The populous, diverse City of San Francisco, California has long enjoyed a reputation as a center of trendy movements. For example, during the brief heyday of the Hippies during the late 1960s, the Haight-Ashbury district became a magnet for advocates of Flower Power, a Utopian vision of society, until growing crime and drug addiction problems destroyed the neighborhood’s allure for many young people. Now, some residents of San Francisco hope to develop a fashionable new type of Yoga.
Practiced in several specialized forms in India for centuries, Yoga exercises today appeal to many people seeking better health, limberness and mental relaxation. Various Yoga traditions enjoy a sizeable international following. Dee Dussault of San Francisco has offered classes in a completely new style of yoga since 2009. “Ganja Yoga” combines traditional Hatha Yoga routines with smoking marijuana before assuming the postures. Reportedly, many residents of the City have signed up to take classes in this (for people the United States) new and unorthodox form of exercise.
Dee Dussault, who began studying Yoga in 1995, claims ancient Indian practitioners of some forms of Yoga smoked cannabis as a method of worship. If correct, this assertion would possibly place Ganja Yoga within the scope of First Amendment protections under some circumstances. These legal ramifications may prove academic, however, since last November voters in California during a referendum chose to join states like Colorado in defying the federal restrictions imposed upon the use of marijuana as a purely recreational drug. Since that date, the number of San Francisco enrollments in Ganja Yoga classes have reportedly ballooned.