Posts in WELLNESS
Marijuasana: Vital Prana Meets Dank Ganja
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By Whitney Miller

Since I’d never been to a cannabis infused yoga class before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I arrived to the private residence where class was to be held. Upon entering, Marijuasana founder Stacey Mulvey immediately made me feel welcome, as she did with everyone else who arrived. She offered us tea, CBD oil from Bluebird Botanicals, and passed around a joint, earning the title Hostess of the Year in my mind. The treats were generously shared, but classes are BYO (bring your own). I packed a few things with concentrates to share, setting up in between Stacey’s rolling tray and the beautiful mandala beads she had for sale.

Stacey’s service expands, profoundly, on what a lot of us have experienced at home—doing yoga to compliment a good sesh. However, Marijuasana takes us out of the bedroom and into a communal environment with classes that focus on mindful movement incorporating cannabis consumption and encouraging a deeper connection with the self. For attendees, it’s an incredibly warm, welcoming environment. As a safe space for stoners, Marijuasana is bringing the cannabis community even closer together, drawing in people of all types. It was through her own yoga practice that Stacey became aware of the connection between her mind, body, and cannabis—and as a trained instructor, she teaches just that, providing aid in the fight to normalize the use of marijuana.

Classes are designed to allow for plenty of social time, so we seshed, drank CBD infused tea, and chatted prior to taking our mats. Once we began, the lights dimmed softly and the warm sound of uplifting music filled the room. Stacey’s soothing voice would suffice to gently rock one to sleep, if not for the rejuvenating yoga flow that kept us moving, occasionally on our toes. Throughout the routine transitioning through positions, Stacey shared timely reminders on how to stay present tucked with tidbits on how the cannabis was simultaneously, synergistically benefiting our bodies. Something about Stacey and Marijuasana makes it easy to absorb her passion, it shines through her every token of support shared throughout the class. Incredibly, I found the combination of yoga and cannabis really can strengthen one’s focus on moving mindfully, both in yoga and life—the key mission of Mulvey’s Marijuasana.

The class took a break midway to enjoy more tea and share another joint. By the end of my first Marijuasana class, my body and mind felt truly connected. Stacey’s teaching style and the atmosphere she created made it a one of a kind experience. The Marijuasana routine is tailored to accommodate all skill levels, whether it’s someone’s first time or they’ve been practicing for years, you will be challenged without feeling intimidation. I highly recommend signing up for a class when one is available near you. It’s a great opportunity for your personal wellness, and to connect with others who have a similar interest. I enjoyed my experience so much, I just had to learn more about her journey and the creation of Marijuasana.

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When did you draw the connection between consuming cannabis and mindful movement?

I had a wonderful experience after being educated about CBD oil at the Denver High Times Cannabis Cup in 2013. At the Cup, I had broken a two year period of abstinence from cannabis. What better time and place, right? About this same time I was wrapping up a rigorous training program to become a Pilates teacher. The program demanded that I learn certain skills in my body that I simply wasn’t getting. Bottom line: I wasn’t very good. There was an exhibitor booth for a brand that carried CBD oil and I was intrigued with CBD, so I asked my local dispensary to start carrying it, which they did. Then one night I was doing my normal practice, but this time I took huge doses of flower and this CBD oil.

What happened?

I’m on my living room floor doing some stretching when I get this overwhelming sense of...all I can say is, it felt like I had an actual ownership of my body. Like, I not only could truly sense my muscles, my bones, and all the tissue in between; but they were mine. I had complete dominion over everything and it was all apart of me. I felt control. It was the happiest and most sincere form of power that I’ve felt, and I’ll never forget it. After that, everything clicked. I could do things in my program that I just wasn’t getting before. The body has its own innate intelligence, most of the time that intelligence is difficult to verbalize because it doesn’t translate unless it’s in you. You can describe it to another, and give them tips on how to find it, but it’s not there until they find it for themselves. Cannabis and CBD boosted my body’s IQ and helped me find the connections I just wasn’t making before. After that experience, I realized how cannabis is this incredible aid to mindful movement and I became a devotee.

