In 2015 I left The ArcView Group to follow some kind of calling. Upon my departure, I received all kinds of reflections about my leap into the unknown. Some saw the move as brave and bold, others questioned my motive and considered the decision crazy. I mostly embodied bravery, but at times I did feel crazy. To leave the firm was to walk away from an investor community worth several billion dollars, a family shaped largely by my own heart and soul. At the time, I didn’t really know where I was going, but in my heart of hearts I knew that my work with ArcView had came to fruition and that it was time to move on.
Three months later I would find myself in the last place I could have hoped, living at home with my parents in suburban Philadelphia. I was burnt out and physically ill from stress and anxiety. My vision had become impaired from computer eye strain and life itself was completely blurry. I wondered if I had made the wrong decision in leaving ArcView and danced through a series of manufactured regrets to get to a place of surrender. It was a brutal period that included a constantly evolving diet to heal my still healing gut, dozens of medical appointments, yoga, prayer, sleep and cannabis.
In Pennsylvania, I discovered that I had a block around marijuana and that I myself — even though I fought on the front lines of drug policy reform for years — still experienced shame for my cannabis use.
Uncovering this truth was made possible by my return home to the place where I experienced so much wrongdoing for the plant in my youth. As a sick patient, with parents who were now pro-cannabis, I found myself still hiding my consumption from them. I didn’t want to get in trouble and was worried that they would punish me (at 27 years old) for choosing to medicate with marijuana. I wondered why marijuana wasn’t treating my symptoms and if this deeply ingrained sense of wrongdoing had anything to do with it.
The answer to that question, along with more information on my calling, came as soon as I began practicing yoga with cannabis. On my mat, I discovered a deep rooted threshold that blocked my ability to integrate the medicine for healing. Through meditation, breath work and asana I was eventually able to puncture through this block, which I believe is a result of the impact of marijuana prohibition on the subconscious mind. It is here where I decided I wanted to teach cannabis-enhanced yoga classes to help other people access healing through this plant medicine while further healing the way cannabis is perceived in the collective conscious.
Four months later I met Ganja Yoga founder Dee Dussault while visiting the Bay Area. It just so happened that she was speaking at the monthly Women Grow meeting while I was in town and that fate would position us to meet in that time and place. Three months after connecting with Dee and about one full year since leaving CA, I moved back to the Bay Area. My body was still in the process of healing, but the work that I could do in Pennsylvania had come to a close and it was time to reclaim my life.
In November of 2016 I bravely offered to sub a class for Dee and in the Spring of 2017 she invited me to sub a few of her classes while she toured to promote her first book, Ganja Yoga (released via Harper Collins). The classes I taught were divine, the community was super receptive to my style and most of all, I felt 100% in alignment with that blind calling I went out to pursue two years ago. Everything clicked and I felt confident pitching the idea of bringing Ganja Yoga to Oakland. Dee accepted the invitation and together we began exploring the potential of a collaboration. Five months later, we’re now less than two weeks away from the official launch of Ganja Yoga Oakland!
Beginning 9/26 Oaklanders will now have access to two weekly cannabis-enhanced yoga classes taught by ME! Classes will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9pm and will be available for purchase online at eventbrite (search Ganja Yoga). If you’ve never practiced Ganja Yoga, or you too feel like you could tap more deeply into the restorative potential of cannabis, I urge you to practice with me. If you already love Ganja Yoga, then get excited for more opportunities to practice!
Join us as we launch the expansion of Ganja Yoga on Sunday, 9/24 @ the Oakland Cannabis Creative center. Our free event includes one 60 minute class, massage therapy, tea service, consciously cultivated cannabis from our sponsors (Humboldt Legends, Golden Goddess, Eel River Organics), visionary art and so many beautiful people from our beloved community! I look forward to sharing this space with you all.