Weed and Yoga, Maybe Not?

Weed and Yoga, Maybe Not?

Contrary to urban myth, marijuana is not a magical doorway to higher consciousness. It’s a drug. And that’s okay. I live in “Potland,” Oregon where cannabis was legalized in 2015. This isn’t a rant against weed. It’s an honest dialogue for yogis who are serious in their practice to give thought about why and how they recreationally use marijuana.

There are many reasons for developing a yoga practice, spiritual growth is one of them. How yoga can assist us spiritually depends on which path we are following. Not everyone’s spiritual practice is affected in the same way through yoga, though everyone can benefit physically, mentally and emotionally from yoga.

Cannabis messes with the body/mind connection. It creates a dissociated state that interferes with spiritual growth and well-being.

The essential problem with cannabis is that it creates a split between body and soul. This is something that can be detected with subtle sensing. Those unfamiliar with this type of sensing may dismiss it as whack-a-doodle nonsense, but folks had a hard time believing the world was round. Stay with me.

Fuzzy Energy

Marijuana proponents are quick to offer how chillaxed the drug makes them, in contrast, to say, alcohol drinkers who tend to be more boisterous. While this can be true, it doesn’t validate the use of a substance that creates an energetically fragmented condition. The fractured aura of smokers keeps them peaceful, but at a price. That fuzzy energy field inhibits fully feeling emotions. When you understand this, it offers a less benign image.

When people have adverse emotions or thoughts – such as boredom, sadness, doubt, loneliness – they want to escape and there are many ways to do this. One can drink alcohol, eat junk food, or surf the net. They can sex it, shop it and they can smoke it away. The difference between cannabis and the other forms of distraction, is that the spiritual problems last longer.

The impact smoking has on emotional and spiritual growth is still in its infancy, though more yogis are speaking out. Proponents report feeling peaceful when they smoke, but they aren’t transcending their pain in a useful way. The escape is fleeting. Sooner or later, it will return. Consequently, the tamping of unwanted emotions may explain the psychologically addictive quality of marijuana.

Spiritual Bypassing

The belief that weed helps “take the edge off” is a euphemism that hides the emotional discomfort consumers seek to avoid. To be fair, it takes a great deal of courage and determination to work through discontent. Unfortunately, smoking doesn’t build courage and determination. That requires the soul and personality coming together to reside within a coherent whole. 

Harmonizing mind, body and spirit is the key to being aligned with your true self. Anything that muddies your energy is slowing your progress. Better to be clear in your perception – even if this involves challenging emotions — rather than hide in a fragmented experience of self.

When your soul, or wise self, is integrated with your body, you become more conscious about how you treat your body. Clearing obstructions makes room for spirit to shine through, which provides the energy to confront deeper issues. Weed short-circuits spiritual empowerment by disrupting connection between mind and body.

Dope Science

Another concern is that getting high can mimic spiritual awakening. That’s due to the psychoactive compound THC. Many of THC’s reinforcing effects are mediated by the dopamine system. THC increases the release of dopamine and serotonin, which feels great. Even the anticipation of smoking can release these chemicals. The downside is that long-term use is associated with a blunting of the dopamine system. Gradually, the body’s ability to make this natural, feel-good chemical diminishes – which may explain why high doses of THC are linked to depression. Which is not so great. 

To understand what happens on an energetic level, imagine a person with a narrow view. Such a person might find that weed helps them see beyond their limited scope. Thats impressive, almost mystical. It even suggests that marijuana might be a consciousness expanding substance. The “problem” is that weed does expand perspective, to a point. It gives people an open view. Until it doesn’t.

When a substance keeps you at an intermediate level of consciousness, you’ll always be chemically limited from attaining higher states of realization. To better understand this, imagine a range of consciousness between one and ten. One represents a narrow perspective, while ten represents a broad perspective. A person at level one or two could go to level three or four with the help of marijuana. They might be quite pleased by this elevated shift. They would say their consciousness has been expanded, that they feel more creative, open and free.

It’s a convincing argument, until you realize that weed is keeping them from going beyond level four. This is the elephant in the room that spiritual seeking smokers would rather not talk about. Again, I’m not against consumption. It’s been lifesaving for many. This is about the impact. Clarity of mind is key component of spiritual development and weed interferes with that.

The ability to sense, name and locate your energy blocks is vital to self-healing.

Puffy Clouds

The popular claim that marijuana generates peacefulness is based on a restricted idea of what peace is. Peace is not merely the absence of strife or violence. If there were no other options for attaining inner peace, or for dealing with your emotions, then the assumption might be valid. But there are, in fact, many options:

– Learning to feel your feelings is a powerful teacher that builds strength. It’s not easy and rarely fun, but when you gently breathe through your feelings you discover that you are stronger than your fears.

– Learning to question negative self-talk stops the mental and emotional loops. Learning to talk to yourself in an empowering way puts you, metaphorically, in the driver’s seat. Which beats the heck out of riding shotgun with your id at the wheel.

– Learning to move and exercise, by whatever means you choose, gives you an option to raise your vibration every single day.

– Learning to meditate and visualize helps you discover your true spiritual identity. Additionally, spiritual practices empower you to live in alignment with your true self. When you observe the world from a deeper wisdom, it naturally follows that your actions will as well.

Glass Ceiling

Another spiritual concern with marijuana is that it can cause users to get stuck in their heads, endlessly looping thoughts and ideas. It’s hard enough to reign in the mind when one is calm and clear-headed. But for the smokin’ yogi, it’s nearly impossible. You can bend and twist to your heart’s content, but your ability to connect more deeply within will be hindered by the ego’s ceaseless chatter.

If you’re thinking “This sucks!” know that spiritual integrity is something you develop over time. We can’t float our way there in a cloud of smoke. It’s a daily practice. And just as we build muscles through daily exercise, we can build spiritual strength by cultivating daily awareness.

Choice = Freedom

No matter where we are in our personal development, we can choose to move in a healthier direction. If you’re already making better choices, you know how less-than-best ones interfere with your energy. For the soul-seeking yogi, this may require taking a hard look at a well-loved habit.

Please know that from the viewpoint of spiritual practice, whoever or whatever pushes us to our edge, is our teacher. The struggles we have with addiction and distraction are the exact place where the deepest learning takes place. We just need to be open to seeing it.

When you do, you get a sense of what it means to live in alignment with your best self. You literally feel nature (spirit/soul/essence) buzzing within you. That vibration is the sensation of being alive in the deepest sense of the word.

Namaste.

Addiction is real and it comes in many forms. If you struggle, there is help. Reach out to friends. Join a support group. Find a therapist. You have the power to change your life.

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36 thoughts on “Weed and Yoga, Maybe Not?”

  • This may just be my wack-a-doodle mind @ work, but the idea of nature humming within me is smile-inspiring. Maybe I wouldn’t ‘t be as discouraged to quiet my singing voice if it was a duet (or more) collaboration. This is me feat. unsolicited songbirds… goes a ‘lil somethin’ like this…

  • This was a very insightful and appreciated message I needed to hear. It is a well loved habit, but I feel it has been hindering my advancement. I do find myself turning to it as a way to escape uncomfortable emotions. I think this summed up what I’ve been feeling very well, and in a way that helped me understand it at a deeper level. I know now I need to face these emotions and work through them with a clear head and just trust that it will get better and better one day at a time. Thank you for this, Namaste

  • Excellent article, it gives a lot to think about and I agree with it in general. However, most of the times the great answers and not black or white and every thesis should have an anthethesis, so we can find the right way.
    If you are ok with it, I’ll share some doubts I have in my quest as a psychologist studying transpersonal psychoterapy, yoga practitioner and human being with cronic pain that tries to get away from heavy comercial drugs with the aid of natural and alternative methods.
    I’d really like to hear your opinion about five questions.

    I agree that no psichoactive substance should be consumed regularly, except in case of need – like if we don’t take it we’ll be even worse. Example: psychotic break will may need anti psichotics, suicidal may need antideressants. Maybe these are heavy cases, but even these should be temporary solutions if possible.

    But lets consider light drugs like coffee, chocolate and ginger, they too are psychoactive. In your opinion or experience, what will their effect be in the aura if taken everyday? (this is my first question).

    Now lets go in the middle. Marijuana everyday or maybe even every week is definitely a no-no. But is it possible that the temporary consciousness expansion it provides, when taken in the right setting (nature, meditation, etc), can propel us to achieve that expansion more easily without it? The same can be asked about psichedelics. Could it be considered a good use in this case or does the harm it causes in the aura surpasses apparent positive effects? (second question)

    What about CBD is it putten in the same boat? (third)
    By my experience it helped me a lot to keep down heavy meds that were given to me, opioids included, so I could keep working and living despite the deep muskuloesqueletal pains that, at a point, we all thought could stay for the rest of my life.
    I can assure you that heavy pain can have an enormous and hard negative impact in the energy field. So, what about the people with heavy chronic pain, should they endure it or taking the possible meds to lower it? (forth)

    Also trauma has a heavy negative mark on the aura. Regular therapies have 30% efficience rate to help overcome it, therapies with the aid of psichedelics have at least 70%. The numbers are not as good with CBD, but the resuls are also quite positive.
    Overcoming trauma has great benefits in the energetic field.
    Can we consider that taking psichedelics (or CBD) in the right setting and with the right mind frame can be benefitial even to the energetic field? (fifth)

    My hipothesis is that everything we consume, do, think or feel, influences the energetic field.
    Feeling rage can be benefitial in a therapeutic process, but if you get stuck in it, it’ll definetly have a negative energetic impact on your existence and aura.
    Can the same logic apply to THC, CBD, or some known psichedelics? (last one 🙂

    Thank you for your time,
    Luís
    (all the way from Portugal)

  • Luis,
    Thank you for your comment, “all the way from Portugal.” 🙂 Connecting people in engaging conversations is the best use of the internet.

    You bring up excellent questions and good points. Instead of assuming a position of authority, I will simply say “It depends.” I believe we are all trying our best, even when our behavior indicates otherwise. Our mind, body and soul are perpetually seeking growth and healing. I trust that people are making the best decisions possible that allows them to get through the day.

    Sleep aids are good example. Our insomniac culture has come to rely more and more on pharmaceutical sleeping aids that allow us to sleep at the expense of restorative dreaming. Sleep is a primary pillar of health and pharmaceuticals can be life-saving. And, we desperately need our deep dreaming sleep for physical and emotional health. Hopefully, over time, the disturbances keeping sleep at bay will heal allowing it to come naturally. I hold the same hope for those who need substances for pain management – somatic or psychological.

    I appreciate your thoughtful inquiries and am honored that you took the time to read this rather long blog.

    Be well,
    kerry

  • The perfect article for the perfect time! Thank you for your insight. This subject has been weighing heavy on my mind. Namaste.

  • These are challenging times, Cheyenne. More and more people are self-medicating their anxiety. No judgment, here. My intake of chocolate has certainly increased.

    Thank you for reading my article. Be kind and gentle with yourself.

    In health and happiness,
    kerry

  • Thank you for this insight. This was very helpful in helping me decide if cannabis will interfere with my spiritual growth. I’m glad I was led to this.

  • I resonatesd with this article. I overstood, innerstood and understood it all. Thank you for sharing your spiritual insight.

  • I have been smoking weed for 25 years. I have however now stopped. I eventually found this article after several searches on the effects of cannabis on the spiritual being. Everything I read hear resonated with me on a deep level. These are the words that I have been telling myself for years. As I have had a deep knowing of what you have put in your article. I understand this information is difficult to find because of the contrast between cannabis and alcohol, and the fact that cannabis has been illegal for years and demonised, yet alcohol is practically promoted as a good thing, legal to consume and causes so much anger, heatred, depression, and damage over the years. Its made encouraging reading for me and inspirational to progress to higher vibrational state, true happiness and proper deeper alignment with my peaceful loving inner being and to finally say goodbye to theconstant noise chatter created by my noisy friend ego. thank you kindly for sharing this article. Daniel 👌 🙏 ❤ ☺

  • Daniel! Wow. What a profound accomplishment. I’m in awe. Thank you for sharing your story. May 2021 continue to bring a fresh start to new beginnings. Namaste!

  • Unless one has acute ptsd or c-ptsd then it can be used medicinally to treat anxiety and depression while bringing the patient into emotional integrity if they choose. See with c-ptsd the dissociative quality learned in childhood is nearly impossible to bypass well enough to heal without help. Meds used to treat this stuff blunts the emotional content it doesn’t help one access it. Eventually if persistent in healing there will be more and more access to the content without smoking. But for opening the door weed works wonders to support healing… to a point. The trick is knowing when weed is no longer needed or helpful to healing because at some point just like over medicating it won’t work anymore. But good thing is it won’t be needed either.