So this is where Marijuasana was born...

The inspiration came from this experience and then wanting to help others learn about cannabis and mindful movement and how it may benefit their body and mind. Beyond that, CBD was so crucial in my own discovery. I also want to educate as many people as I can that this is somethings that’s available, legal and non-intoxicating. My hope is that if I can educate people about CBD and other cannabinoids that perhaps the stigma towards THC based cannabis will soften. For those with the narrow minded view that hemp and cannabis are deleterious, I’m hopeful that the route for changing that perspective will be via their bodies.

When did you first start practicing yoga?

I first started practicing yoga about 15 years ago. My practice then expanded to include, and at various times focus on, other forms of mindful movement like Callanetics, pole dance and Pilates. Really though, it’s all yoga.

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"My goal for attendees is to find something novel. At minimum, it could be a tidbit about marijuana and the fact that it is good for you, or a new person in their community that shares an enthusiasm for weed. At best, it is a new way of feeling or understanding their own body, because that translates to a new understanding of themselves."

Everyone will have their own personal experience, but what are your primary goals for those who attend Marijuasana?

My goal for attendees is to find something novel. At minimum, it could be a tidbit about marijuana and the fact that it is good for you, or a new person in their community that shares an enthusiasm for weed. At best, it is a new way of feeling or understanding their own body, because that translates to a new understanding of themselves.

What does your family think of it all? Has your success with Marijuasana influenced their views?

I have two sisters and a brother, and they are my biggest supporters and fans, but I wouldn’t say my parents accept me. However, there are signs of tolerance. My entire extended family is Mormon, and I find that mostly they ignore me. I can assume they aren’t claiming to be related to me in any of their communities despite the fact Marijuasana has become so popular. Little by little, some of my cousins have started to hint they may not be as scandalized. I had a cousin email me and joke that the next time there is a family reunion, I should bring the brownies.

Coming from a Mormon family, what gave you the courage to strike out on your own? Has there been backlash from the conservative community you grew up in?

I don’t know if it was courage so much as a need to prove myself wrong. I had the benefit of working in cannabis in a communications role with another company, and that’s when I saw an opportunity for “contemplative cannabis” as I call it. There were two competing voices, the fearful voice that said everyone would hate me and that I’d be a failure, and one that said, do it, and fuck the haters. And as it turns out, the message that’s based in fear is usually the one that’s full of shit.

It's no surprise that classes are selling out, how are you meeting the growing demand?

Indeed, I must. A Marijuasana teacher training program is in development, as well as events in Las Vegas, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Anchorage, Boston, New York and DC. I used to teach pole dance, so something to be on the lookout for: 420-friendly lap dance lessons. Ladies only, of course.

 

About Stacey Mulvey  /  Stacey Mulvey loves teaching movement, viewing it as a spectrum of energy--from yin to yang and everything in between. She began practicing and teaching mindful movement in Callanetics after having an epiphany about mortality and taking control of her own quality of life. Eventually, Mulvey discovered that cannabis helped her concentrate and enhanced her motivation. Mulvey studied at Naropa University in yoga, painting, and psychology. After completing her coursework honing her skills in mindful and meditative practices, Mulvey launched Marijuasana and dedicates her life to the coalition of cannabis and yoga.

 

About Marijuasana  /  Marijuasana is a pop up yoga event series, offering hemp and cannabis infused yoga classes in Denver, D.C., Boston, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and more. Movement integrated with cannabis evokes a unique sensory experience. Classes are warm and social, with grounded and expressive yoga for all levels. To learn more, visit http://www.marijuasana.com.

 

About Marijuasana Online  /  You can wait for Marijuasana, the popular cannabis-infused yoga event, to visit your city or you can become a Marijuasana Online member, which gives you access to exclusive wellness videos lead by Marijuasana founder, Stacey Mulvey. This way, you can join her inspired, and lifted, mindful movement practice in the comfort of your own home.  https://www.marijuasana.com/yoga-videos/

 

About the Author  /  Whitney Miller is a professional photographer, coffee addict, nature lover and cannabis enthusiast with a passion for words. Having grown up in a conservative community on the East Coast, she wishes to use her B.A. in English from Eastern Mennonite University to spread light and love. Originally from Virginia, Whitney currently resides in Denver, CO. 

