5 Benefits of Adding CBD to Your Yoga Routine

person using cbd to improve their yoga practice

Yoga is one of the most popular ways to get in shape, become more flexible, and relieve stress. There are many different styles of yoga, with some styles being more physically demanding, and others are more relaxing and meditation focused. Each style is a bit different, but all offer numerous benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.

Just as there are several different styles of yoga, there have been many different products and supplements that practitioners have used to increase the benefits of their practice. Currently, one of the most cutting-edge supplements is CBD (cannabidiol). Many well-known athletes and celebrities rave about the health benefits of CBD. Jennifer Aniston practices yoga and also recently shared the benefits of practicing with CBD. Ryan Vanderbussche, a former NHL player practices yoga and has used CBD for years during his career to recover from his many sports injuries.

What is CBD?

CBD, whose full name is cannabidiol, is derived from the cannabis plant. CBD communicates with and affects the cannabinoid receptors in our body. Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids, but most people don’t generate enough. Cannabinoids are part of the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for a variety of physiological processes such as appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. According to NIH.gov, migraines, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions may be treated with CBD.

People who are suffering from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and many other conditions turn to CBD since it is natural, legal (check your local jurisdiction), and has proven medical benefits. There’s plenty of scientific and clinical research to support the use of CBD as a potential treatment option for epilepsy, arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistance infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders. Another positive is that CBD doesn’t get you high or feeling lethargic since it lacks THC (the active ingredient in marijuana).

Combining CBD and Yoga

Jamie Hill, a yoga instructor with more than 20 years of experience practices yoga with CBD and says she will continue to do so after experiencing the benefits of both. Jamie explains, “I would say I personally prefer the combination of CBD and yoga together. I take tincture CBD before practice in order to help me calm and center myself. The combination of the two helps us to slow down and be less distracted by everything on the outside as well as our own thoughts. I find it helps me be able to better pay attention to my body and breath. It also helps me be able to breathe through some uncomfortable moves and hold poses longer, and recover faster.”

1. Relaxing and Centering

CBD can help prepare you even before you start your practice. Going from a busy day with constant interruptions from other people, deadlines, your thoughts, and technology can make it very difficult to relax. It may seem almost impossible to slow down and focus on just your mind and body. Many people admit to catching themselves thinking of other things and feeling anxious at the beginning of practice. CBD has been proven to help with anxiety and depression. Taking CBD prior to yoga practice can help you relax and focus. You’re able to tune out those common distractions a lot easier and get more from your practice.

Regarding relaxing during yoga and centering, Jamie Hill said, “Connecting the mind with your body-it’s not easy. We’re very busy. We’re bombarded with the busy life, and the busy life is the good life! People don’t like to slow down. They like to keep moving. Even in yoga, it’s normal thinking about other things you should be doing. But we struggle to just be in the moment and focus on ourselves.”

Suggested CBD use – tincture 30 minutes before yoga

2. Improved Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death, according to the CDC. The most common cardiovascular system conditions include chronic rheumatic heart disease, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, and diseases of the arteries, arterioles, and capillaries. Research has shown CBD has anti-apoptotic (prevents cell death), anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects which have been studied for its impact on the cardiovascular system. CBD has shown promising therapeutic results for patients with cardiovascular disease, as CBD lowers blood pressure and inflammation. CBD has also shown that it can induce vasorelaxation, or reduce the tension of blood vessel walls. When tension is reduced on the blood vessel walls, blood pressure goes down. By helping reduce the tension of the blood vessel walls and lowering blood pressure, this allows for the heart to not have to work as hard. Since yoga can be a physically demanding activity, improved heart health is a major benefit.

Jamie explains, “Yoga is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Each time I do yoga it’s a different experience. While yoga can be slow and relaxing, it is also very demanding on the cardiovascular system. This is why our breathing is so important. We focus on our breath throughout the practice which is directly impacted by our heart health.”

Suggested CBD use – tincture 30 minutes before yoga

3. Pain and Inflammation Relief

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Once that problem is healed, the pain goes away. Chronic pain is different. Your body can hurt for weeks, months, or even years after an injury. Doctors often define chronic pain as any pain that lasts for 3 to 6 months or more. Pain lasting this long can, of course, have serious effects on your day-to-day life or ability to do yoga. The most common method of dealing with pain involves taking a medication such as an opioid. Many people seeking a safer more natural method to treating pain and inflammation are turning to CBD.

The main reason why CBD is supported in the treatment of neuropathic (chronic) pain is due to its ability to suppress inflammatory pain by targeting certain receptors throughout the body.  According to researchers, CBD is believed to interact with receptors in your brain and immune system. The receptors in our body are tiny proteins attached to our cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help our cells respond to that stimuli.

Jamie had a sports injury a few years ago. “Years of dance came with the cost of chronic hip pain. That pain was preventing me from enjoying yoga and being able to practice at the high-level I was trying to achieve. At times I felt I was limited in my practice due to the pain. CBD helps me be able to breathe through some uncomfortable moves and hold poses longer. Topical CBD is great if you have a sore area and you apply it before yoga, it will help relax that muscle and tension.”

Suggested CBD use – tincture 30 minutes before yoga

4. Increased Flexibility

CBD reduces inflammation, which allows you to move your joints more freely, directly increasing flexibility. There are several benefits of increased flexibility:

  • you’ll be able to go deeper into poses
  • reduces your risk of injury
  • lowers demands on your joints (especially your knees, hips, and shoulders)
  • faster recovery from daily aches and pains, injuries, and surgeries
  • increased stamina to hold poses longer as your muscles aren’t struggling as much

According to Jamie, “Flexibility is an integral component of yoga. When most people start yoga, their flexibility is very limited. It takes a lot of time and effort to train your body to become more flexible. If your joints are inflammed it’s even harder! Since CBD reduces inflammation it’s a great way to assist your body to achieve the level of flexibility required for the physical demands of yoga.”

Suggested CBD use: topical after yoga

5. Faster Recovery

Yoga can be a very relaxing way to exercise, but it’s also hard work. A one-hour long practice can include several push-ups, planks, core-engaging moves, and other strenuous muscular- strengthening movements. These moves contract various muscle groups that cause microscopic tears and injuries. These injuries cause soreness and pain. It should come as no surprise that you’ll feel the work you’ve done. Taking CBD after can help with recovery by preventing pain from returning. That way, you’ll be ready again for tomorrow’s practice.

With regards to recovery, Jaime explains, “After doing yoga is also a great time to take CBD. When we exercise, we cause oxygenated stress on our bodies. This stress causes inflammation which CBD helps reduce. I have found that tincture CBD can help with this greatly. After yoga apply topical CBD can help with the recovery of your muscles, and tightness or soreness. Topical CBD also helps with keeping my muscles feeling relaxed after practice.”

Suggested CBD use: topical after yoga

Could CBD Improve Your Yoga Practice?

We believe that CBD is one of the best supplements to help support your yoga practice. Keep in mind that CBD isn’t a miracle “cure,” and you should take CBD consistently for at least a week and see if you feel any different or notice any changes. If you have any experience supplementing CBD with your yoga practice, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!