhancements in focus and mood. Dr. Dustin Sulak and many other cannabinoid experts have reported that their patients improve on just a few milligrams of cannabinoids per day!

That equates to about half a dropper’s worth of your average CBD oil.

From a homeopathic perspective, it’s thought that “microdosing” herbal compounds stimulate much larger changes in our physiology. That definitely seems to be the case with the nootropic-like CBD.

Enhance Focus & Concentration

Of course, yoga isn’t just about becoming more in tune with your body. That’s only half the equation because enhancing your inner awareness depends on the silencing of external distractions and falsehoods.

In a very real sense, yoga requires its practitioners to fully reclaim their minds. Today’s phone bill, tomorrow’s work deadline? Forget them, become free from them — if only for the next 10 minutes.

But this type of forgetfulness is harder than ever. It seems as though all of us have fallen into the gravitational pull of Social Media, a planet on which narcissism and hyperstimulation are the norms. A pull that was once confined to one or two hours a day (just think about the once-daily daily news) now has us in its grasp at all times.

Indeed, the average American checks their phone nearly a hundred times a day; if forced to go without the device they often experience anxiety, unrest, and other “drug-seeking” behavior.

It’s not crazy to think about this as a real addiction, “withdrawal” from which may negatively impact all sorts of other things. That includes our ability to focus at work, nourish real relationships… and clear the mind during yoga.

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Here’s another seemingly cryptic concept — could CBD help our culture better live in the now? Maybe shift our brain chemistry, even, so we can focus more on the present moment?

Initial research has shown this cannabidiol is intimately involved with the function of key neurotransmitters like serotonin [11] and dopamine [12] — both of which play a key role in our ability to remain focused. This could explain why some users report CBD can improve learning and concentration.

Cannabis experts are also backing this idea up. Molecular biologist Dr. Bob Melamede says cannabinoids expand the periodicity of each moment — that’s the amount of perceptual ‘snapshots’ our brains can process in any given unit of time.

More frequent snapshots mean each moment lasts longer, from a relative perspective. If a person can take in more of their life, might each of its moments be more greatly enjoyed?

Once again, cryptic… but theorized by one of the brightest minds in the endocannabinoid-research world. If you’re ready to slow down, fully experience life, and enjoy each and every moment, consider yoga! If you find combating daily distraction challenging and would like a little help with your yogic practice, consider CBD!

Reduce Inflammation with CBD

Inflammation… we all know how bad it is, how we’re all chronically inflamed, and how that’s not good for our general health or our pain levels, etc. It’s an epidemic!

Actually, it’s not that simple.

A little bit of inflammation is a good thing. Especially when it’s used to signal to the immune system that a little extra assistance is needed. Inflammation initiates a cascade of hormonal responses that, when everything works properly, allows inflamed areas to properly recover and heal.

Inflammation, like anything else the body does naturally, can be a beautiful thing.

Yet our culture’s inflammatory epidemic is anything but natural. Inflammation is meant to help us rebound after occasional injuries — not act as a buffer against the health risks of processed foods.

Worse yet, many people combat this unnatural state with unnaturally strong solutions like NSAIDS or even opioids. Not good!

That’s true from an evolutionary perspective, at least. The mismatch between our body’s natural state and its unnatural environment requires a holistic solution. Thankfully, practicing yoga has been shown to lower levels of chronic inflammation [13], especially if done regularly.

As Harvard’s health blog reports: “an exploratory study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity [found] that 12 weeks of yoga slowed cellular aging”. Faster cellular aging is believed to be a consequence of chronic inflammation — as reported but the National Institute of Ageing.

Another insightful study titled Yoga, Meditation and Mind-Body Health found yoga correlated with improved brain function (it increased something called brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and better morning mood [6]. Subjects also seemed to deal with the daily stressors of their lives better, as revealed by lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol.

Finally, yoga also reduced the subject’s inflammatory markers, like their cytokine levels, that are known to lead to pain. No wonder Yogis can truthfully claim the following:

“Yoga is the process of eliminating pain – pain from the body, mind and the society.”

But if you’re experiencing a level of inflammation or pain that dissuades you from practicing yoga in the first place, your body might need a little extra help. That’s where CBD comes in.

CBD is a broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory. It’s been shown again and again and again to reduce inflammation in areas where relief is needed most:

Yet CBD doesn’t eliminate inflammation entirely. Like we said, inflammatory responses are helpful — for muscle recovery, injury prevention, even for yoga itself.

In the short term, inflammation speeds healing by removing metabolic waste and bringing fresh, nutrient-rich blood flow to the area. It’s only when the inflammatory process continues for extended periods of time that it starts to have a negative impact on local tissue.

Enhance Body Perception

Many people love yoga for its ability to support the perception of the body.

But we’ve already touched on that, so let’s now turn our attention to CBD and how it could enhance self-awareness further. You’ll find some theoretical stuff in this section, which we feel is warranted.

You might already know that exercise boosts our body’s levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide — which is thought to contribute to sensations like the “runner’s high” [14] and plays a key role in the mood-regulating benefits of the endocannabinoid system [15].

CBD has been shown to increase anandamide levels by inhibiting the enzyme designed to break it down — known commonly as FAAH [16].

The effects of CBD on mood go much deeper as well. This phytocannabinoid is also considered an endovanilloid, modulating the vanilloid receptors throughout the body [8,9].

The role of this system is pretty abstract, but what does this mean in terms of perception in the body?

