Getting the Chance to Become One with Your CBD

Getting the Chance to Become One with Your CBD

If there are two things that we are taught that can benefit both our minds and bodies, they are yoga and meditation.  Both of these ancient practices have been around for thousands of years, and only now has science caught up at last. 

Now, most of us are stressed out due to having to juggle jobs, family lives, social lives and financial responsibilities.  That’s why it’s so important to make the time for both yoga and meditation in our daily lives.  And, it’s also crucial to uncover ways to maximize these practices.  Why?  Well, in order to feel even more fulfilled as a result of making them parts of our daily routine.

In fact, one way that wellness enthusiasts are getting more out of their yoga and meditation practices are by incorporating cannabidiol (CBD) into their regimens.  That’s right – the hemp-based product that everyone is talking about might be able to take your meditation and yoga practices to the next level. 

Meditation and Yoga: Benefits Galore!

Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with the unique benefits involved when we practice yoga and meditation.  Now, for those who don’t know the difference between the two, allow us to briefly explain.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India.  The term "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit root "yuj”, which means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

Yoga encompasses a wide range of practices and disciplines, but it's often associated with the following:

  1. Asanas (Postures): Physical poses designed to improve strength, flexibility, and balance while promoting physical well-being.
  2. Pranayama (Breath Control): Techniques aimed at mastering and controlling the breath, believed to influence the flow of prana (life energy) in the body.
  3. Meditation and Mindfulness: Practices focused on calming the mind, enhancing concentration, and promoting a state of mental peace and clarity.
  4. Philosophy and Ethics: Yoga is also deeply connected to philosophical systems and principles, such as the Yamas and Niyamas, which provide ethical guidelines for living.

Yoga has evolved over thousands of years and has branched into various styles and schools, each emphasizing different aspects and techniques.  Some of the well-known styles include Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Iyengar Yoga.

In the modern world, yoga is popular as a form of physical exercise, stress relief, and a means to achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle.  However, for many people, it remains a profound path of spiritual growth and self-realization.

Yoga Benefits

Yoga offers a wide range of benefits for both physical and mental health.  Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Improves Flexibility: Yoga involves a variety of poses that stretch your muscles. Regular practice can lead to increased flexibility.
  2. Builds Strength: Many yoga poses require you to bear your body weight in new ways, including balancing on one leg or supporting yourself with your arms. This builds strength.
  3. Increases Muscle Tone: As a byproduct of getting stronger, you can expect to see increased muscle tone. Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles.
  4. Improves Balance: The practice of yoga often includes balancing poses. These encourage you to focus on your alignment and to find your center.
  5. Supports Joint Health: The movements necessary for yoga are low impact, allowing you to use your joints without injuring them. Yoga also helps strengthen the muscles around the joints, reducing their load.
  6. Prevents Back Pain: Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. Many people who have back pain spend a lot of time sitting at a computer or driving a car, which can cause tightness and spinal compression.  Yoga counteracts these conditions.
  7. Teaches Better Breathing: Most of us take shallow breaths and don't give much thought to how we breathe. Yoga breathing exercises, called pranayama, focus your attention on breathing and teach you how to take deeper breaths, which benefits the entire body.
  8. Fosters Mental Calmness: Yoga asana practice is intensely physical. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness to the mind. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as how to focus on your breath and disengage from your thoughts.
  9. Reduces Stress: Many workplaces now offer lunch-time yoga sessions because it's been shown that yoga is an amazing stress buster. Any type of exercise is good for relieving stress, but yoga seems to be particularly good for reducing stress.
  10. Increases Body Awareness: The more you practice yoga, the more you become aware of your body and its needs. This heightened awareness can carry over to mealtime as you savor each bite or sip, and note how food smells, tastes, and feels in your mouth.
  11. Encourages Mindfulness: The focus on the present moment and awareness of one's thoughts and breathing patterns in yoga can contribute to increased mindfulness even outside of practice.
  12. Promotes Better Sleep: The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, reduce stress, and improve sleep patterns.
  13. Boosts Immunity: The movements and breathing exercises in yoga improve the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, which can boost the immune system.
  14. Improves Posture: Yoga strengthens core muscles, which helps you stand and sit straight, giving you better posture.
  15. Increases Energy and Mood: Regular yoga practice provides consistent energy. In fact, most yogis state that when they perform yoga regularly, they actually feel more energized. It's also been shown to improve mood and may help with depression and anxiety.

It's worth noting that the benefits of yoga can vary with different styles and depend on the commitment and understanding of the practitioner.  Regular practice under the guidance of a qualified instructor can ensure the best results.Top of Form

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.  It has been practiced since antiquity in numerous religious traditions and beliefs, often as part of the path towards enlightenment and self-realization.

The various techniques of meditation can include:

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Originating from Buddhist teachings, this involves paying attention to thoughts as they pass through the mind without judgment. The practitioner simply observes and takes note of any patterns.
  2. Concentration Meditation: This involves focusing on a single point. This could entail following the breath, repeating a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame, or counting beads on a mala.  The intention is to refocus the mind on the chosen object of attention whenever it wanders.
  3. Transcendental Meditation: A specific form of mantra meditation introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It involves the use of a mantra and is practiced for 15–20 minutes twice per day while sitting with one's eyes closed.
  4. Guided Meditation/Visualization: In this form of meditation, one forms mental images of places or situations they find relaxing, often guided by a teacher or an audio guide, trying to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds, and textures.
  5. Movement Meditation: This is an active form of meditation where the movement guides you. This can include walking through the woods, gardening, qigong, and other gentle forms of motion.
  6. Loving-kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation): The practitioner focuses on developing feelings of goodwill, kindness, and warmth towards others. They typically open the mind to receiving loving-kindness and then send wishes of loving-kindness to the world, specific people, or their loved ones.

Meditation Benefits

Meditation is used to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and increase peace, perception, self-concept, and well-being.  Research is ongoing to better understand the effects of meditation on health (psychological, neurological, and cardiovascular) and other areas.  Here’s what we know about it so far though in terms of key benefits:

  1. Stress Reduction: One of the most well-known benefits of meditation is stress reduction. Studies have shown that meditation can decrease levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can reduce feelings of stress and promote a sense of calmness.
  2. Enhanced Emotional Health: Regular meditation can lead to an improved self-image and a more positive outlook on life. Certain forms of meditation can lead to an improved mood and lower rates of depression and anxiety.
  3. Improved Concentration: Many forms of meditation involve focusing attention and eliminating the stream of jumbled thoughts. This practice can help improve your concentration and attention span.
  4. Increased Self-Awareness: Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self. It can foster a greater awareness of your thoughts and feelings, helping you to notice harmful or self-defeating patterns.
  5. Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle: Some people find that meditation helps them develop other healthy habits and feelings, like a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns, and even increased pain tolerance.
  6. Improved Sleep: Meditation can help relax your body, release tension, and place you in a peaceful state in which you're more likely to fall asleep.
  7. Pain Management: Some research suggests that meditation can help reduce symptoms of pain and can be a complement to medical care, particularly for chronic pain.
  8. Decreased Blood Pressure: Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart. Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function.  Meditation can lead to relaxation, which can reduce blood pressure.
  9. Enhanced Connectivity: Meditation can improve relationships with oneself and others, increasing feelings of connectedness and empathy.
  10. Neuroplasticity: Some studies suggest that meditation can change the brain's structure and function, promoting areas associated with cognition, empathy, and learning, while reducing areas associated with stress and anxiety.

Note: While meditation can be a powerful tool, it's not a panacea.  It's most effective when used alongside other healthy behaviors and treatments.

Why Take CBD for Yoga and Meditation Practices?

Taking CBD for yoga and meditation practices is becoming increasingly popular due to the potential benefits cannabidiol may offer in enhancing the overall experience. In fact, there are numerous reasons why individuals might opt to incorporate CBD into their yoga and meditation routines.  Before we get into those, keep in mind that while many people report positive effects of cannabidiol, its efficacy can vary based on individual factors like dosage, the specific product used, and individual biology.  Before starting any new supplement, including cannabidiol, it's crucial to consult with your doctor/physician first, especially if you’ve underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Also, for all these reasons we will be covering, CBD is believed to interact with receptors in the central nervous system.  It could influence the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has a large part in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and more.  The effects of CBD though can vary from person to person.  Some individuals may find it helps with one thing, while others may not experience any noticeable benefits.

