Getting High On Yoga

Wow, this post is absolutely terrible. All you’ve done is perpetuate every single stereotype and myth surrounding marijuana.

There is absolutely no link between smoking marjiuana and increased risk of cancer, nor any other degenerative diseases. It does not impair perception, judgement or decrease motivation or concentration for everyone. In fact as a frequent smoker, I find it does the exact opposite. It fuels my creativity, boosts my ability to focus and provides an altered (not impaired) state of perception. And all this tlak about escaping reality and using it as a way to cope with one’s problems is also a stereotype that gets thrown around often. Doing something because you enjoy it does not mean you’re looking for an escape. I agree it can be abused, but those who do that represent such a small portion of marijuana users and its unfair to lump everyone into that same category.

While I don’t doubt that yoga may give someone a sense of being “high” (as I’ve experienced it myself), I don’t see how it relates to drugs. It’s a completely a different experience and they both have very little in common. It’s like comparing runner’s high with the the feeling of being intoxicated with alcohol.

About shoulderstand - if done with the complimentary postures (almost all yoga asana have counterindications, of course) then the hormonal flow is not just increased, but balanced to work with the rest of the endocrine system. But thanks for reminding other readers of this forum that all asana should be done with their own physical challenges in mind, and with honor of the body where it is at.[/QUOTE]

The important complimentary posture of Sarvangasana is Matsyasana. Those who are hypothyroid should try both for equal number of minutes.

Everything we ingest or come in contact with has an effect on consciousness, just as the smell of a rose has a different effect on conscienceness than the smell of garbage, so to does the smell of ganja have a still differing effect. The very act of being in close proximity to a ganja plants and practicing yoga is very auspicious.

Out of all plants, perhaps ganja is the most compatible with yoga practice, as it eases breathing, relaxes muscles, and induces transcendent states of consciousness. I always try to practice asanas and pranayam near ganja plants when I visit Nepal, (where yoga is said to have originated). It is a great source of protein, EFAs omega 3 & 6, and chlorophyll, and I have survived for extended periods of time by eating the leaves and seeds of ganja. Hemp seed is considered a super-food and is the best, and one of the only vegetarian sources for EFA’s. Since eating fish for EFAs is completely unacceptable for human beings (especially yogis), ganja is essential for yoga practice, and the two have historically been linked for thousands of years.

According to the FDA and the [B]codex alimentarius[/B] any food or suppliment which has been studied for health benefits is considered a drug!!
This means that almost everything is a drug. And just is ganja is illegal, it may soon be illegal to grow your own healing vegetables and medicinal herbs without government approval. The codex commission wants to take away your freedom to grow and ingest food, and control the food supply. People gave away freedom to use ganja and other plants and so the codex commission knows it has a chance to dominate. All plants are holy and are gifts from mahadev!

Yoga is thought by many scholars to have came originally from the shamanistic use of ethnobotanicals such as mushrooms(soma) and marijuana (ganja/bhaang), this explains the relationship of intoxicants with Lord Shiva, and the frequent mention of intoxicants in ancient Vedic texts. Psychedelics can contribute to the further evolution and development of the science of consciousness and of yoga practice. Everything in moderation.

“Weed is a catalyst to the process, mentioned above.”

There is a branch of yoga which deals with the use of certain herbs and drugs as a method for the expansion of consciousness, but it is a method which is compatible only with a very rare personality type. Particularly in some methods of tantra yoga which makes use of drugs, before one would even be initiated into such methods - one will have to demonstrate that one has already come to a certain amount of mindfulness and balance. Otherwise, if you are under the influence of certain drugs and are unable to remain absolutely meditative, then you can become a prey to all kinds of hallucinations and delusions. Already, without drugs, man is filled with all kinds of fears, anxieties, neurosis, there is no need to magnify all of this through drugs. So while it is possible to use drugs as a method for the expansion of consciousness in yoga, not unlike a shaman, the reality is that it is only compatible with a very rare personality. In most cases, the intoxication of drugs is only going to distort your clarity, cloud your intelligence, and contribute to one’s unconsciousness.

