Our Weed and Wellness Series continues with a conversation about the practice of Yoga with an expert
On the newest episode from our Weed & Wellness series we get to connect with the vivacious, and hilarious Jessamyn Stanley. She is the cofounder of The Under Belly Yoga. She has also authored two books; ‘Everybody Yoga’ and her newest release ‘Yoke’. The accomplishments don’t end there. In addition to cohosting the Dear Jessamyn podcast she also advocates for the We Go High NC cannabis justice initiative. Girl is booked and busy!
When recalling her path to Yoga Jessamyn doesn’t mince words. She shares that she was definitely not looking to practice yoga on a regular basis, and her first experience wasn’t all that great. We won’t go into all the details here, but Jessamyn mentions that there was a-lot of sweat and a moderate amount of self doubt. During this initial yoga session the newbie actually ended up leaving class early. Not only was the environment uncomfortable, Jessamyn felt that she was unable to complete the poses in the same way as the other students. After this disappointing first experience the appeal of yoga just wasn’t there for her.
Jessamyn didn’t choose Yoga, the practice of Yoga chose her
Fast forward to grad school. Several life experiences and emotionally trying situations led Jessamyn back to the practice of Yoga. She wasn’t at a point financially where a studio class was an option. The fact that those spaces lacked community for people that looked like her led her to focus more on establishing an at home practice. At this time the visibility of black fat femmes in the movement space was almost non existent. Jessamyn started posting her practice to social media. The response was overwhelming. Due to society’s fatphobia and a general lack of visibility, the idea of a fat body in movement, and doing yoga in particular is shocking. As a result Jessamyn felt a strong pull to get her teaching certification.
Yoga Queen Jessamyn Stanley wants us to stop being ashamed of sharing how weed helps our practice
She describes her feelings at the yoga teacher training she attended as if her soul was being broken apart. During this process she learned the true meaning of yoga; The point of yoga is to develop insight compassion for yourself, and compassion for others. Part of Jessamyns truth is, smoking weed is a big part of her practice. She shares that she wouldn’t be able to do any of the things she does. In her professional and personal life without her use of cannabis.
Jessamyn wants more honesty around cannabis use in the wellness space. Although this is a strong desire she understands why folks are hesitant.
In this episode we talk about:
- What starting a Yoga practice looks like
- The history of yoga and it’s relationship with cannabis
- The radical act of decolonizing your practice
- Leaving shame at the door
The challenge of getting weed in a prohibition state
Jessamyn shares some hilarious stories regarding the journey it takes to get weed when your regular guy isn’t available
Yoga, Wellness, and what creating an authentic diverse and inclusive community space should REALLY look like
Shonitria and Jesamyn chat about the trendiness of antiracism and the lip-service white folks perform instead of doing the work dismantle the systems they benefit from.
Why Yoga isn’t all love and light
It can be gritty and help unlock suppressed emotions. Despite popular belief yoga has nothing to do with the way you look or how you are performing. Jesamyn unlocks the truth and shares her point of view on diving below the surface and the meaning behind the name of her company The Underbelly Yoga
Follow Jessamyn: @mynameisjessamyn
Check out the Underbelly: theunderbelly.com
Follow Blunt Blowin’ Mama: @bluntblowinmama