In a world where mental health problems are on the rise, the pressures on us are ever growing and stress is a normal occurrence for many people, it is important that we look after both our physical and mental well-being. Giving ourselves time to relax and look after ourselves is essential in the world today if we are hoping to live long and healthy lives and yoga is the ideal way to start to do this.
Although originally coming from the Indus-Sarasvati region in northern India, yoga is now practised and loved all around the world. Its focus is on bringing harmony between the mind and body, strengthening it both mentally and physically.
Yoga can help to reduce stress through three different aspects – the asana or pose itself which requires a co-ordination between the body and mind, breathing techniques and meditation or mindfulness. These three combined, help to strengthen the body and mind at the same time and take those stress levels down a few notches.
But what if there was a way to make yoga even more effective for both our body and mind?
How does CBD affect the human body?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the natural compounds which is present in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (or Tetrahydrocannabinol), it will not make you feel high when it is taken, but it will have other effects on you.
CBD is a cannabinoid which can interact with the endocannabinoid system in your body. This is a system which keeps your body in balance, regulating a number of factors including mood, pain, the nervous system and the immune system. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids but often these could do with a top up, and this is where CBD comes in.
CBD is a cannabinoid – like an endocannabinoid, but not made in the human body – which can give your endocannabinoid system a lift. It can help the body to function at optimal levels and keep you in tip top health and is safe and non-addictive. Although it is possible to take too much CBD for what you want, nobody has ever died from taking an overdose.
CBD for better yoga
Taking CBD regularly is a great way to help your body to stay fit and healthy through maintaining that delicate inner balance that a properly functioning endocannabinoid system can give you.
It can also help some more specific aspects to the body, and there are a number of other ways that CBD can help you to make your yoga more effective.
1. Relaxation of the mind
We’ve all been there. Trying to concentrate on holding the pose and keep our mind empty but all we can think about is the fact that we forgot to feed the dog or how to deal with a stressful situation at work.
One of the effects of CBD is that it is anxiolytic – meaning that it can help to reduce anxiety and relax the mind. It can help you to concentrate, and feel calmer, letting the zen wash over you and letting you focus on being in the present.
2. Pain relief
It certainly isn’t the case that taking CBD will turn you into a yoga guru, but it can help with pain relief during and after your session. CBD is anti-inflammatory, meaning that it can help to reduce joint and muscle pain in a subtle way, allowing you more flexibility and gently helping you to get the most out of your yoga session.
And when your body is feeling the effects after the session, CBD can help to sooth aching muscles. In fact, it is becoming an ever more popular natural pain relief option for athletes.
3. It can give you energy
Taking CBD isn’t like drinking a can of energy drink or even getting a caffeine boost. But it can help you to feel more energetic by making the cells in the body stronger. This means that you will feel more motivated and have a strong, deeper energy that comes from being fit and healthy, and giving you that extra push during your yoga session.
4. It can prolong that feeling of bliss
When we are feeling good – like we do after a yoga session – the human brain produces and then releases Anandamide – a neurotransmitter which is also known as the ‘bliss molecule’.
It is this that gives us that wonderful feeling that we get after a great yoga session. CBD inhibits the breakdown of Anandamide, meaning that its effect can be enhanced and stay in our system for more time, prolonging its effect and making you feel great for longer.
How to take CBD
CBD can be taken through a range of delivery methods. Each have their pros and cons and most people have their preferred method. However, the beauty of CBD and its products is that you have a choice of how and when you want to take it.
Many people like to inhale their CBD through a vaporiser or e-pen. This doesn’t have the dangers of smoking, but, due to the fact that it enters the bloodstream through the lungs, it comes into effect very quickly.
· Sublingual drops or spray
Some people like to take CBD through drops or a spray under the tongue. When the CBD oil is under the tongue it should be held there for about a minute so that it can become absorbed into the bloodstream through the lining of the mouth. This means that is can come into effect quickly, just in time for your yoga session to begin.
· CBD Edibles
Whether you prefer to take your CBD through a capsule or by eating CBD infused food (you’ll be surprised at the range available!), CBD edibles are a popular way to enjoy the benefits of CBD, although it does take a longer time to take into effect compared to some of the other methods – it can be up to about 2 hours. Other than capsules, CBD edibles include gummies, chocolate, baked goods and even drinks.
· CBD Topicals
A popular way that athletes are using CBD is through topical use – creams, gels, oils or balms that are rubbed onto the skin. By taking CBD this way, it doesn’t actually go into the bloodstream, but it goes directly into the area that you want it to. It can be rubbed into painful joints or muscles to help to reduce inflammation and ease pain.
Although there is a lot of positive press around CBD at the moment, it is important to know that taking CBD won’t suddenly turn you into a superhuman. What it can do, however, is boost your general health and help you to get the most out of your yoga session. If you are interested in finding out how CBD can help you, check out our how to buy CBD online guide.
Whether you are doing yoga for a stronger body, a stronger mind or a greater balance and harmony between the two and in your whole body, CBD is perfectly placed to help you to achieve these goals and find your personal zen.