Suppression or indulgence with awareness; if the intent of using spleef is to enjoy the pleasurable intoxicating effects perhaps one is stepping further not closer towards realization of Truth, examine how it affects awareness, since that will be a necessary means in the science of expanding ones consciousness.

Hello friends,

I have joined the group today and I found this article very interesting. I have been practicing some yoga for about an year now and I do feel high throughout the day. Since I have not done any yoga before this year and had limited knowledge on the subject, I was unaware of some facts and would be thankful if you could put some light on it.

I am from India and here many “gurus” teach courses where they teach some kriyas (which are a combination of some asanas and pranayamas). As a physical and mental health is concerned I have found that doing yoga is actually very good. But the problem here in India is that these “gurus” create a mystic dimension to it and use threats by spreading false notions about the whole science of yoga.

The place where I learnt the kriya was the same. The guru whose video was shown to us on a projector told us that you are getting initiated in to the process (supposedly he was initiating us from the screen of the projector !!!) and we should not disclose the process to anyone otherwise it will lead to “bad consequences”. I could not digest it. I found it a powerful busines model where you sell a product for 1500 Rs. (which works as it is scientific but you sell it in the garb that the guru has given you something special) and then because you are threatened you will not share it with anyone but will ask people to go and learn it from the organization.

So well this is one side. I did some research to understand what was happeing within me and try to understand the science behind it (minus the bullshit of reaching a goal of enlightenment). I would like to tell you what asanas I do and in what sequence:

1.) I begin with sukha asana or the butterfly
2.) followed by shishupal asana or rock the baby
3.) followed by three sets of cat streatch
4.) then analom vilom pranayama or alternate nostril for around 5 minutes
5.) followed by chanting aum for 21 times
6.) After this focusing my attention between the brows and inhaling exhaling at a fast pace for a minute or two
7.) finishing it off with the tri-bandhas
8.) then sitting in meditation for around 8-10 minutes

This whole process has lead to a fuller breath (called the full yogi breath) Now I breath from my daiyaphram so which implies slow sustained breath

Also another thing which has happened is that I get a “high” in my head like the high or relaxation one gets from smoking cigarettes and marijuana.

Do you people also after practicing yoga for so long feel the same high and relaxation as I feel or is the process as I described above unique and different ? I am sorry for my ignorance on the subject but it is this same ignorance that these so called “spiritual masters” make use of to lure people to come to the ashrams. I have seen families breaking up and people leaving there families and children to follow these gurus and it is very disturbing. Please if anyone can tell me the scientific truth about yoga and how does this work I will be very thankful

it’s a natural pain reliever too and the moving of hormones through the body relieves many tensions

it’s possible to get high from running from the endorphins released.

YES! love this post, all very true. There are many other options to happiness that are not choosing drugs which only cause more problems. Yoga is an amazing art that can have incredible benefits.

I enjoyed reading this articles Thanks

Weed may make you feel good but it is illegal and…
Yoga makes you feel good but it is more subtle if you use weed the feeling from yoga will not be as strongly noticed. IMHO

when i first started practicing i was 16…and i felt that high. I would leave the class feeling dizzy, warm, good and it was unreal. I’m 26 now, i don’t smoke weed but i also don’t feel that high anymore. I feel more of a steady relaxation throughout every day life. I practice about 6 times a week. This “drug” being yoga must be working because my life just naturally feels better all together. If more people new about this, they wouldn’t have to actually get “high” all the time. Its a fantastic feeling.

I don’t think you should take a drug and then practice yoga. I think yoga is suppose to be a pure experience.

Thank you to the person who listed their sequence. About 20 years ago I did a sequence and got quite blissed from it. Unfortunately I dabbled on to other practices and couldn’t quite remember the blissful sequence. I wish I had it back. It was quite an experience.

Good stuff!

This was incredibly interesting and informative. Thank you for sharing this!

