Yoga is both a spiritual and a health practice that has been around for thousands of years. The practice incorporates meditation, breath control, and adopting specific body positions to promote wellness, relaxation, and union with the divine. There are some herbs that yogis could benefit from and are simply must haves for anyone who want to enhance their experience. Here are five herbs that you could benefit from adding to your yoga routine.
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) is great if you are taking up yoga to help with a condition like arthritis or just have a chronically sore joint. Yoga helps to speed blood and synovial fluid to the problem areas, helping to break down the calcified deposits that are contributing to your pain. If you happen to have overdone it a bit in class, try taking some evening primrose. It contains GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), which helps reduce inflammation. Try taking 500mg twice a day. However, it might take a couple of months to see the benefits.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), also known as holy basil, this powerhouse herb is known in India as the “Queen of Herbs” and has been used for centuries. It promotes immunity, stress response, anti-aging and helps to fuel the body’s natural detoxification process. Tulsi is classified as an adaptogen, meaning that it has an impact on reducing the effects of stress on the body. Some studies indicate that it might increase testosterone as well. Take 500mg twice daily to see the adaptogenic and the neurological benefits.
Passion flower (Passiflora incarnate) is one of those herbs that has a multitude of uses. It can help to reduce and eliminate insomnia, calm anxiety, reduce inflammation, and even help with the hot flashes and depression that come with menopause. Some studies even indicate that in the right dose, passion flower may be as effective as some prescription medications at helping with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Try heading to your local health food store to pick up a passion flower tea or use some finely chopped passion flower (about 1 to 2 grams) added to your bath to promote relaxation.
Yoga is a practice that puts us in better touch with ourselves and promotes mind and body awareness. Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) can help to promote this, and cannabis can help ease the initial toughness of many yoga positions. Since yoga also incorporates meditation into the practice, cannabis can go a long way towards promoting that. The two – yoga and cannabis, that is – have been paired together enough that the New York Times reported on the practice. Proponents say that it helps them achieve a deeper relaxation and mindfulness. You might want to consider a 1:1 THC to CBD strain or a strain that has a higher CBD to THC ratio. Take a few puffs from your vaporizer to infuse the room with the power of cannabis.
Astralgia Root (Astragalum membranaceus), also known as Huang Qi, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It is used during post-op to help patients to recover from surgery. When it comes to your yoga practice, astralgia root can help to repair muscle and increase strength and vitality. Astralgia root is also said to help promote immunity. Also an adaptogen herb, astralgia root can help you deal with chemical, emotional, and physical stress. Try taking 250 to 500mg of standardized extract three to four times daily.
Yoga is a practice that can help improve health and improve a person’s spiritual and overall well-being. Herbs can go a long way toward promoting the overall goals most yogis have for their health and wellness. These are just five of the many herbs that a person can use to accentuate their yoga practice. From evening primrose to cannabis, adding these herbs to your daily routine can help enhance the benefits you are already receiving from yoga.
Have you incorporated any herbs into your daily yoga routine? Which ones do you use and which ones have enhanced your practice the most?