Reason #1: Stress and Anxiety Reduction

CBD is reputed for its calming effects.  Some studies suggest that CBD may help alleviate anxiety, however, research is still in its early stages, and more studies are needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on anxiety and stress.

Still, from anecdotal evidence, CBD may help in reducing stress and anxiety levels, making it easier to enter a peaceful state of mind during yoga and meditation.  Specifically, it's thought to impact serotonin signals as well.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has a significant role in mental health; low serotonin levels are associated with depression and anxiety.

Reason #2: Enhanced Focus and Concentration

CBD might improve focus and concentration by reducing the distraction of discomfort or anxiety, allowing for a more mindful and present yoga or meditation session.

Reason #3: Pain and Inflammation Relief

CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and may provide pain relief, which can be particularly beneficial for those practicing yoga, as it might help in easing muscle tension and improving flexibility and comfort during poses.

  • Pain Relief: Some studies suggest that CBD may help reduce pain perception in various conditions, including chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and arthritis. However, the degree of pain relief can vary from person to person, and not everyone experiences the same level of benefit.
  • Inflammation: CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and may help mitigate inflammation in certain conditions, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. These effects may be related to its interaction with the ECS and other anti-inflammatory pathways.

Reason #4: Improved Sleep Quality

A good night's sleep is crucial for restorative yoga practice and for profound meditation.  CBD may aid in improving sleep patterns, ensuring that practitioners are well-rested and more present.  Specifically, some early research suggests that CBD may influence the regulation of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.  REM sleep is an important stage of the sleep cycle associated with dreaming, and disruptions in REM sleep can affect overall sleep quality.

Reason #5: Mood Enhancement

Regular yoga and meditation are known to improve mood and mental well-being.  The use of CBD might complement these practices by potentially enhancing one's mood and providing a sense of calm and well-being.

Reason #6: Mind-Body Connection

Both yoga and meditation focus on the connection between mind & body.  CBD's potential to alleviate physical discomfort and calm the mind might support this connection, making the practices more effective and enjoyable.

How to Take CBD Prior to Your Yoga and Meditation Practices

As you can see, taking CBD before your yoga and meditation practices can potentially enhance your experience by promoting relaxation, easing discomfort, and aiding in focus.  However, it's important to use CBD responsibly and be aware of how it interacts with your body.  So, here are some guidelines on how to take CBD before your yoga and meditation practices:

  1. Choose the Right Form of CBD: CBD comes in various product forms such as oils, tinctures, capsules, edibles, vapes, and topical solutions. The choice depends on your preference and how quickly you want it to take effect.  Oils and tinctures taken sublingually (under the tongue) typically act faster than edibles or capsules.
  2. Determine the Right Dosage: The appropriate dosage of CBD can vary widely based on factors like your body weight, metabolism, and the concentration of CBD in the product. Start with a low dose, especially if you are new to CBD, and gradually increase it until you find the right amount that works for you.
  3. Ensure Product Quality: Use high-quality CBD products from reputable manufacturers. Look for products that provide third-party lab test results to ensure purity and potency.
  4. Timing is Key: CBD doesn't usually work immediately. If you're taking it orally, it might take 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel the effects. Plan to take it well before your yoga or meditation session.  For faster-acting effects, sublingual application is preferable.
  5. Mind the Environment: Make sure you are in a comfortable and safe environment, especially if you are new to CBD. Understanding how your body reacts to CBD in a familiar setting can help you adjust your dosage and timing.
  6. Monitor Your Experience: Keep a journal to note down the type of CBD you're taking, the dosage, and your experiences during yoga and meditation. This can help you fine-tune your routine.

A New Holistic Approach to Yoga and Meditation Has Arrived!

Remember, CBD is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and its efficacy can vary.  But, knowing what we know about CBD, it makes perfect sense that yoga and meditation enthusiasts would be eager to make this part of their routine.  Taking CBD before yoga and meditation can potentially enhance your practice by promoting relaxation and focus.  So, if you’re trying to maximize your wellness practices, you may want to give CBD a try.