As a new member, mesmerized by the fact this is the first article I’ve read here, and dew to the fact i was born to a yogi father had never had the need to compare yoga to any other thing on this planet, which i find is also the essence of the unity I can say, the whole idea of comparing is a bit too rational for me, still a fact that totally did not affect my pleasure from reading it! Thank you so much for writing and publishing. It was right on spot. As usual : )

[QUOTE=YogiDiva;50229]With the popularity of shows like Weeds and the prevalence of drug addiction in our world, both prescribed and unprescribed, its safe to say that people are looking for a way to get ?high.? In fact, The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of HHS have sponsored several national surveys to track drug use trends and found that in the past decade drug use from the age of twelve onward has increased by over 12%. You read that right, prepubescent girls and boys are looking for a way to cope with this crazy world we live in, and often choose drugs to do it. There is, fortunately, a method of raising our energy, feeling ?high? without the residual downside of most drugs, and without the addiction that accompanies most pharmaceutical and street remedies alike. Put simply, its yoga.

Yoga may seem like an odd solution, but it has a remarkable effect on our bodies and minds. Many of us look to get ?high?, to escape the drudgery of every day life, to run from the gapping hole we feel as we become disenchanted with reality or forget the nature of our true Self. This Self, often referred to as the Soul, houses an infinite amount of natural energy because it is connected to a larger, universal source. Some call it God. But let?s put that word aside for now, and just look at this psychological need for elevation from a purely physical perspective.

We all have an innate desire to feel good, and to avoid pain. We long for a taste of ecstasy and we go after it using food, sex, drink, drugs or any substance we think will help us arrive at a pleasurable state. Let?s look at one substance, for example, marijuana, to understand its effects on the brain and body. The active ingredient in Marijuana, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabino), affects the brain on several levels. Though many users experience different reactions to Marijuana, it has a relatively universal effect on the brain. THC binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, causing reactions through the body. The distribution of the receptors, which react to THC in each person, is relatively uneven, so some people experience a massive loss of function while others are less affected. Regardless, most people report a sensation of feeling happy, or at the bare minimum, unaffected by life?s usual discomforts.

Before we continue, let me assure you this is not an article written either for or against any drug, whether legal, illegal, pharmaceutical or natural. Many drugs have a positive use in our society, but they also have some unpleasant side effects. THC for example, will bring its most profound short-term effects to its user within ten minutes and wear off within about three hours, however, however, it tends to linger on within the body. THC is a fat-soluble substance and will accumulate in fatty tissues in the liver, lungs, testes, and other organs. Two days after smoking marijuana, one-quarter of the THC content may still be retained. It will show up in urine tests three days after use, and traces may be picked up by sensitive blood tests two to four weeks later. Why is this a problem? THC affects memory and learning ability. It limits the capacity of the brain to absorb and retain information. Further, Chronic marijuana smokers are prey to chest colds, bronchitis, emphysema, and bronchial asthma, and marijuana can also delay the onset of puberty in young men and reduce sperm production. When pregnant women smoke pot, they run the risk of having a baby with reduced birth weight and some studies point to developmental delays in children of marijuana users. With all the positive feelings that marijuana produces, there are a bevy of side effects which one might deem undesirable, including:

? Diminished short-term memory
? Impaired perception
? Loss of concentration and coordination
? Impaired judgment
? Increased risk of accidents
? Loss of motivation
? Diminished inhibitions
? Increased heart rate
? Anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia
? Hallucinations
? Damage to the respiratory, reproductive, and immune systems
? Increased risk of cancer
? Psychological dependency

Without going into a similar discussion of other drugs commonly used, including alcohol, and their residual effects after the ?high? has worn off, let us continue our inquiry into the human need to get ?high.?

