As a native Angeleno and longtime yoga devotee, I’m no stranger to some of SoCal's more woo-woo proclivities. And since recreational marijuana became legal this year, it was only a matter of time before yet another new wellness trend emerged to pique my interest. That’s what led me to brave rush-hour traffic from Santa Monica to Mystic Rebel Yoga’s Downtown studio with vape pen and crystal water bottle in hand.
So, what is stoned yoga exactly?
It’s pretty much what it sounds like—a yoga class you’re encouraged to take while under the influence of marijuana. But you won’t find bong circles or Bob Marley posters here. Instead, it’s an intimate setting where a vape pen is as essential as a mat.
And you, um, actually get high before class?
Yep. You’re welcome to smoke a joint or enjoy a tincture, edible or glass of THC-infused wine before taking the class. Any way you like to get your buzz is welcome. Just don’t plan to smoke in the class unless you have a vape pen...because come on, guys, this isn’t a dorm room.
Is that it?
Well, no. There’s also the yoga part. But don’t worry, the intimate class isn’t of the power yoga variety. Instead of high-intensity sun salutations and tricky arm balances, Mystic Rebel’s stoned yoga class focuses on grounding through breath and stretching the parts of your body in need of some THC TLC. It’s chill enough for non-yogis and vinyasa vets to easily participate.
Interesting. And can anyone join?
Not exactly. In accordance with California law, class attendees must be 21 or older.
So, what was it like?
I was intrigued but slightly nervous about the prospect of doing physical exercise in such close proximity to other inebriated humans. (Hey, I’m an anxious person.) But I bit the bullet and began my journey to DTLA.
Following the scent of essential oils wafting through the hallway of an unsuspecting office building, I passed ironic “no marijuana smoking” signs and found a carpeted oasis filled with everyone from 20-somethings with blue Kylie Jenner hair to sensible women of a certain age. I was met by Ashlee, the founder behind the stoned yoga experience, who encouraged me to get comfortable. Others around me unabashedly vaped while Ashlee coached us up off our backs and into a cat-cow series.
The series primarily comprised simple floor poses (no warrior three or headstands here) with a focus on hip openers and twists. We held each pose for ten or so breaths, which lulled me into relaxation and melted my tension away.
It felt partially like a really good stretching session and partially like an hour-long meditation. And after leaving, I felt longer and more grounded than usual and noticed myself smiling while I enjoyed some post-yoga tea. It wasn’t the workout I was expecting, but it did make me feel like I’d spent a day at the spa.
So will I do stoned yoga again? Sure. But next time I’m bringing some friends and taking an Uber, because even the most blissful yoga sesh can’t cure traffic on the 405.