 

Photography courtesy of Marijuasana

Cannabis & Migraines - A Simple Cure
 CBD Medicinal Vaporizer by  Constance Therapeutics

CBD Medicinal Vaporizer by Constance Therapeutics

Did you know migraines are being classified as a women's health issue? More than 70% of American migraine sufferers are women, with women also reporting longer and more frequent migraine attacks. Still migraines remain a bit of a mystery, and most sufferers don't even are diagnosed and under-treated.

Check out how Cannabis can be used to treat migraine headaches and the advantages it has over traditional meds.

What is a Migraine?

The simplest explanation is a severe headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting. However, if we look at the facts, we can see that it’s not so simple at all:

  • About 10% of Americans suffer from migraines. This is over 30 million people!
  • Migraines are a severely disabling disease and a leading cause of disability.
  • There’s no known cure and they are difficult to treat.
  • Migraine affects about 28 million women in the U.S.
  • 85% of chronic migraine sufferers are women.

Cannabis for Migraines

The use of medical cannabis can not only help prevent migraines, but it can also stop migraines that have already begun.

How Does Cannabis Help?

The symptoms of migraines include severe pain and nausea. Marijuana is a powerful pain reliever and it can also help combat vomiting and nausea. Besides its analgesic properties, marijuana has anti-inflammatory qualities that can treat the chronic inflammation known to trigger migraine headaches. Finally, marijuana helps to offset the harmful effects of stress, that can worsen or induce migraines.

Cannabis Benefits for Migraines

  • Immediate relief with smoking or vaporizing
  • Easy to control dosing
  • Few long-term side effects (especially when compared to pharmaceuticals)
  • Fewer drug interactions
  • Reduced risk of addiction

Cannabis Versus Traditional Medications

While there are some traditional treatments for migraines, there are some things to weigh them against. For example:

  • Overdose Risk
  • Drug Interactions
  • Cardiac Side Effects
  • Kidney and Liver Damage
  • Risk of Stroke
  • Stomach Ulcer and Pain

Cannabis Strains for Migraines

Let’s start this out by saying that every strain will affect everybody differently. We suggest you visit your medical cannabis shop and consult with the budtenders there. That being said, the following strains have been known to help diminish migraine symptoms or stop them altogether:

Have you ever used cannabis to treat a migraine? Let us know in the comments!

Original article by Bjorn Wallman published on The Weed Blog

On the Cover / Chelsea Leyland
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NYC based, British DJ, Chelsea Leyland, is not going to let her condition define her. After being diagnosed with a form of epilepsy in her early teens and recently ending a tumultuous relationship with western medicine in exchange for CBD oil, Chelsea has become an activist in the Cannabis community and an advocate for epilepsy and medical marijuana use.  Fueled by a lust for life and determination to bring her sister, who suffers from a more severe form of epilepsy, access to Cannabis treatment in the UK, Chelsea is using her platform in the fashion and art world to speak out and raise awareness of the benefits of treating neurological disorders with CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in Cannabis. 

 “I was 15 years old when I was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy,” Chelsea told MJ.  “I was away at a boarding school in England. I had been extremely over-tired and was experiencing light brain blackouts and hand jerks. It was a difficult moment because my doctor wasn’t able to identify the epilepsy at first. My older sister has a severe type of epilepsy that requires full-time care, so the doctor assumed my symptoms were psychosomatic, stemming from my sister’s condition and the anxiety that I had surrounding that.  I was then referred to a neurologist who within five minutes diagnosed me with JME.

Being a teen is hard enough as it is with everything you’re learning about yourself and trying to fit in, and then being diagnosed—that was very difficult.”

JME or Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy is an idiopathic generalized epileptic syndrome characterized by myoclonic jerks, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and sometimes absence seizures (brief, sudden lapses of consciousness). 

Chelsea was put on various anticonvulsant medications for 16 years before discovering CBD oil.  The pharmaceuticals she had been prescribed, like Keppra, an AED (anti-epileptic drug), would target one issue while resulting in a slew of other serious side effects.

“For people diagnosed with epilepsy you are prescribed these medications and you don’t have a choice. You either risk hurting yourself or you take the medication, and that is how it is presented to you,” said Chelsea. “I struggled with many side effects from these medications ranging from severe anxiety, rage, and heart palpitations to depression and thoughts of suicide. I was emotionally unstable and had trouble focusing. My parents told me that my personality changed after taking the anticonvulsant drugs and I became very aggressive. It was hard to see at the time what was the medicine and what was me.." 

Follow Chelsea’s journey on Instagram @chelsealeyland and be on the lookout for more information regarding her upcoming documentary, @CBD4epilepsy “Separating The Strains.” 

By Brittney Mesica

Creative Direction Dane Diseth

Photography Amanda Bjorn

Styling  Naomi Zinns

MJ Talks Holistic Fitness with Byrdie McCoy
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"It’s says I’M HERE and I’M UNAFRAID."

Byrdie McCoy

 

 

 

 

Interview + Photography by Jennifer Skog

HOW IS HOLISTIC FITNESS HELPING WOMEN EVERYWHERE FIND BALANCE? Holistic health is really about understanding that there is more to fitness than the physical aspect. Holistic health is finding physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fitness. There are so many women who work so hard on their physical body, but not the bodies of their minds or spirit, and those are crucial to achieving overall health. It has to go past running outside or a gym session. It’s about finding balance and peace among these areas and nurturing them so that you can become your highest self.

WHAT INSPIRED BYRDIE'S BABES AND DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA YOU WOULD EMPOWER SO MANY WOMEN?  Byrdie’s Babes was really inspired by all the pain I was experiencing and not wanting to be alone through it all. I wanted to create a space for women dealing with any kind of trauma to come and just be free. So I started free weekly camps. That quickly turned into the health and lifestyle blog so that I could impact more women and inspire them to seek a holistic lifestyle. Now we have signature camps and special events all over the country!

TELL US MORE ABOUT BYRDIE'S MIDNIGHT MEGA CAMP.  ARE THEY CURRENTLY ONLY IN PORTLAND? DO YOU PLAN TO EXPAND?  The camps are what has been coined “Empowerment Camps” for women. It was really important to me to create something that incorporated physical fitness, mental health and community building. I pretty much took what I do on the blog—showcasing the many awesome ways for women to get fit - and brought it to them to experience in real life with real women. These pop ups are about bringing women together in the spirit of overcoming obstacles, embracing transformation, and entering a new day with your sisters!  Midnight MegaCamps start between 9pm and 12am (depending on location), expect to glow under the black lights and have the time of your life. For 2018 monthly pop ups will be touring  Portland and in 2019 Midnight MegaCamps will be coming to various cities across the US!

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO COME TO AN EVENT?  WHAT ITEMS DO WOMEN NEED OT BRING?  Tickets are $25 but I’m always offering special codes and early Byrd Tickets so they usually end up being $10!  I always tell attendees in advance whether to bring a mat or towel so that varies. But just bring a water bottle and get those red lips poppin’! Other than that just come and have a great time!

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MJ LOVES A RED LIP, WHAT INSPIRED THIS AS PART OF THE UNIFORM?  Red is just such a powerful color and when we wear it it seems to transform us. We feel fierce and bold and confident; SEEN. So I made it our signature. To showcase our fearlessness. It’s our war paint. Getting healthy is a battle, meeting new people can be a struggle. All these things call for us to put ourselves out there, and our red lips help give us that armor to do so fearlessly. It’s says I’M HERE AND I’M UNAFRAID.

 

READ MORE OF BYRDIE'S INTERVIEW IN MJ LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE.