Ganjasana Cannabis Yoga Teacher Training
On October 13-16th I attended the first ever Ganjasana Cannabis Yoga Teacher Training at Aspen Canyon Ranch in Parshall, Colorado. The training offered yoga teachers and cannabis enthusiasts alike the chance to dive deeper into cannabis and yoga on a more spiritual level.
Rachael Carlevale, Owner of Ganjasana has been utilizing plant medicine for healing purposes over the last seven years in conjunction with her yoga practice and daily meditation.
Rachael’s background with plant medicine stems from her education in pre-med and biology as well as her time spent in Peru with the Shipibo tribe.
The Shipibo tribe provided Rachael with guidance and wisdom in order to heal her body of cancer though plant medicine, breath work, and meditation.
Today Rachael utilizes the experiences she gained in the Peruvian jungle to teach others about the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant while incorporating cannabis into a yoga practice.
The first night of teacher training was a full immersion into Ganjasana and the plant based ceremony. Having never experienced a ceremony of this kind I was very excited to learn more about it and experience one for myself.
This ceremony focused on the importance of paying respect to the plant and understanding her medicinal benefits before consumption. In fact we didn’t even consume until about 1 1/2 hours into the ceremony! It is important to understand and educate oneself before consuming any type of plant medicine.
Rachael’s background and education on the plant truly shined in how she paid respect to the plant. The gentle flow was exactly what my body and mind needed in that moment. It was a very intuitive and healing practice.
Saturday was a full day of learning about the medicinal benefits of cannabis and other plants and herbs found locally.
Brigitte Mars, herbalist, author, natural chef, and professor at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado was a guest teacher who spoke on these topics.
Brigitte took the students on a nature walk through the Rocky Mountains to learn about native plants, their medicinal benefits, and which plants were safe to eat. It was very informative learning facts about plants I wouldn’t normally think too much about such as dandelions, conifers, and juniper berries! It was rather fascinating to learn what plants are safe for consumption and some of their hidden benefits.
Cassandra Maffey, Master Grower and CEO of Force of Nature provided insight on cannabis and the proper way to grow utilizing the benefits and nutrients in live soil.
Cassandra emphasized that these plants are sentient beings and truly take on the spirit and energy around them. As a result we should always be mindful when handling the plants, watering them, and caring for them.
Providing cannabis plants with positive energy in a healthy, chemical free environment is exactly what they need to thrive!
It is very important to understand how a plant was grown and under what type of environment. For example, growing hydroponic plants is more stressful on the plant as that is not their natural habitat.
When seeking this plant for medicinal purposes it is important to always consume organic, chemical free cannabis in order to reap the greatest benefit.
Cannabis & Yoga
Ganjasana’s mantra is:
It is important to always take into account how one’s actions will affect the Earth, those around them, and ensuring that everyone receives a fair share.
Having a general sense of social learning is also an important aspect of being able to hold space for others. The first step is having self awareness as a result being able to manage oneself. Once you are able to fully show up for yourself you can move into social awareness and then being able to have responsible relationships with others.
Students also learned how to incorporate cannabis into their yoga sequence based on specific needs such as pain, anxiety and stress, depression, sleep, and women’s health. Each of these class sequences provided specific poses, language, and breath work that can be utilized to assist with these ailments.
For me, I have struggled with stress and anxiety over the years. I have found that cannabis allows me to sink into the present moment better and to focus more on my breath and the mind-body connection.
Understanding that fear is the underlying root of stress and anxiety is key to combatting these issues. Using cannabis allows one to cultivate awareness into the present moment and remove tension and anxiety and not think about the past or worrying about the future.
Sunday morning I woke up refreshed and grateful for my experience. Being able to walk outside and hear the river roaring beneath the cabins, and the crisp fall air was very refreshing.
Just the sheer thought of joining together to consume cannabis responsibily while having a shared interest of cannabis and yoga with twelve others was very inspiring.
The training provided me with the insight and confidence needed to continue to pursue Light & Lit Yoga in Denver, Colorado.
As a 200-hr YTT yoga instructor the training gave me detailed information as to how to responsibly combine cannabis into a yoga practice. Being mindful of the medicinal benefits of the plant and showing cannabis the respect it deserve is essential to one’s healing.
If you are interested in learning more about Ganjasana check out the site here.