What do yoga, meditation and cannabis have in common? And what happens when you combine all three on a retreat?
If you practice yoga and/or meditation regularly, it is likely that you are familiar with how, over time and with practice, you experience a deeper connection to both your mind and your body. An awareness is cultivated that follows you on and off the mat. If you use cannabis with any regularity, it is likely that you experience a deeper connection to both your mind and your body. It, too, cultivates an awareness that stays with you outside of the immediate experience. When combined, a yoga + cannabis practice can take your experience to another level, and we are excited to explore this on our first Cannamaste: Yoga & Cannabis Retreat in Colorado! (Get it, cannabis + namaste...!?)
Led by Rebecca Weible, founder of Yo Yoga! studio in NYC, this May 3-6 getaway is designed to provide education, discovery and a fun time in a safe and legal environment. Already experiencing expected backlash about combining 'weed and wellness', we wanted to bring Rebecca to the forefront and let her share her reasons why this retreat is meaningful for her and what to really expect if you join.
Some people think cannabis is used for tuning out reality, but this retreat will shed light on how both yoga and cannabis are tools for tuning into the present moment and our inner selves when used with cognizance and purpose.
It's no surprise that cannabis is controversial right now, as is combining it with yoga. I'm sure this concept is making some of you see red. I understand and deeply respect everyone’s right to an opinion. We could go back and forth with the facts we choose to believe in order to support our opinions and beliefs but at the end of that, I will still be offering this retreat and you will still not be planning on attending it. So, let’s agree to disagree and to not judge each other. I will be the first to state that you certainly do not need to smoke weed to have a deep and spiritual yoga practice.
That said, the effects of yoga and cannabis practices are remarkably similar. The most notable difference is that the effects of cannabis impact us with more immediacy. This is the key in understanding how cannabis and yoga are complementary. Using cannabis, mindfully and with intention, puts us in a meditative state and by practicing yoga in this enhanced state, we can explore that mind and body connection even more deeply because we do not have to cut through pervasive stress and tension first. We can refine the experience of being in the present moment.
Yes, an integral part of the yoga experience is the journey - the work, effort and intention we dedicate to finding our higher selves cannot be replaced with cannabis. I’m not suggesting we use it as a shortcut. What I’m suggesting is that cannabis can be a part of that ongoing journey. I designed my upcoming retreat, Cannamaste: Yoga & Cannabis Retreat, for those who are interested in this experience.
So, who am I and why am I qualified to lead such a retreat? In my 13 years of practicing yoga, 10 years of teaching it and 15-ish years of using cannabis, I’ve been delighted to watch how two of my passions fertilized each other. With legalization on the rise, it finally seems like the right time to bring this blend to my students. Even though I have plenty of experience with both, I attended a Ganja Yoga Teacher Training in L.A. this fall to learn more, mingle with like-minded teachers and flush out my plans for bringing enhanced yoga to my community. I went a step further and became certified in teaching Ganja Yoga to help lend credibility and professionalism to this endeavor.
What to expect when you get to Colorado
Cannamaste will help dispel the stereotype that stoners are lazy couch potatoes as each day is full of activities like hiking, a cooking with cannabis class, dinners out on the town and a yoga class on the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater steps. You don’t need to be a ‘stoner’ to come on this retreat but I recommend being open-minded in regards to both learning about cannabis and to the cannabis practices of your fellow retreat participants. To achieve a well-rounded yoga experience on this trip we’ll have both sober practices and cannabis-enhanced practices. We’ll be practicing regular vinyasa classes each morning and enhanced classes each evening. Participants can certainly opt out of cannabis use at any time...or opt in and enhance any activities of their choosing on this trip.
Cannabis education is a theme on this retreat in order to highlight some of the many wellness benefits that it can offer, like anxiety and pain relief, cancer- and alzheimer’s-fighting properties, and to help cultivate mindfulness and intention in your usage. This trip is not only about how cannabis can affect your yoga practice, but how the mindfulness we cultivate through our regular yoga practice can help inform the intention we set for our cannabis habit. Our yoga practice can help us stay aware of when and why we are using cannabis so that with each sesh we can truly absorb the benefits and prevent it from becoming a mindless habit. Additionally, cannabis knowledge among regular users is highly important (this pun was unintentional but I’m leaving it!) as legalization rolls across the country because we can help set the standards for this young industry by demanding safe, high-quality, organic plants and products.
What I’m most looking forward to about this retreat is socializing with other like-minded yogis and sharing what I’ve learned about using yoga and weed together in a legal and judgement-free environment. Join me in Denver to learn how smoking can help us tune in instead of tuning out.
Learn more about Rebecca at YoYogaNYC.com and on Instagram @yoyoganyc and learn more about the Cannamaste Retreat by clicking here or filling out the form below: