What does Los Angeles love more than weed or yoga? A combination of the two. With adult use marijuana now legal throughout California, cannabis-fueled yoga classes have been cropping up around the state. But not all ganja yoga is the same. Meet Lit Yoga, the first cannabis-only yoga studio in Los Angeles.
Located in a quaint bungalow in Venice, the studio incorporates cannabis into all the classes it offers — but it’s about more than just getting high and going through the motions of your yoga practice.
“Yoga is already a place to be reflective and go inwards, and I feel like cannabis enhances the ability to do that,” says Hannah Mason, co-founder of Lit Yoga. The beginning of each class at the studio is ritualized with a cannabis and tea ceremony. Students drink herbal tea and pass around joints for the first twenty minutes of class before they get into the flow for the remaining hour and change. “The ceremony at the beginning is a big part of what we’re creating,” says Mason. “Lit Yoga is now its own specific style and we’re using the tea ceremony as a way to be intentional about consuming cannabis.”
The studio works closely with different cannabis brands, which provide products, such as pre-rolled joints, for each class. A $25 drop-in rate includes the yoga class, all the tea and cannabis used in the ceremony, and a ganja gift for students to take home afterward. “When they’re gifted that product, the teacher explains ways they can use it, the dosing, or where the product comes from,” says Mason. “There’s a deeper level of connection to make sure the students know about the product, and how to use in a way that’s health oriented.”
During the ceremony, students have the option of choosing among different sativa or indica joints, or a high-dose CBD tincture, which they can mix into their tea. “We’re educating them on how you can use CBD to balance out the psychoactive effects of THC,” says Mason. The non-psychotropic compound CBD can be particularly helpful if you get too high from the psychoactive THC, or if it makes you anxious.
“We really want to educate people about how to self-medicate. Yoga is about looking inwards and seeing what your needs are,” says Mason. “Using cannabis and yogic philosophy helps you know your body best. You know when you need more of this or that, when it’s time to drink water or take child’s pose [resting position in yoga]. It’s a safe space for people to try out different products and familiarize themselves with how things affect them personally.”
So much about practicing yoga has to do with tuning into the sensations in your body, she adds. Yoga helps you notice how your breath moves through your body and helps you get through the various positions. “Cannabis can enhance your body sensations and ability to tune in and be aware of where your body is at,” says Mason. However, weed can also help you turn into your anxieties and emotional blockages, which can be challenging for people, she says. “Cannabis is like a microscope, it amplifies what you’re already experiencing, so bringing it into yoga can be healing and opening.” With a teacher’s care and guidance, the cannabis and the yoga can help you work through different points of tension and release stagnant energy, Mason says. “It points you to exactly where that is in your body, so I think it’s an amazing vehicle.”