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what is elevated yoga?
Elevated Yoga is an unconventional opportunity for participants to experience the healing benefits of having an intentional and consistent cannabis wellness practice. Elevated Yoga meets you where you are and encourages you to explore your ability to heal yourself from the inside out. Elevated Yoga unapologetically celebrates the healing benefits of cannabis, yoga. positive affirmations, music, and community.
The HIO Retreat offered two Elevated Yoga Sessions focusing on the power of releasing old negative energies, traumas, and experiences that are no longer ours to carry. Each class led by Ashley Asatu started with a cannabis sharing ritual, followed by a womb centered meditation, ending with a gentle restorative yoga practice.
-Team HIO wants to thank all the beautiful women (and men) who attended our cannabis wellness retreat this year. Healing Inside Out will continue to be an educational and healing experience for communities of color. Stay tuned for more pictures!
Healing Inside Out is a woman-operated Wellness Collective with home bases in NorCal and SoCal. Healing Inside Out was created because I wanted to create Intimate Wellness Experiences centered around Self-Care, Intentional Cannabis Consumption, Yoga, Art and Plant Based Nutrition. I partnered with Stokes Kennedy, a lifestyle brand based out of SoCal and together we created The HIO Retreat.
As women of color, we wanted to provide spaces for other women and minorities to come and learn about Intentional Cannabis Consumption and other wellness practices. Every April, we host our annual HIO Retreat at a secret retreat center in Northern California. And this year HIO was magical as fuck! Our offerings included two Elevated Yoga Classes, two Puff & Paint Classes, The Yogasm Experience, Cannabis Bodywork & Acupressure Therapy, Breast Wellness Workshop, Henna Body Art, an on-site Chef, a Bud Bar, a Dab Bar and a Hot Tub.
Let me be completely honest for a minute, this weekend was fucking magical! Just look at all that GLORY, BEAUTY and STRENGTH captured as these women proudly arch their backs, lifting their breasts to the SUN! It was so liberating and beautiful to watch the women of HIO fully embrace their bodies and each other while being supported by the MEN who were present.
Yes, we allow men to come to HIO because it is important to include masculine energy in female-centered healing spaces when appropriate. Our male counterparts need healing, support, and empathy just as much as we do. While our retreat is not a FEMALE ONLY retreat it is FEMALE CENTERED meaning that the men who are permitted to attend HIO are here to support, respect, and protect the energy being created in our space.
We had such an amazing time creating this space and sharing it with such beautiful, positive, consistent, loving and nurturing energies. We are so inspired to create bigger, better and braver spaces for all of you who attended and are so honored that you've trusted us for a second year to bring this experience to life with you! Your loyalty means the world, and we look forward to showing you how much!
#HIOCommunity: We will be posting more pictures soon!
Depression is a gift I never wanted. Taking the time to understand my depression has reframed the way I care for myself and those around me. I tend to carry burdens that are not mine. When the weight of those burdens and some other things in my life became unbearable, I slipped into a particularly vicious cycle of depression. I started getting re-triggered by people, things, and emotions I thought I had overcome. During this time, I intentionally used cannabis, essential oils, physical activity, therapy, journaling, nature, nutrition, and the power of my sisterhood to battle the depression I was experiencing.
I choose to treat my depression holistically because it is what works best for my body. Depression is different for everyone. It may take some trial and error before you figure out the formula that works best for you. My battles with depression taught me the importance of unapologetic truth-telling, self-care, wellness, and love. Over time I have learned that when one of these things are lacking, my depression starts to resurface. While I am not a doctor or an expert on depression I would like to share what has been helpful to me along the way. Below you will find a list of eight tools that may be beneficial to you or someone you know battling with depression.
When I am feeling depressed I intentionally surround myself with smells that evoke happy memories and give me energy. I love using essential oils because I can keep them in my purse and have a personal aromatherapy session anytime I need one. My favorite essential oil is called
Cheer Up Buttercup and it is a blend of lemon, lime, grapefruit, and bergamot oil. This oil is designed to make you feel energized, refreshed and uplifted.
Numerous studies have shown that regular physical activity can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Outside of the mental benefits of having a regular physical activity practice, there are also physical benefits such as improving sleep patterns, lowering blood pressure, reducing body fat, increasing your energy levels and you might be able to fit those old jeans in the back of your closet again! Some of my favorite physical activities are yoga and tabata style exercises. Another favorite of mine is sex. Yes, sex. An orgasm a day may just keep the depression away.
I wholeheartedly believe in the power of therapy and mental wellness. If you are blessed to have medical insurance, take advantage of it and find a therapist in your network that resonates with your spirit. If you don’t have access to medical coverage or you are looking for another option check out 7Cups. This platform is an affordable, on-demand, emotional health service that works by connecting real people to real listeners in a one-on-one chat. Anyone can talk about whatever is on their mind with trained, compassionate listeners. The 7 Cups of Tea listener doesn’t judge, try to solve problems, or tell you what to do. They just listen and empathize. Sometimes that is all we need.
My depression is like a wet blanket of emotions or nothingness that I can’t shake off, making me exhausted both physically and mentally. It can also make me irritable, disinterested, and very pessimistic. I intentionally stay away from indica dominant strains when I am depressed because from my experiences they only amplify my depressed state. Instead, I prefer to consume sativa dominant cannabis strains. Especially strains with limonene terpenes. Limonene is great for treating depression because it has the ability to elevate one’s mood and reduce stress. My go to strains when I am depressed are XJ-13, Lambs Bread, Sour Diesel, and Jack Herer.
Journaling is an amazing tool for those trying to become more in sync with their triggers, thoughts, and emotions by recording and reflecting private thoughts. Keeping a journal allows you to process the situation or experience by recording and reflecting on it. Remember, there is no right way to journal. Just make time for yourself on a consistent basis to record and reflect. Also, make time to go back and read over your thoughts, you might be surprised at the connections you make yourself.
Take advantage of Mother Nature and go outside. Feel the sun kiss your skin. Sit by the ocean and absorb the salt. Go for a hike and work up a sweat. Sit in the grass and read a book. Look at the stars and the moon. One of my favorite things to do is to sit near a body of water and meditate.
We are what we eat so it is important to maintain a healthy diet because food can affect our moods. Yes, there is a proven connection between our moods and our foods. When I am hungry I tend to get angry and irritable very fast. When I eat a lot of starch I tend to feel sluggish and bloated. I encourage you to really listen to your body and figure out a healthy diet that works for you.
When you are depressed it can be tempting to shut your friends, family, and community out but this is when you really need them the most. Reach out to your friends. Tell them you need their love and understanding more than ever. Allow them to show up for you. Surround yourself with your loved ones.
#HIOCommunity: Do you suffer from depression? If so, what tools do you use to battle your depression? Is cannabis one of those tools? If so, how have your experiences been?
Photo Credit: Bloom Farms