The vanilloid receptors sense pain, regulate body temperature [17] — two critical elements of the human experience. Our body uses pain to assess the risk to the body — it tells us when we’re at risk of damaging our joints or muscles from overstretching or positioning ourselves poorly during our yoga practice. Temperature is also important, as it plays a role in our metabolic rate and critical aspects of homeostasis (internal balance).

In theory, applying said topical to potential ‘problem areas’ prior to your next yoga session could be helpful for improving your body’s perception to internal changes in the muscle tissue. Oral CBD may provide similar benefits as well.

Final Thoughts

Improving health is often the ideal goal of a daily yoga practice. Whether you’re a yoga beginner or a true master of the ancient art, taking CBD may help you take your practice to another level.

CBD isn’t a cure-all, and there are a lot of other factors you need to employ to really get the most out of your yoga practice as well — but it could be a useful tool for helping you get just a little more out of a dialed-in practice.

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The effects of CBD are many, but the most relevant when it comes to yoga include enhancing the mind-body connection through the ECS, improved yoga adaptation through local activation of the ECS in muscle tissue, reduced inflammation, and enhanced focus and concentration during your practice.

Have you incorporated CBD with your yoga practice? Share your experiences in the comments below.

6 Ways CBD Can Improve Your Yoga Practice

CBD and Yoga are great compliments. Taking a few drops of CBD oil before you step on your yoga mat can help you get in the right mindset to practice and meditate. Combining CBD with yoga can help heal sore muscles, reduce inflammation, and give you a boost of energy. This naturally occurring supplement can also improve yoga’s mental aspects by reducing anxiety, regulating emotions, promoting calm, and improving mental focus. In total, we have found six powerful ways how CBD can positively enhance your yoga experience and take your practice to the next level.

The benefits of using CBD with Yoga

CBD won’t get you high, but it can improve your yoga experience. It’s completely safe to use during a yoga practice or any other regular activities. Here are the six main benefits of combining CBD with your yoga practice:

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  1. Reduces Stress. Cortisol is the stress hormone that causes you to feel stressed and anxious. CBD is a known reliever of stress and anxiety through its effect on the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is the body’s system of maintaining hormonal balance and regulating our physiological responses. By boosting your body’s ability to reduce stress, you can experience even deeper levels of relaxation and calm in your yoga practice. This combined effect will ensure that you are free from worry, stress, or anxiety throughout your whole day.
  2. Increases Focus. In a study conducted in 2014 and published in the Current Neuropharmacology, CBD was found to be a wake-promoting agent. This means that it keeps your mind active so that you don’t lose focus on what you are doing. Similarly, Yoga helps you take control of your mind so that you are not distracted by the events happening around you.
  3. Relieves Pain and Soreness. If you engage in rigorous or challenging yoga routines, you will likely suffer from some degree of musculoskeletal pain and inflammation after your practice. In a study conducted in 2018 on CBD’s effectiveness in reducing pain and inflammation, it was affirmed that adding CBD into a yoga routine is effective in alleviating pain and managing soreness.
  4. Better Rest. If you’re feeling exhausted and you need to unwind, a combination of the CBD and yoga is your best option. CBD works on your endocannabinoid receptors, allowing you to elicit responses to your physical, emotional, or mental state. If you combine that with a relaxing yoga session, your body feels calm and rested.
The Best Supplements for Yogis

Different nutritional supplements can help with post-yoga recovery by reducing inflammation and increasing circulation to sore muscles and achy joints. Other supplements for yoga can help boost energy, enhance muscle health, calm the mind, and increase focus and concentration.

Who shouldn’t use CBD during Yoga?

There are no studies to show the negative effects of using CBD with yoga. However, it is advisable to avoid using CBD with yoga if you are:

  • Immune-compromised
  • Pregnant or trying to conceive
  • Taking prescription drugs

How to use CBD with Yoga

There are several different ways to consume CBD products. You can apply a CBD salve or lotion to any parts of the body that tend to be stiff or sore. You can also ingest CBD through tinctures, soft gels, herbal teas, or tasty gummies. It is recommended to start with a 10-15mg dose of CBD or 1-6 mg of CBD per 10 lbs of body weight and slowly increase the dosage if needed. Tinctures begin acting as fast as 15 minutes, and softgels take effect around 35 minutes on average. The salves can be used before or after yoga or just before bed. Establishing a regular regimen of using CBC products with yoga will yield the best results.

To sum up

CBD is an incredible supplement for helping you relax. Sometimes, you may have trouble clearing the racing thoughts in your mind before a yoga session. In such a situation, CBD can help you clear your head so that you are ready to go deep in your yoga practice. After your yoga session, CBD can also help you to recover faster from the tightness, inflammation, or soreness that may have occurred during the yoga-process. Combining CBD with yoga is a simple and easy way to boost the amazing feel-good effects of your yoga practice. If you’re interested in CBD but are overwhelmed by the number of brands and options, check out this list of medically reviewed oils to find the best one for your yoga practice.

About Laura Powell

Laura Powell was introduced to yoga at the PranaVida Yoga Studio in Orlando, FL, in 2001 and has been studying yoga ever since. She began her study with Ravi Singh and, after trying many teachers and styles in the yoga cornucopia that is New York City, gravitated to the classes of Sharon Gannon and David Life of Jivamukti whom she considers to be her primary influences. Inspired by her students and yoga masters B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar, Gary Kraftsow, Godfrey Devereaux, and Donna Farhi, she emphasizes safety and proper alignment, building awareness of the body so that time, effort and the breath can bring about the many potential benefits of yoga. Laura is committed to her self-study and daily yoga practice, along with attending regular workshops with Kofi Busia and other senior teachers.

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