Abraham Maslow discussed the human need for self-actualization in great depth. His is a theory of psychology based on a paper written in 1943 called A Theory of Motivation. Briefly, people broke down our needs into basic or what he called ?deficiency needs? which must be met before we develop the will to fulfill needs at a secondary or higher level. Once our deficiency needs are met, we strive for constant betterment. Maslow described physiological needs, which are the literal necessities for our survival such as air, water, food, clothing and shelter. Next come our safety needs, which include a predictable, orderly world in which perceived unfairness and inconsistency are in control. Most of the world is still struggling to meet needs at the most basic level. If you are living on two dollars a day and don?t have any shelter, you aren?t worried about having a savings account, job security, or an insurance policy.

Our next set of needs is based on love and belonging. This includes friendship, intimacy, and family. All our social connections provide fulfillment (or a lack thereof) of our need to belong and feel loved. Loneliness, and depression are often the result of not having this level of need met.

Following love and belonging is the need to be respected and have self-respect. Maslow calls this the need for Esteem. Finally, Maslow describes Self-actualization. This is the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything one is capable of becoming.

Later, Claire Graves expanded on Maslow?s hierarchy of needs by describing Spiral Dynamics. The underlying idea of Spiral Dynamics is that human nature is not fixed: humans are able, when forced by circumstances, to adapt to their environment by constructing new, more complex, conceptual models of the world that allow them to handle the new problems. An important property of these models is that each new one includes and extends all previous models. These conceptual models are organized around vMemes: systems of core values or collective intelligences, applicable to both individuals and entire cultures. The term vMeme is used in spiral dynamics for a core value system, acting as an organizing principle.

In the modern world, structured as it is, there is ample opportunity for a human being to be denied one or more of her basic needs. This leads to a grasping for an artificial substance to fill the perceived gap. A need is temporarily perceived as filled while using a drug, but often the absence of whatever true missing aspect of life is exaggerated when the drug wears off. Yoga practice is one of the few systems that address a need without the accompanying side effects.

To be more specific, sustaining poses such as sarvangasana (shoulder stand) stimulates the release of hormones in the thyroid and parathyroid. A natural squeezing of the glands occurs as the blood pressure builds and the glands produce more of their hormone. This results in increased cell metabolism.

The physical body depends on these chemical reactions, such as creating energy from the consumption of glucose, in order to operate. When the posture is done there are increased levels of hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin, to name a few, released in the blood stream. Therefore, we are providing the body with the needed chemical nutrients essential to sustaining a working internal environment. These hormones are normally released due to the managing eye of the hypothalamus or the ingestion of food. With the posture, you have a hand in this otherwise subconscious process. Just this one asana (posture) leads to increased feelings of well-being and homeostasis in the body. Every posture in yoga has a correlative effect on the endocrine glands and their proper functioning.

This does not eliminate the necessity for what Maslow calls ?deficiency needs.? We still need food and water and air and shelter. What yoga does provide; however, is a way to feel the higher states of need-fulfillment without resorting to illicit substance. It may be assumed that every human being has a tendency to actualize himself ? to become his potentialities. This need is so strong, in fact, that even when we are missing some of the lower rungs on Maslow?s ladder of need fulfillment, we try to fulfill our desire, fumbling horribly along the way. The use of alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. that do not lead to the originally sought-after goal of self-actualization, are just fruitless attempts at bandaging the wound of the human psyche.

To attempt to self-actualize with poor choices and substances that do not really address our true needs is also human. It is a groping in the dark for something to stop the pain, but yoga provides an actual remedy. It is not an hyperbolic statement. Yoga is a means to actualize the Self. Adepts and sages called this Enlightenment. Modern psychology calls it something else, but it is the Universal need to feel connected to all others, to feel a sense of Oneness and Individuality simultaneously. It is our need to be ?high.?[/QUOTE]

Very good post! Thank you! :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=YogaIsrael;87628]As a new member, mesmerized by the fact this is the first article I’ve read here, and dew to the fact i was born to a yogi father had never had the need to compare yoga to any other thing on this planet, which i find is also the essence of the unity I can say, the whole idea of comparing is a bit too rational for me, still a fact that totally did not affect my pleasure from reading it! Thank you so much for writing and publishing. It was right on spot. As usual : )[/QUOTE]

You are doing well yourself, we’d like to hear more.