100 Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Ganjasana Teacher Training
10.13.17 - 10.16.17
I first heard about Ganjasana through my Kula sister, Valerie Conlin after a session at Kula Yoga Shala. I informed Val of my soon venture to Colorado. She immediately showed me Ganjasana on Instagram. I gave Ganjasana a follow and tracked her events for almost a year. Ganjasana events look completely unique, studying plants, herbs, spices, and astrology.
I knew this would be my tribe when the time was right. Students have smoked in my classes. I am cool with it. I want to be more than just cool with it. I want to educate my students about cannabis. I want to give students tools for integrating the plant into spiritual practice.
Ganjasana announced the first ever Ganjasana teacher training program, giving students 100 hours of cannabis plant medicine yoga training. I made up my mind that I would attend, not knowing how I would acquire the cash for it. I considered magnifying my credit card debt but reconsidered. I sat with this far-out idea of attending the training while meeting many wonderful people. I studied the Ganjasana website almost every day. I requested off work more than a month in advance, still remarkably so unsure about how this was going to unfold. I was talking to my boss about my reasoning for requesting off. She advised me to propose this to the marketing team. Maybe they could sponsor me.
I work for a cannabis concentrate company called Evolab. We formulate pure CO2 distillate cartridges, disposable vape pens, and refill kits. Wait a sec… This is a weed event.. maybe they want more weed.
I am enthralled. This is it. This is my ticket to Ganjasana!! I tell the marketing team about Ganjasana and how this is a perfect advertising opportunity. I will share our product with yoga teachers who will share our product with their own yoga students.
I email the Ganjasana website immediately.
I hear nothing.
I email again.
I hear nothing.
I receive a parking ticket.
I find an old ticket in my car.
I find out that I now have a court date because I forgot to pay a ticket.
I go to a rave.
Is Ganjasana out of the picture?
Two days before the event, my phone rings while I am at work. It is Rachael Carlevale, from Ganjasana! I take off running to the break room because our service sucks. Her voice is breaking up… noooo. I finally get to the top of the stairs! We conclude; If I bring 20 disposable vape pens, 2/3 of the price will be compensated for!! I agree not knowing if Evolab will oblige. I need the product tomorrow, this is a hard maybe.
The department head of promotions and marketing (the one who agreed to sponsor Ganjasana) is out of town! I talk to the higher ups. There are so many laws around cannabis. We have to buy our product back from a dispensary at whole sale rate. We have to find a dispensary that has 20 iHits in stock, and is willing to sell them back.
Again, it is up to the universe at this point.
Not knowing if I am attending or not, I pack my car; ready to head out in the morning regardless. I get to work and wait until noon! They find Smoking Gun, which is also a strip club on the other side. With a heart full of excitement, I drive to Smoking Gun, notice a sketchy couple walking out of the strip club, pick up the iHits, and set off to Aspen Canyon Ranch, laughing in disbelief at what is happening. The drive is gorgeous, complete daggers of mountains covered by evergreen trees growing towards the sky.
I arrive at exactly 4:20
I stand out on the porch with a cup of hot lemon water, staring out into the mountains, by Williams Fort Tributary, feeling monumental gratitude deep in the pit of my soul. I am supposed to be here, now. I feel it.
I meet Rachael, she is everything I imagine. Her energy is fun, chill, vibrant, and feminine. I meet Brigitte Mars, she emanates powerful, goddess, cosmic, galaxy vibes.
Rachael informs me that I get my own private cabin to myself, by a hot tub, by the river!! I walk into my room to happy dance. I have a loft bed by the ceiling that I later turn into a perfect, cozy nook. I unpack, and head to the main cabin for the opening ceremony. I smoke with a fellow student, and expect that every one was high because this is “Ganjasana” after all. We hike up the trail and arrive to the main cabin. Rachael welcomes, “Thank you all for coming. We are going to start off the ceremony sober.“
My mental chatter begins:
“Well Shit, I fucked up. Damnit, why did I smoke? I should have come into this open… Wait a second.. I am at a YOGA TEACHER TRAINING. I am what I am and I need to be present without judgement.”
Inhale, (deep belly breath, hands open wide, on my belly, middle fingers touching at the navel)
Exhale, (initiate from the belly, middle fingers overlap)
I repeat about five times in meditation just noticing my breath, Rachael’s voice, and my body.
I become aware of the concentrated dense energy. Each breath is enveloping my practice deeper. I observe the fascia throughout my entire body pulsating with each innocent inhalation.
As the practice concludes, we all are left with ourselves on the mat, softly gazing into the circle. No one is looking at anybody, but the presence of the collective consciousness is apparent. Here I am. Here we are. An elevated tribe of high frequency emanating beings collectively present with one another.
The entire weekend felt like a gentle, safe, fierce, empowering movement. We became raw and human but also cosmic and celestial. We were informed about conscious consumption, permaculture principles, living organic soil, wild mountain plants, cannabis yoga sequencing, chakra alignment, and ultimately the Ganja spirit. The weekend was abundant in presence and wisdom.
All of this happened because I decided it would. I talked about it. I asked for help. I had direct and specific intention guiding my action. I followed through. I surrendered. I let the universe do it’s magic. I allowed this experience into my life.
Imagine if political/business/hard discussion meetings started this way; by everyone aligning with their own truth to acknowledge another truth. Living life awake, side by side.
What if our business leaders aligned themselves before any serious meeting? What if they opened up to conscious breath work, practiced some forward folds, and smoked a fat blunt before discussing a country and all the lives they are responsible for? Seriously, what if the 1% got on the same frequency and practiced presence together before dominating the land? What if we all practiced presence? What if we studied ourselves as much as we study other people? What if we learned to love ourselves? What if we learned to love our environment as much as we love ourselves?
What if the convenience lifestyle seized? What if we actually pursued our dreams with intention, purpose, research, and action!
I can be this. I am this. I am making this happen in real time. I am getting my shit together, finally. Intensely here lately, I have only spent my time on me and the things that bring me to life. Listed are tools that help me get on track. No judgement to others, this is just what’s working for me personally:
I stopped drinking as much - I didn’t realize how much I was drinking just to be social. A glass of wine here and there. A beer with friends. I had no clue how much money I was spending just on a convenient drink after work or dance.
I haven’t spent time with other people unless I 100% wanted to - I haven’t been on one empty date. I haven’t invited anyone to my house out of desire for human touch. I haven’t surrounded myself with people just to avoid loneliness. I am getting to know myself, independently.
My space is clean - If you know me, then you know how hard this has been for me. If you know me, you have seen the terror that I have inhabited in the past. Piles and piles of clothes…EVERYWHERE. A clean space helps me stay focused. I don’t carry the guilt of a messy space.
I wake up an hour earlier to organize my body and mind - I breathe, stretch, shower, make breakfast, pack a lunch, and get ready leisurely all to arrive at work on time.
I actually write when I say I will - I had a habit of opening my laptop, just to find a Facebook timeline.
I consistently go to my dance classes - it’s easy to skip when there is something better, more convenient, more fun, less productive going on.
I stay truish to a vegan diet - meh, I eat what I want without judgement.
I am being impeccable with my word - I am speaking up, being blunt, and honest. I am allowing my greatness to show rather than my insecurities. I am proving to myself on a daily basis that success is all about making the right choices with the right actions on a day-by-day basis.
If you want to write, write.
This applies to everything.
So often we find ourselves stuck in a convenient routine of life events that keep happening to us rather than from us. Now is the time to take responsibility for your life. This “now moment” is your life. Make things happen. Nothing is going to improve unless you actively craft it. It really is that simple. Decide & craft.
What if you actually did that thing.. what if you actually did it..
I have been out here in Colorado for a little over a year. I just now realized that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. I have been creating my own havoc. I am just now seeing how powerful I am. I am making active changes. I am seeing results. I am walking the path. I feel aligned. I am constantly attracting what's meant for me. I feel like the only reason that this is happening is because I decided to go for it. I decided to stop wasting my time with the bullshit that is so easily infiltrated into life. At the end of the day, you are left with your own thoughts. At the beginning of the day you initiate the day with your own thoughts. What if we stopped beating ourselves up for all the things that we haven’t done. What if we were nicer to ourselves about how long it has taken us. What if we saw ourselves as powerful. What if we all supported each other. What if we all actually lived our truth.
This is a grassroots effort towards societal change. I want to be a part of that change, therefor I am starting with me.
Thank you Ganjasana tribe for holding a safe, densely informative environment! Thank you Evolab for sponsoring me!