Looking for a moment of bliss? Try using CBD as part of your yoga practice.
Many of us experience anxiety at some point, whether through work or personal pressures, or simply daily life getting too much.
According to charity Mind, one in four people will experience some form of mental health problems in the UK, with mixed anxiety and depression and generalised anxiety disorder the most common conditions. These mental health problems can be challenging to manage, which is why most sufferers use a combination of tools. One of the most popular remedies, however, is yoga.
Focusing on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost mental and physical health, not only is yoga great for soothing the mind in the short term, but it also teaches practitioners how to address their anxiety in the longer term too.
To boost the benefits even further, yoga pairs perfectly with another of our favourite relaxation tools – CBD. It has long been documented that CBD can have a positive effect in those suffering with anxiety, increasing serotonin and interacting with receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
Let’s start at the very beginning – this partnership has a history. Cannabis is a sacred plant in India, where yoga originated, and has been smoked by Saddhus (wandering holy men) in conjunction with yoga practices for centuries.
If you’ve always wanted to try yoga but struggled due to a pre-existing condition, CBD could be the solution to help get your practice underway. The remedy has been shown to relieve chronic pain, with one 2018 review finding that CBD was effective in overall pain management for conditions including cancer, neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia, while presenting no negative side effects.
By easing the symptoms of chronic pain, CBD can allow sufferers to fully partake in a yoga practice and begin to reap the benefits the exercise can bring to their condition.
Whether you’re a yoga novice or a long-time practitioner, it’s not uncommon to suffer from aches and pains after a session. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can relieve you of these issues.
A 2016 study looked at the effect the remedy on rats, finding that topical gel reduced joint swelling with no significant side effects. With no niggles playing on your mind, you’re able to move freely and quieten your mind, making Savasana – the final relaxation period in yoga – much more rejuvenating.
While the main reason many of us partake in yoga is to ease anxiety, it can be difficult to shake thoughts and feelings enough to allow us to fully commit to the practice – this is where CBD can help.
As mentioned above, studies have found that the remedy alone can reduce our anxiety levels. In a study from 2010, for example, subjects with social anxiety disorder were given CBD and tested using statistical parametric mapping (a method used to record brain activity). They showed lowered anxiety levels as well as significant activity in the brain areas associated with emotions and motivation.
By decreasing these anxious feelings, users will find it easier to rid their mind of negative thoughts and focus solely on the soothing benefits of yoga.
And the benefits don’t stop as soon as your session does – CBD can also help to prolong the feelings of bliss obtained during Savasana. When we feel good, our brain produces a neurotransmitter called Anandamide, which is broken down quickly in the body and so doesn’t offer a perpetual state of bliss. CBD, however, has been found to suppress the enzymes that break down Anandamide, therefore creating longer lasting effects.
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