However you interpret our connection with the universe, there is no denying that plants and animals have a deep-rooted bond with human existence.
We continuously exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. We digest their nutrients then expel the nitrogen they need to grow their leaves to catch the sun.
We consume their flowers and fruits, then we drop their seeds in places they couldn’t have physically done so themselves.
We are intimately connected with plants, and Cannabis is no different.
Flexibility in the Body
Before we talk cannabis here, let’s discuss yoga.
Yoga is all about creating space in your body.
It’s about living in your best body by maximizing its range of flexibility.
Each day you attempt to sink a bit deeper into your poses, stretching your muscles and nerves a bit further than the previous day.
Pairing cannabis with your yoga routine can improve your yogic outcomes.
The traditional sadhus of India are well aware of this. Many of them follow Shiva, a god who is regularly pictured with a pipe in his hands and his eyes half-lowered.
In Hindu scripture, Shiva was the original yogi. Sadhus emulate Shiva through their practice and are continuously testing the limits of their bodies while using cannabis to still their minds and relax their muscles and nervous system.
Sadhus use yoga and cannabis as a demonstration of their commitment to the divine.
The robust, yet flexible, bodies they develop are simply a testament to the ‘entourage effect’ between yoga and cannabis.
For those who are not a sadhu, positive yogic outcomes are still possible with the use of cannabis.
What's the big connection?
Cannabis enhances proprioception, in other words, our mind’s eye is better able to x-ray or scan our skeletal shape and make necessary adjustments.
Chris Kilham – founder of Medicine Hunter, Inc. and yoga teacher – discusses the effects of micro-dosing cannabis with yoga: “If I’m in an exaggerated stretch…I have a greater sense and sensitivity of what’s happening in my nerves,” he says.
Cannabis “brings you deeper into [yoga] practice,” Kilham explains, but that you shouldn’t get “so hopelessly stoned that you don’t really practice…it’s a tool to enhance your sensory experience.”
Though the interaction with cannabis is different for everyone, with practice and intention, consuming this plant provides us with higher awareness of our limbs and spine.
When used correctly, cannabis is our map to honing our focus and keeping us in the moment.
“We can use that guided intention and that space of our altered consciousness to find health and healing,” said yoga teacher Rachael Carlevale in a recent interview about yoga and cannabis.
For many people, cannabis is a teacher that guides our extension and flexibility; Rachael uses it as a tool when teaching cannabis yoga on Green Flower.
In addition to enhancing our yogic practices and thusly our physical flexibility, cannabis also encourages the same in the mind...
Flexibility in the Mind
One critical aspect of human growth and development is that we are flexible on a cognitive level.
What does that look like?
It looks like the ability to try new things, to challenge ourselves, and to also humble ourselves at times and be willing and able to self-correct when needed.
For a lot of people, parts of this process can be quite overwhelming. Our emotions often get the best of us, block our thinking, and in the end, block our progress.
Essentially, cannabis can teach you how to better observe your emotions rather than simply reacting to them.
That's a powerful thing.
As Barbara Whitfield – author, researcher, and therapist – says, “with a very small dose, the ego melts away.”
In her Green Flower session “Cannabis for Raising Consciousness,” she explains how cannabis removes our focus on conflict, and “pulls us out of our drama, and we get a much higher view of life.”
The introspective qualities that come with proper, mindful cannabis use allow us to not just see our behavior better – but improve upon it as well.
The clarity and the epiphanies gained from a good cannabis session can help us navigate life’s obstacles more clearly.
By being prepared for obstacles, more aware in how we approach them, and less likely to act for our ego’s sake, cannabis guides us towards higher consciousness and increases the flexibility of our minds.
When our minds and bodies have the space to perform at their best, our spirit can spread to its fullest potential.
Flexibility in the Spirit
Cannabis is two things: a gift from nature and a tool to interact with her.
Barbara shows us the “endocannabinoid system is proof that cannabis and humans go together.”
The endocannabinoid system – every living creature with the vertebrae has one – evolved alongside Cannabis and developed a way for animals and plants to communicate through chemicals.
In essence, the compounds in cannabis provide a natural yet chemical language our bodies inherently understand.
Like the Babel Fish in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it works inside of us in a way we don’t intuitively understand but is still easily accessible once you’re accustomed to the feeling of it.
Dr. Charles Whitfield, MD, says, “We are the most sophisticated, high-tech, psycho-spiritual machine that we know of” and cannabis is a tool to expand our spirituality and bring flexibility into our souls.
With this in mind, moderation is key to operating appropriately, and Dr. Whitfield brings awareness to the biphasic effect of cannabis consumption.
He suggests micro-dosing until the person feels between a 3-to-5 on a 10-point scale of intoxication to engage our “key conscious awareness.”
At this level, when our bodies and minds have created the flexibility we need in our lives, our spirits are open to living in the eternal now and embracing what people call God, Yahweh, Ojala, Shiva, and an infinite number of other names.
It’s the acceptance of love and the energy that moves within us.
“God is a verb...the action of love,” says Barbara.
Acting with love gives us space to engage with who we truly are; it’s acceptance of – and flexibility in – our spirits.
As we develop a common knowledge of Cannabis’ impact on our bodies, minds, and spirits – and how to use it properly – it’s possible empathy may finally spread faster than war.
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