Roxy first became aware of cannabis 10 years ago, after she was cast in the movie Blue Crush 2. “I was 21 and chasing the dream. I was in the movies, always busy. I went to the doctor because I was struggling to sleep and struggling with anxiety and depression.” The doctor prescribed medication, but it didn’t offer the relief Louw was looking for. Years later, her search ended thanks to the combination of yoga and cannabis.
But she still had to run the gauntlet of sickness and stress before she started using cannabis regularly. “I was 21 years old, chasing the dream. I was in the movies, always busy,” she said. “I went to the doctor because I was struggling to sleep, and struggling with anxiety and depression.”
Tell our readers what exactly is CannaYoga?
CannaYoga is a combination of humanities two most ancient medicines –
Cannabis and Yoga. By infusing moderate cannabis consumption (CBD and/or THC) with a relaxing yoga practice, we experience an amplification of medicinal benefits. Stress, pain, inflammation, anxiety and depression are just some of the ailments both cannabis and yoga are known to help with – individually. By combining these two medicinal tools we offer a powerful weapon against the pressures of modern living.
It all starts with an intention setting ceremony. Being intentional about where we guide our awareness is an important part of the journey inward. We combine the power of sound by incorporating both sound bowls and music to enhance the experience.
My partner in life and in CannaYoga, Sam Barton, talks about the plant and our bodies and offers guidance on which cannabis may be right for you. Understanding our endocannabinoid system and the vital role it plays in our individual homeostasis, helps us choose the type of cannabis that may assist us. Certain cannabinoid profiles offer a calming effect, which is great for anyone suffering from anxiety. Whereas others can offer a more energizing effect, which is great for anyone dealing with depression. Choosing the right cannabis for your needs is vital.
We consume enough to awaken the senses.
Imagine candle lit, beat bumping, soul satisfying yoga. The class moves from a relaxed flow to an energy level that matches the room. Sometimes we need use energy to create energy, and other times we just need to rest. Combining yoga with cannabis allows us to recognize negative patterns of behaviour that we might have missed. Or, to reprogram ourselves to form healthier habits.
We close off with a mediation and then (for those that want to) share our experience. This is a super special and transformative event. Somewhat like an Amazonian Ayahuasca ceremony is. We get a chance to dive deep into our subconscious.
How much cannabis is consumed?
Everybody is free to choose their level of consumption. We guide new CannaYogists towards micro-dosing – often beginning with CBD only. We allow everybody to take a small dose and notice the effects before further consumption. We empower our CannaYogists to listen to their bodies and let their intuition guide them.
Why did you decide to start offering CannaYoga?
We have always wanted to offer it. We discovered the powerful combination of cannabis and yoga not long after we met. Sam used cannabis to help with his anxiety and pain relief and I used yoga for the same reasons. Once we discovered how beneficial combining the two was, we desperately wanted to share it.
CannaYoga brings a heightened awareness and focus to the body. This helps to sync mind, body and breath which in turn aids with anxiety, depression and pain management. Therefore, CannaYoga allows you to step out of your head and into the present moment.
Our fast paced, attention grabbing, energy draining, always working, never resting, way of life is killing us. Our stress response was once the highest form of technology we had for survival. Now, we have built many technologies to leverage this response against one another – for a profit. Every ad you see is has been cleverly crafted to press that “fight or flight” response, constantly putting you in a stressed state. Technology has made our way of working more efficient but has us jumping every time our phone makes a sound. That jump, is stress. Cortisol shoots through your body in preparation to fight for your life – while you sit at your desk. Not only does cortisol store as fat when unused but this constant state of stress takes our bodies out the “rest and digest” state that is so important for the healing of our body and into a state of “fight or flight”.
CannaYoga is our antidote to the hyper productive lives we are all encouraged to lead. CannaYoga is our chance to educate people on the threat of stress, to dispel the myth of exponential productivity (exponential growth with it) and to promote cannabis as a tool for healthy living.
Our bodies, minds and planet have become polluted and it’s all connected.
Who attends your retreats?
People who attend our retreats are not the usual stoner types. They are leaders in their fields, educated and often times educators. The people who attend our retreats are professionals looking to upgrade their approach to health and wellness.
The classes are relaxation based and open to all levels. Made up of a diverse variety of ages, body types, ethnicities and genders. Many of our attendees are first timers who have read all about the medicinal benefits of cannabis and want to learn more in a safe environment.
We have had doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, creatives, entrepreneurs, fitness professionals – you name it. Everybody is looking for natural solutions to our most common health problems. CannaYoga is our chance to show everybody that treating the symptoms of stress isn’t a long term solution. Stress manifests as inflammation, IBS, sleep apnea, among many other diseases. Disease is just that, a dis-ease in the body. The solution starts with becoming aware of what you are putting in to your body. Most of us know what an unhealthy diet looks like but are completely oblivious to what an unhealthy amount of stress is. CannaYoga gives us a chance to look at the stress, identify where it is coming from and begin building new systems of living for better long term health.
Our usual approach to medicine is to attack the symptoms and hope the treatment isn’t too hard on the body. This may seem like a radical idea but CannaYoga teaches people to treat the body in order to alleviate the symptoms.
Is cannayoga a new craze?
Cannabis and Yoga are two ancient tools with roots in healing the body, mind and soul. Historical records link these two as far back as 7th century AD. Humanities earliest texts of spiritual guidance – The Vedas, is recorded to have combined cannabis with yoga as far back as 2000 BC.
The Rastafarians have been using meditation and cannabis as a tool to a better understanding of the self and a deeper connection to the divine. Cannabis has deep roots in Africa too. Having been used by the Khoisan and Bantu peoples prior to any European settlement. It was traditionally used by Basotho to ease child birth. According to author Hazel Crampton, old Afrikaner recipes for teas and foods exist which make use of the plant.
Have you experienced any stigma?
In all honesty, none. I have just had people contact me to tell me about their cancer survival stories or how they have used cannabis to wean off their medication. Some of the meds have withdrawal symptoms stated as deadly. A lot of people have been coming through with messages of support saying how awesome it is that we are stepping up for what is right. I know the power of the plant and the benefits that it has had on myself. It would be wrong of me not to be a part of this movement.
How old are the attendees?
Although the law states that anyone over the age of 18 may consume cannabis, we don’t allow anyone under the age of 21 to attend. Research shows that our brains are still developing at 18. Until we know more about the effects of cannabis on a developing brain, we prefer to be conservative in our age restrictions. However, most attendees have been from mid 20’s, into their 30’s and 40’s.
Does your dad, well-respected Springbok rugby legend and a cancer survivor, Rob Louw, do CannaYoga?
My dad is extremely knowledgeable about plants and trees and can name almost any of them out there but as far as whether he does CannaYoga or not, I am afraid I have to go with the fact that, that is client privileged information.
Please tell our readers when your next classes/retreats might be around the country thanks?
Plenty coming up, please go check out info at www.greenleafvitality.com