  • Moira,
    Thank you for adding to the conversation. Medication can be life-saving for people. And you’re right about knowing the delicate balance of when it has served its purpose – that’s a fine line to discern.
    Warmly,
    kerry

  • Thank you for sharing this! I have had a deep understanding of this as well for the past few years. I am embarking on the journey of a clear mind as of today. I know it won’t be fun but I know I cannot pass the level of growth I’ve obtained (slowly with lots of looping and re discovery) without moving out of this phase. I do believe it has its place. Proper mental health care is not readily available and I know there were far worse paths for me. I believe as well to be aware of the point when something is no longer serving us though it previously has. It should be included in the regular self checks we do inquiring into our selves and lives. I think most of us know when that time has come and gone like mine but the crutch is so tempting. Thank you for the further inspiration to take action and follow my intuition.

  • Tara,
    You nailed it when you said it works until it doesn’t. I wish you all the best on your journey. It gets easier, the further along.Thank you so much for sharing. It helps others stay on their path, as well!
    Stay true,
    kerry

  • I am also from Portland oregon !!! And I quit smoking thc weed (still smoke cbd) about a week ago (Wednesday will be a week) in hopes to get my dreams back. I would dream but not as vividly as I did when I didn’t consume thc. I remember battling myself everyday, should I, should I not. Then I watched this video speaking upon dreams and how we can enter different dimensions and see our spirit guides, and be shown answers to questions that we aren’t able to connect with ourselves or spirit guides in waking life. I also did it because I felt as if I wasn’t able to ascend into a greater spiritual awakening. I am up at 2:25 am and when I smoked thc I had a normal (healthy) sleeping schedule. I also experience more stomach pain after eating, and have lost a lot of weight. I am trying to counteract these Side effects the way one would if they didn’t use weed to again, suppress emotions or issues that are hard to face. I can say one thing as of now, my mental clarity is so much more clear. Not only that, I can taste better, smell better, and I honestly feel like I can hear better idk thats funny to say but I feel as if my senses are much stronger now that I am not numbing them with thc ( which in my eyes, made everything better) not only that another positive thing I noticed was that when I would smoke thc weed, I would feel bad about everything it’s so so odd to think but when I would say a certain thing, or do something out of the ordinary I would feel embarrassed. I posted a video of me playing guitar now if I would of smoked thc weed after doing that I would think to myself “omg you look so dumb” or “people don’t care about that” I was super judgemental over myself, I would overthink everything. I even would over think my looks and think I look ugly when I didn’t. Or I would think people were saying things about me, you get the point , I would basically drive myself crazy and I feel as if it brought me into the physical world more (limiting my self belief). But let me say this. The day I quit smoking weed I looked for a sign to do so. I asked my spirit guides, show me a sign please. As I was driving down a road I always drive down, I look to a sign that says “no smoking” then I continued to drive and I AM NOT JOKING another sign says “NOW…..” I immediately was excited and felt a rush of energy because I love seeing signs and I love feeling the spiritual world it’s the best thing I have ever felt, I wouldn’t trade it for a million dollars or ANYTHING. So many people are lost and Willing to sell their souls because they don’t believe in anything they don’t see and don’t have the means to search for it in themselves. This is why it’s so so so important to me that I continue to build my spirituality but one thing that I am worried about is that I haven’t seen any signs since then. It may be because I’m so in my head or worried or feeling the emotions I suppressed before but it’s so puzzling to me. Although I am very tempted, I will continue my journey without thc because the positives way out the negatives as of now. But I hope that I will see some sign soon that I am on the write path I am meant to be.

    I am 22 now and I smoked everyday religiously since I was 13. I Quit only for a month (about 2 years ago) for a job that was soul crunching (so that’s why I only lasted a month 🤣) but in that time I remember having the most INSANE dreams and I wrote them all down and still remember some of them till this day !!

  • Thank you. I needed to hear this. I feel like I already knew this deep down and chose to make excuses for my habit. But hearing it articulated so well and with kindness helped me. Peace and love ❤️

  • Thank you for this article!! I have been struggling to find balance with the plant medicine of marijuana. It also seems that it affects people differently. I ponder what vibration level marijuana is….and I suspect , depending on if you are already in a high vibration….marijuana can actually bring you down. If you are already in a low vibration….marijuana can bring you up! I am resonating with your article. It served a purpose for my journey at one point….but now I feel the desire and drive to experience a more pure, clean & clear vibration.

    Namaste ✌️👽❤️

  • This article makes perfect sense. I recently quit using cannabis because I want to learn Kriya Yoga but couldn’t get into deep meditation while using thc. It has only been a few days since I stopped using but I already feel a sense of well being and clear thinking compared to before. Anyone that doubts the validity of this only has to give it a fair trial and see for themselves. God bless!

  • Yes, Stacey! Good on you for experimenting and finding out what works best for YOU. It’s the only way to know. All the best in your studies. Kriya Yoga is a wonderful path to follow.

  • This is SO true and exactly what my higher self was leading to me. I have been smoking daily for over 10 years and everything in my life has been telling me it is “deadening” my psychic abilities. I finally googled it and had to scroll to find it, but I know it’s what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for writing this article. I can’t wait to go higher in my journey now. Way higher, by actually finishing my healing. The right way.

  • Marissa,

    It lifts my heart every time this article resonates with someone. Thank you for your comment! All the best to you on your healing journey.

  • I was led by spirit to this page and I am so grateful…tears of gratitude…I’ve been smoking all day and waking up in the middle of the night to smoke for about 10 years to help me with stress, but its having the opposite effect now. I’ve been through a lot of hardship including raising my severely handicapped child and then losing her 3 years ago…I am now going through some extremely stressful situations and I’m having panic attacks like crazy. I prayed and and prayed because my fear level is so high and the smoke just amplified my anxiety and fear. So I am quitting as of now. Thank you for being a messenger .

  • I ran across this article while researching the link between spirituality and cannabis usage. I have to say, while it’s very well-written and insightful, it also presents an assumption that cannabis users are an emotionally damaged group which, in my opinion, is absurd. People turn to plant medicine for all kinds of reasons and they don’t all stem from an emotional or spiritual imbalance. There’s more than one way to achieve our spiritual objectives and all of those ways can play nicely in the sandbox together. My point is that one does not preclude or hinder the other. Individuals drive their own spiritual experience regardless of the method through which it’s achieved.

  • I appreciate your perspective and completely agree. Like you, I don’t see smokers as emotionally damaged nor do I see smoking as detrimental.

  • I smoked marijuana before and after beginning my Yoga Journey and was quite successful at Sahaja. Could I have reached higher levels of enlightenment without it? Possibly, but it was appropriate for my needs and path. I think what’s overlooked often is our relationship to a plant, and most marijuana is now genetically modified, of poor soil quality & growing conditions, and/or possibly contain additives & contaminants.

  • I smoked weed since i was 11 years old and quit at around 22 years old. I regret that i spent so many years in a literal fog. It changed me, it dulled me and made me feel like i was less than Human. You are so right in saying that it causes a disassociative state, it trapped me in my own mind and i am still trapped in many ways. I may never be fully free from it’s influences even tho i quit a few years ago. My brain chemistry has been permanently altered and i am still healing from the effects of long term use. Lights are too bright for me, sounds too loud, the touch of other human beings makes me spazz out. If has permanently changed my sensory processing and i am hypersensitive to everything which seemed wonderful at first, but has turned into an absolute curse. Toward the end of my habit i knew it was time to quit, i knew it for so long and yet i kept smoking it hoping it would give me that same good numb feeling it used to always give me. It didn’t. Toward the end all i felt was fear and anxiety and intense self loathing. I didn’t even have a choice but to quit. The voice in my head turned against me and i was losing um sanity. I hope my mind heals eventually. I am healthier and happier than I’ve been in years but the dark voices still pop in now and then. I definitely attribute my long term depression episodes to marijuana use and caution anyone who uses it long term . I was set on smoking weed until the day i died and was even convinced that I would never be happy if i couldn’t smoke weed every hour of the day.

  • Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you broke free. I feel for your 11 year-old self. Glad you are taking good care of that great kid!

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