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Yoga under the influence

Is purity required to practice? Or is pot-smoking, part of yoga's spiritual past, welcome in the present?

pot and yogaCan cannabis improve your practice? That’s the claim made by a handful of yogis in Toronto (and Burning Man?) who say yoga’s spiritual relationship to pot is centuries-old, reports the Globe and Mail.

“When you’re high, you can focus better on your breath,” says Dee Dussault, who runs a monthly session of cannabis-enhanced yoga called Follow Your Bliss. “For some people, it makes them uninhibited and open to the idea of the heart chakra, for example.” Another yogi finds that “marijuana quells those voices in your mind.”

I thought that’s why I take yoga classes?

Not to get all goody-goody about pot use before practice (or during class if you live in Canada), but I think my New York City yoga teachers would be somewhat pissed to learn that I wasn’t really learning to focus on my breath—or being totally present—but using pot as a prop. Not to mention that my altered states of tree pose could knock over a row of yogis.

Is purity required to practice? Or is pot-smoking, part of yoga’s spiritual past, welcome in the present?